German demographers: Russia — fading power

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The Berlin Institute for Population and Development has published a major analysis of demographic processes in Russia and other former Soviet countries. The report, published in Russian language, is called "Disappearing World Power." The title, in fact, contained and the main conclusion of the study.

The fact that the post-Soviet demographic challenges it engaged the German Institute, one of the study's authors, Professor Rainer Klingholts (Reiner Klingholz) explained, in particular, the greater interdependence of Europe and Germany, on the one hand, and Russia and the other republics of the former Soviet Union — on the other.

"We are very dependent on the supply, primarily raw materials, — said the professor — and for German exports post-Soviet space is an interesting market." In addition, the Germans are not indifferent to what happens in the vast territory of the immediate neighbors of the European Union and NATO.

It is noteworthy that the object of research and comparative analysis are not separate republics of the former Soviet Union and post-Soviet space as a whole, including the Baltic states and Central Asia. According to scientists, the former Soviet republics, although became independent states, but still represents the interaction of the system is largely determined by life in the former Soviet space.

Professor Klingholts indicated that demographic problems of the post-Soviet European republics, including the Baltic States, are very similar to those that also face Germany. All of these countries have experienced since World War II "baby boom." In the 1970s, it came to nothing, generation of "baby boomers" have retired, and next to him was far less numerous. In the former USSR, the situation has aggravated the sharp decline in fertility in the crucial 90 years, which is only now beginning to give themselves felt a small number of potential parents.

Such different demographics

In 1960, Russia (excluding the other republics of the USSR), the fourth largest in the world by population. Last year, it dropped to ninth place, behind Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria. The rapid demographic decline, Russia may lose more by mid-century 25 million people, and thus no longer included in the top ten of population of the world. It will precede Ethiopia, the Philippines, Egypt and Mexico.

In this case, however, the demographic processes and the former Soviet Union and in Russia are very heterogeneous. Scientists compared the situation in the 141 region of the former Soviet Union and identified five types of clusters. In this case, four of the population will continue to decline, but for different reasons and to different degrees, and only one — to rise.

By the fifth cluster of scientists attributed most of the republics of Central Asia, as well as Russian Chechnya, Tuva and Altai. The birth rate is comparable to rates in North Africa, women have an average of 2.78 children, which is more than is necessary for the stable reproduction even with the exodus of people to work in other regions of the former Soviet Union. This group also includes Russia's Tyumen region and the south of Kazakhstan, which were due to oil — and will remain — a magnet for migrants.

Thinning the clusters

Despite the low birth rate, more or less able to keep using the migration and the number of the first of the five clusters. This group of scientists brought to Moscow, Kiev, Minsk, Moscow and Sevastopol, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Krasnodar Krai and Tatarstan, Belgorod region, which is characterized by particularly proactive migration policy. According to the forecast of researchers, population decline — due to the inflow from the outside — in this group of territories in the next 20 years will be minimal, and in some places there may be even a small increase.

Small loss of life will suffer and second regions of the cluster, but for very different reasons. The North and South Caucasus, in the western regions of Ukraine and Belarus slightly higher fertility and high life expectancy — 72.2 years on average. "Along with favorable climatic conditions, — the study — high life expectancy due to the large value of religion in daily life and the ethnic composition of the population. Preventable deaths due to alcohol abuse, there is much less. "

This group of scientists had to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. But in contrast to the Baltic regions of the second group the study authors did not consider promising in the FSU.

The third cluster — are the regions in which the population is shrinking because of low birth rates and an aging society. This vast areas of Belarus and Ukraine, Central and North-Western Russia, Krasnoyarsk. There are about one-fifth of the population older than 60 years, and in the Chernigov region, Ukraine such and did a quarter of the population.

Yet available for the population, this group in the post-dominant. But by 2030, the situation is likely to change. Decline in the population in the third cluster is expected to be double-digit percentage.

Depopulated territory

The fourth group of regions will become more and more deserted, but for different reasons. People run from the Far North, the Far East, northern Kazakhstan and Moldova. Chukotka since the last Soviet census in 1989, lost more than a third of its people, Magadan region — more than half. In Sakhalin, Kamchatka and in the Murmansk region migration losses account for nearly a third of all residents. Plus a very low life expectancy.

As for Russia alone, the authors of the study point to a decline in its population from 1993 to 2010 from 149 to 142 million and it is for the mass repatriation of ethnic Russian in Russia from the former Soviet republics after the Soviet collapse. Without this reduction of the circumstances of the Russian population would be, according to experts, nearly twice as high at 11.5 million. The spare capacity, however, is almost exhausted. All those who wanted already moved to Russia.

Author: Nikita Zholkver, Berlin

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