The demographic situation in Russia: if everything is terrible?


"The reduction of the population of Russia — a hindrance for Putin in his pursuit of a superpower" — the so-called Article journalist Fred Weir in the Global Post. For his part, Mark Adomanis, a leading blog on Forbes, found factual errors in the article and responded to her material, "Where are disappearing experts to verify the facts when they are most needed?".

The idea of a Eurasian Union, Putin's proposal — is attractive concept that can reshape the world economy and the military-political situation, says Weir. In his opinion, it is a "confederation of former Soviet republics on the two parts of the world, from Japan to the Baltic Sea."

However, by mid-century in Russia may not be enough adults to work in the industry and the protection of borders, warns Weir. The most noticeable decline in population in the alleged heart of the Eurasian Union — in Siberia and in the Far East after the collapse of the Soviet Union where the number of inhabitants has decreased by almost 20%, according to Weir.

In Russia as a whole fertility declines "for several decades," the author continues, mortality, particularly among men aged 25-45 has increased dramatically in the post-Soviet period, the mortality rate is still significantly higher than the birth rate. "As a result, the population is aging and shrinking at the same time" — says Weir.

"European and African fertility mortality" — so put it in an interview with Yuri Kroupnov, director of the independent Institute of Demography, Migration and Regional Development. He estimated that the death rate of men of working age in Russia is 5 times higher than in Europe.

Main cause of death of young Russian men — "post-Soviet epidemic of alcoholism," said Weir, referring to an article in the medical journal The Lancet from 2009.

According to Weir, Putin introduced a "huge cash payments to women who have more than two children" and "generous lifting" for the Russian, who want to move to Russia from the Baltic region and Central Asia, and Medvedev, "began a tough anti-alcohol campaign."

Weir notes that some progress there, but, according to demographer Anatoly Vishnevsky (HSE), these positive changes can not overcome the negative trends and a more comprehensive solution.

"It may be useful for this purpose and the idea of Putin's Eurasian Union", — says Weir. According to some analysts, the official confederation of states allow the Kremlin to organize an orderly importation of temporary workers in Russia and avoid a situation where migrant workers the right to apply for citizenship. However, it is not clear how to deal with depopulation in the Asian part of Russia.

According to the Institute of Contemporary economist Yevgeny Gontmakher, in the long-term demographic situation will force Putin to abandon the idea of revival of the USSR, loosen state control over the economy and start a genuine liberal market reforms. "We need to create economic opportunities and give up all the grandiose plans based on the methods of the state" — recommends Gontmaher, warning that time was running out.

After reviewing the foregoing article Ware, Mark Adomanis decided to check it out on sources and concluded: "The article is replete with basic factual errors." Thus, according to the information Adomanisa, "the birth rate in Russia grew in the 1980s, declined sharply in the 1990s, and between 2000 and growing." Number of children per woman in 2010 — is 1.4, according to Weir, and slightly more than 1.53, according Adomanisa.

Adomanis wonders why the data on the size of the Russian population Weir leads by American sources, and not by Rosstat. Adomanis also found: "Mortality from external causes in Russia (including accidents and social violence) over the past 10 years has decreased by almost 40%."

If you look at the article from the journal Lancet, Adomanis found that the number "600 thousand premature deaths from alcohol per year" — is an extrapolation of the survey data, which has been studied alcohol consumption in the "1990-2001. in three Russian cities ", so that the number of deaths for this reason probably declined. Overall, the mortality rate is not "stabilized," according to Weir and "always somewhat reduced," says Adomanis.

According to the words of the Gontmakher that the demographic crisis will force Putin to launch market reforms Adomanis said: "The most dramatic period of depopulation in the post-Soviet period coincided exactly with the most active period of economic liberalization and the recent improvement of the demographic situation occurs in the period of political and economic conservatism."

Nothing proves that economic liberalization leads to population explosion and demographic stabilization, writes Adomanis. Moreover, in Central Europe, the birth rate is now lower than in Russia, although the market institutions are more progressive.

"Understand all this is not so difficult — I took all the data from the public site Rosstat. So I always hate to see when professional journalists do not seem to try to sort out the issue, "- concludes Adomanis.

See also: A few reasons to be optimistic about Russia: Economic growth and demographic improvement («Forbes», USA)

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