Paul Goble: Russia’s Population Getting Smaller and Becoming Ever Less Russian, New Data Show

Staunton, August 30 – Falling birthrates and rising mortality rates have compelled Vladimir Putin to acknowledge that Russia’s population, after a brief and small uptick over the last several years is again falling, something he hopes he can counter but has not suggested how (finanz.ru/novosti/aktsii/putin-konstatiroval-dalneyshee-sokrashchenie-naseleniya-rossii-1029528793). Rosstat, the Russian government’s statistics agency, reports that during the first half of 2020, 5.2 percent fewer children were born than during the same period of 2019, while the number of deaths rose some three percent. As a result, the country’s indigenous population declined by 265,500, a third more than a year ago (rosstat.gov.ru/storage/mediabank/9t1WUjua/oper-07-2020.pdf). For the country as a whole, there were 1.4 times as many deaths as births; but in 40 of these – and almost all of these are predominantly ethnic Russian

areas, there were as many as 2.5 times as many deaths as births. That pushes down the ethnic Russian percentage of the population as does any immigration. A group of Western scholars have examined the same data and conclude that the Russian fertility rate now stands at 1.61, far below the 2.2 needed to keep population stable, and they say over the next 80 years, Russia’s population will fall to 106 million not counting immigration (thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30677-2/fulltext#figures).

source: window on eurasia

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