Russia's demographic crisis is slightly worrying
The situation was already bad. Two years of Public Health has made it worse.
Russia’s Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) recently published a report, “On the Socio-economic Situation,” which contains some rather troubling data from January-May 2022.
The socio-economic situation in Russia, according to media reports citing Rosstat, is not so good:
Every month since the beginning of the year, Russia has lost 86,000 people. There have never been such losses in the entire modern history of [Russian] statistics. Even in 2002, when there were 685,000 fewer Russians, the number of citizens decreased by 57,000 per month.
At the same time, the death rate in January-May decreased by 36.1 thousand, to 878.3 thousand. But the birth rate also fell—by 31.1 thousand, to 523.2 thousand children. The difference between these indicators results in a natural decline of 355 thousand people. For every Russian who is born, there are 1.7 deaths. […]
Since the beginning of 2020, the population of Russia has decreased by 1.62 million people.
As we mentioned earlier, the situation could be described as slightly worrying.
And there’s more.
Russian media outlets are reporting that the country’s birth rate has plummeted to levels not seen since the Great Patriotic War.
We were very skeptical of this claim when we first read it—because if you really think about it, it’s terrifying—but even Russian lawmakers are making similar pronouncements.
Tatyana Butskaya, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Family, Women and Children, said in a recent interview that April 2022 saw the lowest birth rate since WW2.
Unfortunately there’s more.
Nakanune.ru has just published a sobering overview of Russia’s demographic crisis. It’s a must-read, but it’s also very painful to read.
The article concludes:
Out of 236 countries, Russia has the world’s 15th largest increase in mortality—38%, or 675,000 additional deaths.
All analysis data show that COVID accounted for only less than a tenth of excess mortality in Russia.
Life expectancy has fallen by 4.5 years.
The “natural” population decline has exceeded one million people, which has never happened in any country in the world since 1950.
In terms of the total population loss, Russia is first place in the world.
In terms of fertility per woman, Russia ranks 193rd in the world (1.49 children in total) and 30th in Europe (out of 48). In 2015, Russia was ranked 9th in Europe.
Russia has only one good indicator—a decrease in infant mortality. Russia has the 40th lowest infant mortality rate in the world (10th if you don’t count the countries of Europe).
As Nakanune points out, what distinguishes Russia from other countries is its shockingly high mortality rate among the working-age population:
In terms of mortality under 40, Russia ranks 158th in the world and last in Europe—63 per 1000 population. That is, 6.3% of citizens do not live up to 40 years. These are unacceptably large numbers, unworthy of a great power, especially in the light of many years of statements about success in increasing life expectancy. It is no less striking that Ukraine, which is ahead of Russia, has a mortality rate of up to 40 years that is 30% less—44 deaths per 1,000. Russia is not just the last in Europe, but far behind even Ukraine.
The Russian government has all sorts of programs and initiatives aimed at reversing this trend. For example, a program designed to bolster the country’s population was launched at the end of 2021. The plan includes better health care monitoring (at least in theory), and also expands social benefits for households with children.
As BNE reported in November:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has put dealing with Russia’s demographic crisis at the top of his agenda since his first day on the job. The Kremlin successful reversed the demographic decline in the last decade and stabilised the population size. However, more recently as the demographic dent caused by the chaos of the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s hits the curve the population has started to fall again.
The new policies are a continuation of the former efforts to boost the birth rate and protect newborns. The aim is to reduce infant mortality to 0.45% by 2024. The plan also pays attention to the development of quality requirements for kindergarten care for children under school age. Families with at least three children are to receive free land equipped with the technical infrastructure needed for housing.
There were signs of real improvement. Natural population growth began to increase in 2013, but has stayed in the red since 2017. And now it is very, very red.
How to solve this problem? We need more injections, according to RT. In fact, anyone who hasn’t been injected is basically begging to die. There you go. Demographic crisis solved. Thanks, RT.