Demographic trends and how they affect Russia.
One of the biggest countries in the world, Russia is also one of the leading countries as far as we concern total resource potential. Our country is extremely rich with minerals, is in the lead on reserves of fuel and energy resources. 50% of world potential reserves of coal (only 40% of which are used), 23% of oil reserves, 33% of reserves of natural gas are located in Russia. Besides that Russia is rich with of iron ore, copper, aluminium, nickel and titanic ores. The Far North and Siberia are rich with reserves of diamonds and precious metals. Russia occupies the first place in the world by reserves of chemical raw materials.
But the main reserves of any country, especially concerning the situation all over the world, appear its population. Developing and especially developed countries suffer the aging of population. The problem of labour force stands very sharp. And Russia is not an exception, unfortunately. According to the rating published by RBC.Rating Russia is on the 142th place by the life interval, which 67,66 years on average. (See appendix 1, Table 1)
The statistical results to the end of 2006 showed that the population of the Russian Federation was reduced every year almost to 900 thousand people. A share of those of 65+ years old was 13,7%. It two times exceeded the international standard according to which the nation is considered old. As a result for one thousand of working people there were 276 children and 323 pensioners, and it can fatally affect the national economy. Experts consider that the main cause of demographic crisis is high death rate.
Before considering major trends of the demographic situation in Russia it is worth observing the data of the previous years. Here is the statistical information concerning demographic situation in our country for the last three years.
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According to the Federal Agency of the state statistics of the Russian Federation the demographic situation in Russia for 2007 was as follows. Population of Russia for January-September, 2007 has decreased by 199,9 thousand people (by 0,14%) and by October, 1st it was 142 million people. For January-September, 2006 the country population has decreased by 438,9 thousand people. Population reduction in 2007 occurred because of its natural decrease (which was 378,9 thousand people) the rates of which at the same time were reduced in comparison with the similar period of 2006 by 155,1 thousand people. The rate of migration increased by 47,3% compensated numerical losses of the population.
In January-September, 2007 in Russia was born 1178,1 thousand children (in January-September, 2006 – 1105,5 thousand children), and died 1557 thousand people (1639,5 thousand people). In January-September in all subjects of the Russian Federation the increase in the number of children born (except the Magadan area) and the decrease in the number of people died (except Chukotsky autonomous region) were marked. Generally in the country the excess of the number of those who died over the number of the born was 1,3 times (in January-September, 2006 – 1,5 times), and in eight subjects of the Russian Federation it has made 2−2,5 times. The natural increase of the population in January-September, 2007 has been recorded in 20 subjects of the Russian Federation (compare with 17 subjects in January-September, 2006).
As to the demographic situation in the year 2008, the data is the following. By an estimation the number of resident population of the Russian Federation for July, 1st 2008 was 141,9 million people and from the beginning of the year it has decreased by 133,7 thousand people, or by 0,09% (by the corresponding date of the previous year it decreased by 189,9 thousand people, or by 0,13%). Population reduction took place because of the natural decline in population, which in I half-year 2008 has decreased by 49,6 thousand people in comparison with the corresponding period of the year 2007. The migratory gain increased by 48,1% compensated numerical losses of the population. In I half-year 2008 in 79 subjects of the Russian Federation the increase in the number of births was registered and in 59 subjects the numbers of deaths increased.
For the country as a whole the number of deaths exceeded the number births by 1,3 times (in I half-year 2007 this figure was 1,4), in 10 subjects of the Russian Federation it has been registered at the level 2,0-2,5. The natural increase of population in I half-year 2008 was recorded in 19 subjects of the Russian Federation (in I half-year 2007 in 16 subjects). This decrease was caused by the natural decrease of population: the natural decrease rate amounted to 4.0‰.
In comparison with the corresponding period of 2007 the increase of migration inflow to Russia was reported for the 1-st quarter, 2008. The natural decrease of population was compensated by the migration increase of 58.4 thousand people by 41.9% only.
During I quarter 2008 in comparison with the corresponding period of 2007 the migratory increase in population of Russia has been noted. Natural decline in population on 41,9% was compensated by the migratory gain which has made 58,4 thousand people. (See appendix 1, Tables 2, 3)
According to the data of Federal Agency of the state statistics of the Russian Federation the year 2007 for Russians became a record year from the point of view of birth rate indicators. One million six hundred two thousand three hundred eighty seven children were born. It is the highest indicator for all the time after disintegration of the USSR.
Experts estimate this figure differently. The most cautious say that undoubtedly gain is, however it is necessary to consider that birth rate indicators depend on in what point at present there is a demographic curve. Now is the period when a numerous generation has entered the reproductive period. It is the important factor, but it is not a defining one. All the same the majority of experts recognize that obvious progress was outlined in a demographic situation. After all not only birth rate indicators grow, death rate indicators fall (see appendix 1, Tables 2,3).
Experts say that as a result of increase in birth rate and decrease in death rate we are on a way to stabilization of a demographic situation in our country. It has happened, first of all, because incomes have grown in our country. And researches show that there is a direct dependence between incomes of the population and birth rate level. And, besides, the government has undertaken a number of the measures directed on stabilization of social sphere in our country, in creation of conditions that families got children. In particular, allocation of so-called parent capitals. This innovation is justified if we judge by the fact that the second and third children are born more often. Among other measures in this area it is necessary to name introduction of patrimonial certificates. It is the special financial document which provides the guaranteed supervision over pregnancy by specialists and help at childbirth (it is paid to all future mothers) and the state helps families to pay for kindergartens.
All this is a part of the national project concerning public health services. According to the experts, if to continue to adhere to that strategy then in seven years Russia, possibly, will overcome demographic crisis.
All over the world governments face the problem of aging of the population. This is a serious threat for the economies. As well as in other countries this problem exists in Russia. During the decade after the disintegration of the USSR birth rate has been falling while the death rate has been rising.
Today situation is changing gradually, but that does not mean that growth of natural increase of population will be constant and its rate will skyrocket in few years. According to experts this is possible, but the process tends to fluctuate and depends on a number of factors.
Nevertheless, government undertakes measures, such as social programs and developing of social policy. Statistics prove that those measures work and there is a high possibility for Russia to overcome the crisis in a few years.
- Statistical review for the Ist quarter, 2008; Federal Agency of the state statistics of the Russian Federation