Russia’s population has fallen by 6.6 million since 1993, despite the influx of millions of immigrants, according to a UNDP report released last year. By 2025, the country could lose a further 11 million people.
Population levels in many developed countries have stagnated and are expected to fall by 2025, but Russia’s population, currently around 142 million, has been in retreat since 1992.
Russia’s mortality rate is among the highest in the developed world, with average life expectancy for males at barely 60 years. Most experts blame the country’s overall high death rate on alcohol.
The UN has urged Russia to overhaul the health system to provide more efficient care, while encouraging lifestyle changes to reduce the number of deaths related to alcohol consumption.
The UN has also urged Russia to ease barriers to immigration in order to reduce the impact of labor shortages, slower economic growth and other pressures brought on by its ongoing demographic crisis.
The UN report said that Russia should adopt reforms that insure basic rights and access to services for millions of migrants, many of them from other former Soviet nations, who work in construction and other industries.
Source: UN: Russia should reform immigration practices [AP, 05.10.2009]