Russia’s single and most acute problem is the demographic trend of the country. National Human Development Report, Russian Federation, 2008: Russia Facing Demographic Challenges is a study recently released by the United Nations. This report projects that Russia would lose at least 11 million more people by 2025.
According to the study, “in the coming decades, the nation confronts accelerated population decrease; a dwindling of the working-age population; the general aging of the population; the drop in number of potential mothers; a large immigrant influx; and a possible rise in emigration rates.”
“The mortality crisis is one of the clearest manifestations of Russia’s long-term demographic crisis,” the report warns, with the gap between Russia and other developed countries widening since 1964. Further, life expectancy for both sexes was shortest in Russia among 33 European nations, and Russia lags far behind both the United States and Japan.
A two-pronged strategy is needed to reverse these trends, the new report said, calling for the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles on the one hand, and the adaptation of social services and institutions to the needs of the aging population on the other. It also pointed to migration as a possible way to fill gaps and boost the workforce to support economic growth.
In the past 16 years, nearly 6 million immigrants have come to Russia, but the study warned that for migration to be a truly effective solution, Russian society must adjust to accept the newcomers. Another UN report said last year that the population could fall to as low as 100 million in 2050.
Демографический кризис в России
Демоскоп Weekly, 19,-31.12.2005
Простых решений сложных проблем не существует
Журнал «Экономика России: ХХI век», 11/2006