Demographics of Russia

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Demography of Russia. Data of FAO, year 2005; Number of inhabitants in thousands

Russia's area is about 17 million square kilometers (6.5 million sq. mi.). It remains the largest country in the world by more than 2.5 million square miles. Its population density is about 9 persons per square kilometer (22 per sq. mi.), making it one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Its population is predominantly urban.


[edit] Population data

According to the 2002 Russian Census, Russia had approximately 145 million inhabitants, roughly 103 million in the European part, and 42 million in the Asian part.

Most Russians derive from the Eastern Slavic family of peoples, with Turkic (8.4%), Caucasian (3.3%), Uralic (1.9%) and other minorities.

Birth rate: 9.95 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate: 14.65 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.46 male(s)/female
total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 15.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 67.08 years
male: 60.45 years
female: 74.1 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.28 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Suicide rate: According to the WHO, Russia has a yearly 38.7 suicides per 100,000 people, the second-highest suicide rate in the world.

Population aging

[edit] Demographic crisis

[edit] Declining population

Lower birth rates and higher death rates reduced Russia's population at a 0.5% annual rate during the 1990s. This rate however is accelerating. [1] For every 1,000 Russians there are 16 deaths and just 10.6 births leading to a population decline of about 750,000 to 800,000 a year. The UN warned that Russia's 2005 population of about 140 million could fall by a third by 2050. However the number of Russians living in poverty has halved since the economic crisis following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the improving economy has had a positive impact on the country's low birth-rate (According to the US Census Bureau the nadir was 8.27 per 1000 in 1999 the 2006 rate is estimated at 9.95 per 1000. For comparison the US birth rate in 2006 is 14.14 and the current UK birth rate is 10.71 per 1000).

By comparison, in many developed countries birth rates have also dropped below the long-term population replacement rate. Most countries "use" immigration to avoid the population actually declining. Population decline is particularly drastic in Russia, with higher death rates especially among working-age males due to poverty, abuse of alcohol and other substances, disease, stress, and other afflictions. (According to the US Census Bureau the death rate in 1989 was 10.76 per 1000, the low point came in 2001 at 15.45 per 1000, the 2006 rate is estimated at 14.65. For comparison the current US death rate is 8.26 per 1000 and the UK death rate is 10.13 per 1000) Russians mostly disapprove of permanent or temporary immigration of working-age males from countries other than the Russian-speaking former Soviet states.

The crisis and planned government measures to halt it was a key subject of Vladimir Putin's 2006 state of the nation address.

[edit] Abortions

It is estimated that there are more abortions than births in Russia. In 2004, at least 1.6 million women had an abortion (a fifth of them under the age of 18) and about 1.5 million gave birth. The reason behind this high abortion rate is the fact that the birth of a first child pushes many families into poverty. [2]

[edit] Causes

  • Abortion (see above)
  • Smoking and alcoholism
  • A high death rate among men in World War II created a gender imbalance.
  • Pollution and environmental degredation, leading to birth defects and miscarriages

[edit] Ethnic groups

The Russian Federation is home to as many as 160 different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples. As of the 2002 census, 79.83% of the population (115,889,107 people) is ethnically Russian, followed by (groups larger than one million):

Most smaller groups live compactly in their respective regions and can be categorized by language group The ethnic divisions used here are those of the official census, and may in some respects be controversial. The following lists all ethnicites resolved by the 2002 census, grouped by language:

  • Ket 1,494 (0.00%)

Some 1.6% of the population are ethnicities not native to the Russian territory. The census has an additional group of 'other' ethnicities of 42,980 (0.03%).

See also: Northern indigenous peoples of Russia

[edit] Gradient

The demographic structure of Russia has gradually changed over time. In 1970, Russia had the third largest population of Jews in the world, estimated at 2,150,000, following only that of the United States and Israel. By 2002, due to Jewish emigration, their number fell as low as 230,000. A sizeable emigration of other minorities has been enduring, too. Predominantly these are European peoples like Germans, Czechs, Greeks and members of their families. The main destinations are the USA (Jews, Meskhetian Turks etc.), Israel (Jews), Germany (Germans and Jews), Canada, Finland (Finns).

At the same time, Russia experiences a constant flow of immigration. On average, 200,000 legal immigrants enter the country every year; about half are ethnic Russians from the other republics of the former Soviet Union. In addition, there are at least 1.5 million illegal immigrants in the country. There is a significant inflow of ethnic Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Tajiks, and Ukrainians into big Russian cities, something that is viewed very unfavorably by many citizens and even gives rise to nationalist sentiments. Numbers of Chinese flee the overpopulation and birth control regulations of their home country and settle in the Far East and in southern Siberia. Many immigrant ethnic groups have much higher birth rates than native Russians, further shifting the balance.

[edit] Languages

Russian is the common official language throughout Russia understood by 99% of its current inhabitants and widespread in many adjacent areas of Asia and Eastern Europe. National subdivisions of Russia have additional official languages, see their respective articles. There more than 100 languages spoken in Russia. Many of them are in danger of extinction.

[edit] Religion

The most widespread religion in Russia is Eastern Orthodox Christianity dominated by Russian Orthodox Church.

Since the end of Soviet rule, up to 80% of Russians have identified themselves as Orthodox, Even non-religious Russians mostly associate themselves with Orthodox faith for cultural reasons [3]. There are also other Eastern Orthodox churches in the Russian Federation. and include other Christian denominations such as various Protestant faiths, Roman Catholicism. Other religions are Islam, Judaism, and smaller groups of Buddhism, Hindus. These typically occur among minority groups and are quite rare among ethnic Russians and other Slavic peoples.

[edit] Education

Main article: Education in Russia

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 99.99%
female: 97% (1989 est.)

Russia's free, widespread and in-depth educational system, inherited with almost no changes from the Soviet Union, has produced nearly 100% literacy. Private schools are rare (although getting more popular) and can be mainly found in the capital region. 97% of children receive their compulsory 9-year basic or complete 11-year education in Russian. Other languages are also used in their respective republics, for instance tatar (1%), Yakut (0.4%) etc.

About 3 million students attend Russia's 519 institutions of higher education and 48 universities. As a result of great emphasis on science and technology in education, Russian medical, mathematical, scientific, and space and aviation research is generally of a high order.

The number of doctors in relation to the population is high by American standards, although medical care in Russia, even in major cities, is below Western standards.

[edit] Labor force

The Russian labor force is undergoing tremendous changes. Although well-educated and skilled, it is largely mismatched to the rapidly changing needs of the Russian economy. Millions of Russian workers are underemployed. Unemployment is highest among women and young people. Many Russian workers compensate by working other part-time jobs. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the economic dislocation it engendered, the standard of living fell dramatically. The standard of living has been on the rise since 1999, but almost one-third of the population still does not meet the minimum subsistence level for money income. The Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade estimates that the percentage of people under the subsistence level will gradually decrease by 23%-25% in the period up to 2005.

[edit] Health

As of 2004, the average life expectancy in Russia was 59 years for males and 72 years for females. The biggest factor that contributes to low life expectancy is high mortality among working-age males due to preventable causes (violent crimes, traffic accidents, alcohol etc.) Some infectious diseases are also implicated, such as AIDS/HIV and tuberculosis. Both diseases became widespread in Russia in the 1990s. However, the underlying problems with healthcare in Russia pre-date the post-Soviet period. The Soviet Union had been increasingly lagging behind Western countries in terms of mortality and life expectancy since the late 1960s. By 1985, life expectancy for males was only 62.7 years in Russia, compared to 71.6 in Great Britain and 74.8 in Japan. The turmoil in the early 1990s and the economic crisis in 1998 caused life expectancy in Russia to go down while it was steadily growing in the rest of the world.

Russia and Ukraine are said to have the highest growth rates of HIV infection in the world outside Sub-Saharan Africa. In Russia HIV seems to be transmitted mostly by intravenous drug users sharing needles, although data is very uncertain. There is evidence of growing transmission between sex workers and their clients. Data from the Federal AIDS Center shows that the number of registered cases is doubling every 12 months and by May 1, 2002 had reached 193,400 persons. When this number is adjusted to include people who have not been tested for the disease, estimates of the actual number of infected persons vary from 800,000 to 1 million.

[edit] Main cities

Moscow is the largest city (population 10.1 million) and is the capital of the Federation. Moscow continues to be the center of Russian Government and is increasingly important as an economic and business center. Its cultural tradition is rich, and there are many museums devoted to art, literature, music, dance, history, and science. It has hundreds of churches and dozens of notable cathedrals; it has become Russia's principal magnet for foreign investment and business presence.

St. Petersburg (population 4.6 million), established in 1703 by Peter the Great as the capital of the Russian Empire, was called Petrograd during World War I and Leningrad after 1924. In 1991, as the result of a city referendum, it was renamed St. Petersburg. Under the Tsars, the city was Russia's cultural, intellectual, commercial, financial, and industrial center. After the capital was moved back to Moscow in 1918, the city's political significance declined, but it remained a cultural, scientific, and military-industrial center. The Hermitage is one of the world's great fine arts museums.

Vladivostok, located in the Russian Far East, is becoming an important center for trade with the Pacific Rim countries.

Other large cities of importance include, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Yekaterinburg (formerly Sverdlovsk), Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Samara, Rostov-na-Donu, and Chelyabinsk.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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