Staunton, February 13 – Indigenous Muslim nationalities formed 10.4 percent of the population of the Russian Federation in 2010, a fraction that may increase to 14.5 percent in 2030 – a rise of almost 50 percent -- according to a new study produced by the Moscow Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology.
Almost all of that increase, the book Ethnic and Linguistic Diversity of Russia (in Russian; Moscow, 2018) says, will come from the continuing rapid growth of Muslim nations in the North Caucasus rather than from Tatars and Bashkirs whose demographic behavior resembles that of Russians (nazaccent.ru/content/26570-uchenye-k-2025-godu-nency-vyjdut.html).
These figures do not include Muslim gastarbeiters from Central Asia and the southern Caucasus – according to various estimates there may be as many as eight million of them, a figure that if true would add nearly five percent to the Muslim total -- and thus they significantly understate the share of Muslims in the Russian population now and a decade from now.
And the book implausibly claims that ethnic Russians will continue to form 80 percent of the population, a highly unlikely assertion given the growth of the share of Muslim nationalities and one possible if and only if almost all the other nationalities, including in particular the Finno-Ugric nations, suffer a significant demographic collapse before the 2030 census.
That is what the book predicts. According to Nazaccent, it specifies that “the peoples of the Finno-Ugric group and the indigenous numerically small peoples will decline in both number and share of the Russian population.” Meanwhile, it says, “the Buryats, Kalmyks and Tuvins will remain at the level they are now.”
The book also specifies that “the number of the so-called new ethnic groups formed after the collapse of the USSR – the Moldovans, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Kurds and others – will grow by an insignificant amount,” while Ukrainians, Belarusians, Poles, Greeks, and Bulgars will continue to experience reductions.
“The number of Jews will remain constant and the number of Armenians will grow,” Nazaccent says in its summary of the Institute’s book.