Staunton, May 8 – The number of births in Russia fell from 390,200 in the first quarter of 2018 to 355,200 in the first three months of this year, a 9.1 percent decline; and the falloff was across the board: in all but three federal subjects – Moscow city, Magadan Oblast and Karachayevo-Cherkessia, the number of newborns either fell or remained constant.
The biggest declines were in Moscow Oblast, Oryol Oblast, Krasnodar Kray, the Chukchi Autonomous District, and Amur Oblast, all of which saw declines of more than 15 percent and all but the Chukchi AD are overwhelmingly ethnic Russian. The three with gains increased only two percent (Karachayevo-Cherkessia) to 5.1 percent (Moscow city).
Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova released these figures at a meeting of the Presidential Council on Strategic Development and Priority Projects (rbc.ru/economics/08/05/2019/5cd2d5399a79475a79899e11?from=from_main).
She did have some good news: infant mortality fell by 15.7 percent to a historic low of 4.3 deaths per 1,000 live births, a figure that the authorities had projected to be achieved only in 2024. But that wasn’t enough to stem the decline in Russia’s population, which fell in the first quarter of 2019 by 106,700, far more than the fall of 87,300 in the first three months of last year.
Immigration did little to compensate for this domestic decline, and the overall population fell in the course of 2018 by 99,700 to 146,780,720, including occupied Crimea and Stavropol. Golikova said that officials expect that “the negative trend f natural loss of population will begin to change in 2023-2024.”