Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Russia’s Regions Doing Worse in GDP Per Capita and Earnings than Most Sub-Saharan African Countries, Moscow News Agency Reports

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 22 – Moscow typically prefers to compare Russia as a whole with other countries as a whole because the regions doing well like the capitals and the oil and gas producing areas compensate for the much worse conditions elsewhere, Andrey Ivanov of the News.Ru says.

            But his agency decided to take the unusual step of comparing key indicators like GDP per capita, and average wages and salaries, between various regions of the Russian Federation and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, a comparison which shows that much of Russia lags behind countries on that continent (

            With regard to GDP per capita, Ivanov says, the agency was forced to use GDP figures adjusted for purchasing power from 2016 because the Russian government has not released regional figures since then.  The figures for Moscow were comparable to countries in Western Europe, he says; but those for many regions lagged behind African countries. 

            The figures for Ingushetia and Chechnya were “approximately” what they were in Sudan. Other North Caucasian republics weren’t much better. Volgograd Oblast where production was greater stood at the same level as Tunisia, and Rostov Oblast, which did even better, was not far beyond Egypt.

            In Siberia, the Altay Kray had a GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power equivalent to that of Morocco; and Primorsky Kray had one comparable to Algeria.  In the Central Federal District, Ivanovo Oblast had one similar to Angola’s; and Tver oblast had one at the same level as Namibia.

            As far as wages and salaries are concern, data are available for 2017. In that year, Russia ranked 69th out of 157 countries overall, but regional variations were “significant.” They remain so.

            Daghestanis on average received approximately what workers in Libya did. Tambov residents had incomes like Ghanaians. And people in Rostov, Tver, and Nizhny Novgorod oblasts had incomes equivalent to the average pay in Mauritania, analysts at the news agency found.

            Omsk oblast and Bashkortostan workers were at the level of Tunisia. Buryat workers earned what Angolans did.  Krasnodar employees had incomes like workers in Algeria. Sverdlovsk oblast was at the level of Kenya. Tomsk and Primorsky kray had incomes like those in Sudan.

            Moscow oblast workers had incomes roughly those of Namibia, Murmansk ones had wages and salaries like people in Botswana, and St. Petersburg and Sakha workers had wages and salaries similar to those in Equatorial Guinea.  And even workers in the Chukchi AO and Moscow city lagged behind those in South Africa, which has the highest pay rates on that continent.

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