Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Immigrants to Russia Now More Female, Less Educated, and Less Welcome, New Studies Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 22 – Russia is becoming less attractive to those who had viewed it as a good place to earn money and so the number of migrants, legal and illegal, has stabilized, new studies find. But these investigations also report that those arriving now are younger, less educated, and more female than their predecessors a decade ago.

            Most of those coming to Russia today, Yekaterina Trifonova of Nezavisimaya gazeta says, are from rural regions of Central Asia, mostly young and with less education, and far more female than ever before, including women who have children or who are pregnant and expect to give birth in Russia (

            One study says that most immigrants now are from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Moldova, Ukraine and Uzbekistan now contribute far fewer as their citizens are “actively reorienting” away from Russian job markets toward the West.  Approximately 60 percent of the new immigrants have less that a complete secondary education.

            But what is most striking is that the new wave of immigrants from Central Asia is increasingly female. The women who come often have begun or plan to begin having families rather than finding work. Most of the immigrants from Kyrgyzstan are now women, and many already have children with them.

            According to Trifonova, there are between seven and ten million illegal immigrants in Russia. Only about 10 percent are registered with the government. Moreover, more than half of Russians say they don’t want more such people to be allowed in and certainly don’t want them as neighbors (cf. and

            Many immigrants report being mistreated by employers and shunned by others, although some observers say anti-immigrant attitudes are less widely held than they were a few years ago.  But this situation may spark by ethnic and class conflicts, ethnic between Russians and Central Asians and class between ordinary Russians and business owners who rely on immigrants.

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