Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Russian Population May Fall Below 100 Million by 2078, UN Experts Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 18 – A United Nations commission concludes that 60 years from now, the population of the Russian Federation could decline to 99.7 million if pessimistic trends continue or increased by as much as 15 million under the most optimistic assumptions, the RBC  news agency reports (rbc.ru/society/17/06/2019/5d07d53b9a794765be96dfa3?from=newsfeed).

            The UN’s median figure for Russia in 2078, the report says, is 127.5 million, almost 20 million fewer than today.  The study also reported that Russia still has one of the greatest gender imbalances of any country on earth with only 86.4 men for every 100 women and that the median age of Russians, now 39.6, will rise to 44 by 2035 and then remain at that level.

            These changes mean, the UN says, that the number of pensioners and children per 100 working age adults will rise from 51.2 in 2020 and exceed 60 by 2045, making it far more difficult to support existing programs for children and the elderly.  Life expectancy will change little, rising from 72 years from birth now to 73 years by 2030 before levelling off.

            And the UN experts give the following figures for the number of births. Between 2015 and 2020, there will be 9.29 million newborns, a figure that will fall too 7.08 million in 2030-2035 before beginning to rise again under most of the assumptions the authors of the study have made.

            The enormous range in the projected size of the Russian population 60 years from now highlights the enormous difficulties involved in making such projections. There are simply too many variables for a more precise prediction. But these UN figures are anything but the rosy ones the Kremlin offers, and consequently, these numbers have sparked a new wave of dismay.

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