Staunton, July 25 – Demographers at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics predict that over the next 80 years, Russia’s population could fall to 67 million or rise to 216 million but that the most probable outcome will be a population of 137.5 million, abut nine million fewer than today.
On the one hand, they say, this decline is not significantly worse than that projected for many other countries; and on the other, it can be countered only by argue increases in the number of immigrants (nazaccent.ru/content/38748-issledovanie-k-koncu-21-veka-chislo-rossiyan-vyrastet-tolko-s-pomoshyu-migracii.htmland rbc.ru/economics/26/07/2022/62de7e0f9a7947e84216786d).
But any significant increase in in-migration is likely to become increasingly difficult to achieve if the indigenous population is declining in size because there won’t be the sustained demand for immigrants, the demographers say. And as a result, factors pushing down Russia’s overall population growth are likely to grow relative to those promoting it.
In commenting on this report, Rosbalt observer Aleksandr Zhelenin cautions against taking these figures too seriously: Any prediction that far ahead, he says, is more an exercise in fantasy than analysis given how many factors can change and how wrong demographers have been in their predictions in the past (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2022/07/27/1967906.html).
But even taking his cautionary remarks into account, it seems unlikely that Russia’s population will grow significantly over the course of this century and far more likely that it will slowly drift down, with more deaths than births and a decreasing ability to attract immigrants who might fill the gap.