Saturday, January 28, 2023

Moscow Urged to Create ‘Ministry of Happiness’ in Hopes of Boosting Birthrates among Russians

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 23 – Faced with a decline in the Russian birthrate of eight percent between the first 11 months of 2021 and the corresponding period of 2022, Russian officials and experts are casting about for ways to reverse that trend and forestall a rapid decline in the total population of the country.

            Although most experts say that what is needed for that is a broad improvement in the economy and restoration of confidence in the future, Russian leaders remain fixated on the notion that offering more money to women who have children – the so-called “maternal capital” – will do the job, even though studies show that hasn’t work as intended.

            Now, officials are coming up with another bureaucratic idea, one that will make it look like the regime is doing something but that is unlikely by itself to solve the problem: After Kamchatka officials created a ministry of social well-being, some are calling for an all-Russian Ministry of Happiness (

            If that happens, such a move almost certainly will become the object of anecdotes; but it is unlikely by itself to change the demographic trends that Russia is now suffering from.

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