Staunton, Feb. 10 – Rosstat, the Russian government’s statistical agency, has released figures showing that the number of children born in 2022 fell to 1.3 million, the lowest since the end of the 1990s, but it has been chary about releasing ethnic data relative to that figure almost certainly because of what such numbers will show.
Yevgeny Chernyshov of the Nakanune news agency provides what can serve as a standin for the ethnic figures Moscow won’t release. He has listed the seven federal subjects where the birthrate dropped by more than ten percent last year over 2021. All are either Russian oblast or Russian dominated non-Russian autonomies (nakanune.ru/articles/120325/).
Five are Russian oblasts – Pskov, down 13.8 percent; Ryazan, down 13.2 percent, Kurgan, down 12 percent, and Kirov, down 11.3 percent – and two are non-Russian federal subjects where ethnic Russians form the majority of the population – Karelia, down 14.5 percent, and the Nenets Autonomous District, down 11.4 percent.
Those figures are a kind of stand in for the statistics not yet released about the decline in the number of births among Russians. All the non-Russian groups, except the Chechens, fell as well. But the pattern is clear: Russians are declining faster than non-Russians and will have fewer women in the prime child-bearing cohort and thus fall at an accelerating rate.