Thursday, February 9, 2023

In-Migration Exceeds Out-Migration in Middle Volga Republics Except among Young Adults, Gabdrakhmanov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 6 – Most discussions of migration talk only about gross figures as few others are available; but when they are, some of the results are worrisome, according to Niyaz Gabdrakhmanov, a Tatar scholar at the Institute of Education at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics.

            He reports on two trends in the Middle Volga that he suggests are worrisome. On the one hand, many of the smaller national republics there are seeing their young people move out to study in Tatarstan or Bashkortostan (

            And on the other, many young Tatars and Bashkirs are moving out of their republics to study in Moscow and St. Petersburg, a kind of “voting with their feet” that doesn’t presage well for the future of their native republics or of the other republics in the region, given that many who leave for elsewhere may never return. 

            Between 2017 and 2021, Tatarstan attracted more immigrants than outmigrants overall; but in each of those years, it lost 18 year olds. Over the same period, Bashkortostan lost population every year but the last overall, but lost 18 years in all including 2021, albeit in a smaller number than before.

            Despite the influx of 18 year olds into Tatarstan from other republics in the Middle Volga, Gabdrakhamanov says, it is still the case that republic natives form about 80 percent of university students, far higher than the average for Russia as a whole (30 percent). In the leading universities of the major cities, this figure is roughly 50 percent.

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