Staunton, Mar. 13 – Couples who are formally married have 70 percent more children on average than do those who live together without official registration and church sanction, Yury Krupnov says. Given that pattern, the increasing tendency of couples to live together rather than commit to marriage is threatening the demographic future of the Russian Federation.
The specialist at the Moscow Institute of Demography, Migration and Regional Development says that “the tragedy of pseudo-marriage, which is also called ‘civil,’ is that it is a form of ‘loneliness together” because those who enter into it “simply do not trust one another no matter what they say” (realtribune.ru/sozhitelstvo-podryvaet-demografiju-v-rossii-statistika).
According to Krupnov, “cohabitation not only undermines the institution of the family and thus of society and the country as a whole but also devalues love and from the outside puts children in an extremely uncertain position. It is no coincidence that the children of such imperfect unions were called ‘illegitimate’ in the past.”
Give Putin’s push for the restoration of “traditional values,” it is likely that Krupnov’s argument will be taken up by some of the more enthusiastic Putinistas in the parliament as the basis for a new effort to block people from living together by penalizing those who do through tax policies or some other means.
Such efforts are unlikely to prevent Russians from entering into informal relations, but they could become a new source of tension especially in big cities where cohabitation without marriage appears to be far more common.