Staunton, May 10 – According to a new study of Rosstat data, the fertility rate among native Muscovites has fallen to 1.34, just over half of the 2.26 children per woman per life time needed to prevent a decline in population. For other Russian cities, the rate is now 1.48; and for Russia as a whole, it stands at 1.60, all well below replacement levels.
The reasons the numbers are so low among urban Russians, who make up three-quarters of the population, is that an increasing share of the population prefers to focus on their own needs and wants rather than assuming responsibility for children (medvestnik.ru/content/news/Rojdaemost-v-Moskve-snijaetsya-tolko-sredi-korennogo-naseleniya.html, medvestnik.ru/content/news/Prichinoi-nizkoi-rojdaemosti-v-Moskve-nazvali-orientaciu-na-individualnye-cennosti.html and niioz.ru/news/v-otdele-demografii-provedeno-kompleksnoe-issledovanie-demograficheskogo-potentsiala-moskvy/).
Unless such attitudes change dramatically – and that is highly unlikely, the researchers say -- Russia will need an ever increasing number of immigrants just to keep the population at its current levels, something that will change the ethnic balance of the country and undermine Putin’s effort to promote “a Russian world” there.
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