Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Rosstat’s Projections on Future Size of Russian Population Based on Mistaken Notion that All Three Factors Affecting Growth will Move Together, Yefremov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 8 – Rosstat, the Russian government’s statistical arm, has come up with two projections about the size of the population of the country in 2046. Its “optimistic” projection has the Russian population growing by 4.6 million while its “pessimistic” one has it falling by 15.4 million.

            According to Haidar Institute demographer Igor Yefremov, neither is likely because both are based on the assumption that the three factors that determine population size, mortality, birth rates, and migration will all move in lockstep either up or down in one direction of the other (

            That has rarely been the case in the past, he argues; and it is unlikely to be the case in the future. Consequently, Russia’s population 20 years from now is likely to be somewhere in between leaving the total slightly less than it is today but not as far removed from what it is now as these extreme projections suggest.

            Birthrates and death rates are unlikely to move in either direction by anything like what the Rosstat analysts suggest, and that means that the real wild card as far as the future is concerned is immigration, which could dramatically expand or decline depending on government policies and popular attitudes both in Russia and in countries of origin.

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