Saturday, March 16, 2024

Fertility Rate of Central Asian Women in Moscow Area Remains 50 Percent Higher than that of Indigenous Russian Women, New Study Finds

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 11 – Fertility rates among Central Asian women migrants in the Russian capital are only half what they are in Central Asian countries, but they remain 50 percent higher than those of ethnic Russians in the city and oblast. However, because many children of the migrants live in their own countries, they are not adding much to the migrants’ share in Moscow.

            The study by three Russian demographers, “Reproductive Behavior of Migrants from the Countries of Central Asia in the Moscow Agglomeration” (in Russian), Demis 3:4 (2023): 78-91 is at; it is discussed by Yevgeny Chernyshov of Nakanune at

            Many Russians are obsessed with the possibility that Central Asians who come to Russia to work will continue to have the same fertility rates they had in their own country, but that is not the case. As is often true, these migrants tend over time to converge on the demographic behavior of the indigenous population.

            Moreover, a smaller percentage of migrants is married than is the case with Russians; and many of the migrants who have children prefer to have them raised in their home countries. As a result, the higher fertility rate among migrants is not having the impact on the size of the immigrant communities that many Russians assume.

            But the new study, carried out by the Bishkek Institute of Demographic Research and involving an admittedly non-representative sample of approximately 200 migrants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan now in the Moscow agglomeration and some 200 Russians there, provides some extremely telling results.

            Among the most important are these:

·       15 percent of migrant families have four or more children while only 4.4 percent of the ethnic Russians do.

·       Central Asians place a far higher value on having a strong family than do Russians.

·       48 percent of the Central Asian migrants say the man is the head of the family while only 32 percent of Russians there dod.

·       42 percent of Central Asians say fidelity in marriage is important while not a single Russian in the sample mentions this.

·       Three quarters of the Central Asian migrants say religion is important to them while only 43 percent of the Russians in Moscow do. At the same time, 32 percent of the Muscovites mentioned sexual satisfaction as a key value in marriage, while none of the Central Asians did.

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