Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Predominantly Ethnic Russian Regions Leading Country’s Demographic Collapse, Rosstat Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 1 – Almost all predominantly ethnic Russian oblasts and krays – Moscow is the exception -- and non-Russian republics where ethnic Russians represent a plurality of the population have birthrates below the all-Russian average, while non-Russian republics in the North Caucasus and Siberia have rates about that marker, Rosstat says.

            In the Central and North-West federal districts, two overwhelmingly ethnic Russian areas, the birth rate is lower than the all-Russia average; and in the North-West, the Accent news agency reports, “only in one of the 11 regions” it contains, is the birthrate above that measure – and it is a non-Russian area – the Nenet AD (

            In Chechnya and Tyva, the state statistical agency reports, the birthrate currently is three times higher than the Russian Federation average, and it is also well-above the countrywide average in Ingushetia, Daghestan, and Yamal. Ethnic Russians also have higher death rates than do non-Russian areas where people drink less.

            That means that Vladimir Putin’s plan to “stabilize” and then “boost” birthrates in the Russian Federation over the next six years by providing central government aid to the 64 of the more than 80 federal subjects will represent a massive transfer of funds to ethnic Russian regions and away from non-Russian ones (

            Whether Putin’s plan to provide such demographic assistance to Russian areas occurs or simply represents a campaign promise that will be forgotten, this signal of his intent will only exacerbate feelings among non-Russians that instead of being rewarded for behavior the Kremin wants Russians to adopt, they will be punished.

            And such feelings in turn will likely spur more anti-Moscow nationalism among them, exactly the opposite result that Putin says he seeks. 

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