Saturday, May 11, 2024

Even If Russians had More Children, That Wouldn’t Stop Russia’s Demographic Decline, Academy of Sciences Study Concludes

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 9 – Even if Russians were likely to follow Vladimir Putin’s advice and suddenly have more children, that would not stop the overall decline in the total population of the Russian Federation in the coming decades, according to a new study by the Institute of Economic Prognostication of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

            That 266-page study points out that changes in the size of the population depend not just on the number of births and deaths but on the age and gender structure of the existing population. And because that structure is what it is, Russia will see its population decline by 10 million over the next 25 years unless there is a massive increase in immigration.

            (For the full text of that study, see; for a summary of its demographic findings and predictions, see

            The overall decline in the Russian population in the absence of new immigration is “not the only challenge ahead for Russia,” the study says. Two others are critical: a rapid aging of the population and a decline in the relative size of the working-age cohorts that can support the pensions of the former.

            To prevent economic and social disaster, the Academy of Sciences scholars say, Russia needs to increase immigration, raise productivity, and achieve vastly higher rates of economic growth. The former is politically toxic at least now, and the latter two extremely problematic under the current Kremlin regime.

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