Depopulation is the most optimistic scenario

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Депопуляция — самый оптимистичный сценарий

Predictions of a coming sharp rise in population in Russia do not tally with the real socio-economic and political situation.

Rosstat recently published the adjusted forecast of the number of Russia’s population to 2036. The table presents three scenarios for demographic development of the country for the next 18 years: low, medium and high. In other words, the pessimistic, intermediate (inertial) and optimistic.

According to the pessimistic scenario, the population of the Russian Federation by 2036 will decrease by 10 million people. With the current 146,7 million people (including Crimea) up to 136,7 million inhabitants. According to the calculations of experts Rosstata, this may result in ever-increasing natural population decline, which by 2026 will exceed the mark of 720 thousand people a year, and by 2035 will reach 856,6 thousand. Migration growth in Russia by that time will not exceed 100 thousand people per year, adjusting the overall decline in population, which will amount to 2036 756,6 thousand a year.

According to the medium variant of the forecast of natural population decline in Russia following almost twenty years will continue, but will not be as catastrophic as the pessimistic scenario. According to experts of the statistical Agency, during these years, she will fluctuate in the range of from about 200 thousand to 420 thousand people per year. Migration will increase from 225 thousand to almost 300 thousand people a year and by 2036 will be slightly higher attrition, compensates for it and, thus, to a small (about 39 thousand people per year) population growth.

Under this scenario of Rosstat, the number of the Russian population by 2036, almost no changes in the current 146 million people (including Crimea).

Finally, the “high variant” projection. According to it the population of the Russian Federation in 2036 will increase by 10 million people, reaching 157 million will contribute to This unprecedented in the post-Soviet period natural increase, which by 2035 will reach nearly 350 thousand people per year (note that the average annual population growth in the USSR from 1980 to 1991 amounted to 700 thousand people per year, and for example, in 1986, he was nearly 988 thousand). This demographic achievements will contribute to increased external migration, which will increase to nearly half a million people.

This, perhaps, is to stop and think which of the three variants of demographic development of Russia in the next twenty years is more realistic.

First of all, it should be noted that any forecast, especially in the area of demographics, it’s unreliable. However, the General trends, you can catch.

First, we proceed from the fact that a more or less plausible prediction can be made on the basis of existing long-term observations. It is known that such data is collected I official statisticians and demographers for more than a dozen years.

If we take as a basis the previous two decades, we will see that, according to Rosstat, very small (on the level of statistical error) the natural increase in Russia, hovering at around 24 — 32 thousand people per year during this time was only in 2013, 2014 and 2015 as a result of high oil prices of the previous decade, and increased social expectations of the time.

Prior to that, from 1999 to 2008, Russia had a catastrophic annual natural population decline, which ranged from nearly 930 thousand people in 1999 to 362 thousand in 2008. As mentioned, five more years, until 2013 we also had a decline, not population growth. A small increase in 2013-15 years closer to stagnation than to tangible growth.

In 2016, the natural population decline in Russia has resumed and amounted to about 2,300 people, and in the next 2017 was another collapse — Rosstat noted a decline at the level of almost 136 thousand people — twice more than year before.

For five months of the current year, the decline has already made 147 thousand, 35 thousand more than in the same period a year earlier.

We note that migration gain, due to which Russia is still the Soviet Union compensated for the huge loss of life from natural decline of its population, today almost does not increase, ranging in the area of 250-300 thousand people per year.

What factors can dramatically change these negative trends in the Russian demographics?

It’s not only in the notorious demographic hole in which we now are, although it, too — today child-bearing age comes the reduced generation those born in the early and mid-nineties of the last century. In addition, the population is ageing, a decreasing number of women of childbearing age.

Another factor is socio-economic, which, incidentally, is not least dependent on the political factor. A radical change in the socio-economic situation is only possible with an equally significant change in political practice. Simply put, the situation could change policy, concerned about the welfare of not only their close circle, but all people. And not just in words but in deeds.

But in today’s Russia, as we understand it, is the most fantastic scenario of all. So, we will have a stable, non-replaceable power which will continue to carry out the socio-economic policy pursued so far, resulting to a large extent and is the depopulation of the country.

Respectively the most optimistic demographic scenario in Russia for the next 18 years — the continued reduction of its population. In the best case, slow, no landslides.

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