Matkapital will not save: why Russia needs migrants


Маткапитал не спасет: почему России нужны мигранты

— You introduced the concept of “Russian cross” in the 90-ies of the last century. Then curve the birth rate declined and mortality increased. The situation returns?

— She’s back. In 2016, the natural increase was negative, the same will happen in 2017. If the population of Russia is growing – and the last 8 years (2009-2016) it grows almost exclusively due to migration. Natural increase, which appeared in 2013, had a symbolic meaning, and prerequisites for its conservation there.

While natural decline is still small, the migration far exceeds. But delusion should not be, the natural decline will increase. Let me remind you that after 1993 the population of Russia for 14 years has declined, despite large-scale migration, then she was able to recover only 60% of natural attrition.

— Why so bad?

— The country is entering a period of very unfavorable changes in the age structure of the population, which will inevitably lead to a decline in the number of births, increase in the number of deaths and the increase in natural attrition.

One of the manifestations of changes in the age composition – an unprecedented reduction in the number of potential mothers. In the next 15 years the decrease is continuous, by the beginning of 2030-ies the number of women in the most important maternal ages 20 to 40 years, compared with a peak of 2010-2012, will be reduced to 7-8 million, that is approximately one-third.

Matkapital necessary, but useless

— How to improve fertility? At least to the level of simple reproduction?

All, international experience suggests that this is a very challenging task, the solution is nowhere to be found. Low fertility is deeply rooted in the modern lifestyle and partly justified by the low level of mortality, and therefore common to all countries, a level of development as Russia.

— A maternity capital contributed to the increase in the birth rate?

— Any significant effect on the birth rate of the population policy cannot be found.

If you don’t count 2007, the first year of validity of the parent capital, the dynamics of growth of number of births are either not different from what it was before, or is different for the worse.

— And most of your colleagues, and experts in demography, approve of the recent decision of the authorities. Matkapital, they say, gave effect. Isn’t it?

A different perspective is always good. And who is right, only time will tell. I think a serious, long-term no effect. Some effect was manifested in the shift of the calendar was born. That is, the people who gave birth to would later have given birth before. The first couple of years, when they began to give matkapital, born more babies. And in subsequent years, the effect is gone.

Matter how much the woman in my life gave birth. That she would come early the first child, does not mean that she will give birth to three or four.

The euphoria about the effectiveness of maternity capital and other measures pronatalistic policy in Russia can render unkind service.

— How many children at a minimum should be in every family? To stop the decline at least?

— The current level of mortality, it is necessary that each woman, on average, of course, I had 2.1 children. And prosperous married couple need a few more, given that there are unmarried women who are infertile, etc. But it is just that the human race did not fade. This does not imply that population growth.

In Russia this coefficient is 1.8. So the population decline will continue? And mercapital money this trend is not reversed?

— Cash only, definitely not. Many countries in the world are richer than Russia, and the standard of living there is higher. And coveted of 2.1 children per woman is nowhere – I mean, of course, developed countries. Take Germany. Where the standard of living is much higher than in Russia. And fertility below. Money is a necessary thing, but people are guided not only by the balance of income and expenditure, but the balance of time, possibilities of work, leisure, self-realization.

— In the wrong direction?

— Financial assistance to families with children, as a measure of social policy I, of course, welcome. But to expect that with money it is possible to increase the birth rate, is a utopia. If the government could add for the birth of the child three hours to a normal day, then maybe something would be different.

A century of crisis

— Maybe just femini Russian irresponsible? Do not think about how to lift Russia from knees? The government gives money. Have three children in every family!

— You need? Forget about this “need”. Every family knows how old she is to give birth. Can demographers say, how much can politicians say, journalists can joke. It is all empty efforts. We see that happening in Europe.

— What to do then?

— To accept the fact that population growth, massive growth in developed countries has ceased.

— Zhirinovsky offered in incubators to breed children. Good?

— If you were in incubators also to bring up…

The problem for any family not to give birth and to raise, educate. Because of the family and not after the number, soberly weighing your options.

— After all the population of Russia for a long time to grow. Now why this growth must stop?

— In the minds of postponed that population should always grow. Think used both the authorities and ordinary citizens. And when in the 90s the population has ceased to grow, and even began to shrink, all problems were to blame on the “dashing 90-e”…

But it seems to be true also: one social system collapsed, the other is not formed, sudden impoverishment, the uncertainty about the future… In such circumstances to have children do not want to…

— Procreation, family, children – all are more important than political turmoil. In history a lot happened, but so the people ceased to give birth, this was not. Russia in the twentieth century has gone through turmoil, are not comparable with 90-mi for years, and it could not affect fertility.

In fact, none of the female generation born after 1910, and opposed to maternal age, since the late 1920-ies, is not reproduced. But it did not immediately become noticeable.

Still continued to give birth to the generations that were previously in the age of childbearing. Then there was the Second world war, after which never recovered the level of fertility, which was in pre-revolutionary Russia and was maintained until the end of the 20 years.

It was then that Russia became a country with low fertility, and not coincidentally, she was one of the first, where the birth rate is in the mid 60s and fell below the level of generation replacement. Then was programmed future natural population decline. Still, the Central statistical office of the USSR calculated that in Russia, this will happen after 2000. For 10 years was wrong. But there really could have an effect of a crisis 90-s.

— And now it’s too late to affect fertility, the trend took shape?

— Yes, it is. Prosperous Sweden’s fertility rate today is little different from Russia and in Norway or the Netherlands the birth rate is now even lower than ours.

The short life of Russians

— And if you actively deal with mortality, to increase life expectancy?

— The situation with mortality in Russia is worse than with fertility. For many decades Russia has shown a gap in life expectancy, in 90-e years it is even worse. However, since 2004, the life expectancy is increasing, but most of the time we spent to get out of the pits. Only in 2009, we exceeded our previous high life expectancy for women in 2013 for men.

However, the backlog from other countries is very large. Our achievements at the end of 2016 (2017 totals yet) – life expectancy for men is 66.5, women — 77,1. And in France, for example, in 2016, respectively, and 85.4 79.4 percent of the year.

— What are the causes of death are the most critical?

The main challenges of the health system, and all of us — non-communicable causes of death, i.e., chronic diseases and “external causes”. This trend took shape by the early 1960’s, Many countries were able to meet this challenge, which brought a significant increment in life expectancy. In Russia for half a century (between 1960 and 2010) life expectancy for women increased slightly, while males have even declined slightly. Only in recent years, as I said, there has been some growth, but real success is still far away.

We have continued to decrease infant mortality. But, unlike many countries, in Russia is low and nearly constant, life expectancy of elderly people, i.e. the average number of years a person will live after retirement. Has long discussed the issue of raising the age of retirement to 65 years.

At the current mortality rate in Russia, the man who has attained this age will live, on average, another 13.1 years – the same amount that was more than half a century ago, in 1960.

If we compare Spain with which we were approximately on the same level, there is the average number of years that have to live male aged 65 years has increased since more than 6 years. In women, the corresponding figure for the us in 1960 was even slightly higher than in Spain, but since in Russia it increased by slightly more than a year, and in Spain for 8 years.

— How many pensioners are now “feeds” one worker?

— We have 85 million people aged 20 to 60 years and 30 million over the age of 60. Turns 36 elderly per 100 people of working age, which is a lot, especially when you consider that relatively recently – until the mid 1960-ies, the figure never reached 20. However, until recently, we were lucky, of course, if it can be called luck.

In the middle of the last decade the aging process in Russia has decreased – to the delight of the pension Fund, although the basis of this joy lay back trouble. Since 2001, the 60-year milestone began to move generation born in 1941-1945 – they understandably were few in number. By 2006, the number of elderly (60 years and above) declined by 2.6 million.

But then they began to arrive the relatively numerous postwar generation, the number of applicants for pensions on the rise again, in 2013 there were already more than in 2001. The authorities were alarmed, began to demand explanations. Calmed him down, told that all is well, don’t worry, old people have become more because we have increased life expectancy.

The authorities believed and calmed down, do not want to hurt his feelings.

But already to the middle of the next decade the current 36 elderly per 100 working age will turn into 45. Are you ready for our economy? Is she preparing to do this?

Migration — the main resource

— The birth rate low, death rate is high, it turns out that for Russia there is only one chance to grow the population – at the expense of workers?

In any case, the experience of the last 25 years shows that immigration has become a major demographic resource for our country. If Russia’s population is now growing, almost entirely through immigration. And even when the population is decreasing, immigration is 60% compensated for a natural decrease.

Russia’s population decline over the years (1993-2008) decreased by 5.2 million people, but if it were not for immigration, the reduction amounted to 13.2 million.

During 1992-2016. migration growth of Russia’s population amounted to more than 9 million people. For a long time it was, for the most part, return migration, i.e. in Russia back the people who once left her, or their children and grandchildren. But gradually this resource is exhausted, the migration flow became more and more representatives of indigenous peoples of the neighboring countries, mostly Central Asian.

The role of immigration as a major source of population growth Russia will continue in the future.

Just to cover the inevitable natural decline of the population and to avoid reduction of the population of Russia, you may want to take 500 thousand migrants a year, and even more.

— Yeah, much more?

— Then you have to accept the reduction of the population of Russia. We have no clearly articulated relationship to migration, there are only vague and ever-changing tactical considerations.

— The attitude of Russian citizens towards migrants, in my opinion, very clearly expressed. But the power…

— I think that the attitude of citizens largely formed the government. And her attitude towards migrants most often tied to today’s or tomorrow’s situation in the labour market, which may dictate greater or lesser demand for migrant workers or other categories of economic migrants.

— What is necessary?

— The main strategic demographic question that we must answer: whether the Russian people – beyond those that are already living in it? The answers to this question may be different, but it is they – and only they – can provide grounds for the formulation of migration strategy.

— And you seem to be not worried about the quality of the current migration? Crime, for example…

— I do not speak for or against migration. Has accumulated a large international experience, which says that seamless migration does not happen. Does this mean that one should strive to minimize the influx of migrants, if not to abandon it? The answer depends on the balance of pluses and minuses that entails a decision.

— Which countries now form the basis of the migration flow to Russia?

— Uzbekistan, Tajikistan is now experiencing a population explosion, as all developing countries. They have a surplus of labor is large. But for Russia, their resources may not be enough.

Skin color is not important

— So, Eurasia is exhausted. In what direction to look then? China?

On China, I would in any case did not look. To take a large number of Chinese – equivalent to that after some time to give them territory.

— Let them come, work, pay taxes, raise far East, Siberia. You don’t have to give citizenship to migrants. When the government announced the program of the far Eastern acres, I jokingly proposed the creation of a new class of Russian landowners, landowners. A Russian family takes free 10 hectares, lays the ground for a Bank loan, hires workers from China, and they work the land. Vegetables, crops, and develop greenhouses. All are full-satisfied. What’s the problem?

— Who will hire eventually. But seriously, the fact that we need not only manpower, not just manpower. It goes without saying. But we need the population.

Russia has a small population for such a huge territory. And the Chinese as part of Russia’s population, when near — half billion China is dangerous.

A small percentage of Chinese may be among the migrants, why not? But basically you need a balance of nationalities. From different countries a little. Americans, for example, is quoted, watching those who from which countries is coming.

— And due to internal migration, without external, impossible to regroup and to spur economic growth in the same Siberia, in the far East?

— Declarative to try to expand the directions of migration flows “in the right direction” and increasing the overall spatial mobility has not yet lead to meaningful results. In many geopolitically important regions do not have enough people, internal migrants are moving there, and there.

— Tricky question. How many years China will absorb Russia?

— Now they don’t need anyone to absorb. They are busy with their problems. But Russia is becoming weaker and easy prey. Because we need to populate Siberia and the far East.

— If large-scale migration from China is junk, and the resources of Central Asia are limited, how do we take migrants? Not from Africa…

— Why in France you can go from Africa, to Germany can, and we do not?

— Whether the Africans to adapt to our lives? And how they will perceive the Russians?

— If you focus on the reception of migrants, especially the culturally distant, then you need to invest. With the first generation of migrants is always difficult, even if they are just moving from the village to the big city of their own country.

We need to watch for generations to come. The first generation of migrants will work maintenance workers, security guards, nannies, vendors, and all of them don’t speak Russian. But their children will grow up and study here, for them, Russian is their native language, they will be educated. They are different skin color, but is it important?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here