Russia’s Baby Bust

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russia population.gif
"I want to talk about the family, about the most acute problem facing our country today – the demographic problem.
The economic and social development issues our country faces today are closely interlinked to one simple question: who we are doing this all for? You know that our country’s population is declining by an average of almost 700,000 people a year. We have raised this issue on many occasions but have for the most part done very little to address it. Resolving this problem requires us to take the following steps.

First, we need to lower the death rate. Second, we need an effective migration policy. And third, we need to increase the birth rate."

-President Putin, 10 May 2006

The latest edition of the Foreign Exchange show is focused on Russia; it’s politics, Putin, demography and economic prospects.

Several incentives are being considered to increase the birth rate;

- increasing government subsidies for children up to 18 months of age to about $53 a month for a first child and about $107 for a second child. Mothers currently receive about $25 per month for a child up to 18 months old.
- maternity leaves as long as 18 months that would pay a mother at least 40 percent of her salary, and compensation for part of the average cost of day care, worth 20 percent of that cost for a first child, 50 percent for a second child and 70 percent for a third.
- For mothers of at least two children who opt not to return to work, an one-time subsidy of about $8,900 upon the birth of a second child and subsidies for adoptive parents as well.

According to this economist, there's another health issue that Russia should be worried about;

"By 2050, said Feshbach, Russia's current population of 144 million could fall to 101 million or as low as 77 million if factoring in the AIDS epidemic. If current trends continue, by 2020, 5-14 million Russians will be living with HIV and 250,000-650,000 will die from AIDS annually."

The average life expectancy of a Russian male has also dropped to just 59 years--compared with 74 in the United States.

Related Links;

Islam in Russia: Evolution in action?

Putin Addresses Shrinking Russia

Democracy and Growth Reconsidered: Why Economic Performance of New Democracies Is Not Encouraging, Vladimir Popov, Academy of the National Economy, Moscow (webcast)

Putin's Russia – 2005; podcasts from BBC, Part 1 and Part 2

A cool tool from Census Bureau which shows dynamic change of population pyramids across time.

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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on May 25, 2006 12:51 AM.

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