"We have an epochal disaster". Experts - about the problem of demography in Russia

"We have an epochal disaster". Experts - about the problem of demography in Russia

"We have an epochal disaster". Experts - about the problem of demography in Russia
Analytics

2 November, 19:40
Photo: 1MI
Scientists predict that Russia will fall into an even deeper demographic hole than the one we are in today (although the bottom is not yet visible from this angle). There is an opinion that recent events will aggravate the situation and accelerate the extinction of Russia.

"Novye Izvestia" together with demographers tried to find out is this really so.

Photo:"Новые Известия"

Victoria Pavlova

In Russia, they stop having children - this is a medical fact. In the first 8 months of 2022, 872.3 thousand babies were born in our country, although 1.08 million children were born in the same period 5 years ago. Most regions are dying out not only because of the emigration of people to more successful and comfortable regions, territories and republics, but also because of serious problems with the birth rate.

It all ended back in the 50s...

Gaidar Institute experts warn that in the whole of 2023, less than 1.2 million children will be born, and the total fertility rate will fall from the current 1.5 children per woman to 1.3-1.39. Anything less than 2 children who will take the place of mother and father after their death is a guaranteed extinction of the nation. This is in the ideal case, if all people find a mate and have children. Experts explain that in the real world the coefficient should be even higher, but now several factors have come together that are leading the country to a demographic catastrophe. First of all, we are faced with the legacy of the 90s, explains Yuri Krupnov, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Institute of Demography, Migration and Regional Development:

- Our childbearing age includes generations that were born in the previous demographic hole, that is, those girls who were born 25 years ago. What happened 25 years ago? The mid-90s with a colossal pit, due to which, on the whole, we have almost 1.5 or even 2 times fewer women aged 20-30 today than we had, say, in 2010. We have a sinusoidal demography - sometimes a hole, sometimes a hillock. The whole problem of demography is that our sinusoid is damped. That is, the pit is getting deeper, and the tubercle is getting smaller. And in this sense, we are dying out, because the model of a one and a half child family dominates, and for simple reproduction it is necessary that the model of a 2.5-child conditional family dominate. It's hard to imagine, because we had such a basic family on average in the late 50s of the last century.

Giving birth is expensive to run

Against this background, even the implementation of the SVO with partial mobilization fades. At the same time, no one doubts that the military operation will hit the birth rate so much that even the promise of the Ministry of Defense not to call on the fathers of three children will not stimulate families to urgently run to the stork for the desired third baby. In addition, there simply will not be enough suitable men in the country to increase the birth rate for the sake of respite from the army - this opinion is shared by Irina Kalabikhina, head of the Department of Population at the Faculty of Economics of Moscow State University:

- To give birth to a third, you must already have two children. Let's try to estimate how many men under the age of 50 have two children. We do not have data on male fertility, we make estimates for female fertility, assuming that the difference in the age of the spouses does not exceed a couple of years. We have approximately 9 million women under the age of 50 with exactly two children (according to the 2010 census, now a little more, but the male birth rate is 10 percent lower, so we use these figures). By rough estimates, half of them are married or in partnership (to conceive a child quickly). But we don't know how many of the potential 4-5 million men have delays for other reasons. We do not know how many of them have already fled the country. It may seem that even taking into account armor and migration, we have quite a lot of potential. But people will not massively use this opportunity. Firstly, because the rules for delaying partial mobilization are changing all the time. Secondly, people make decisions about having a child based on their ideas about the desired number of children and assessing the long-term conditions of their lives. Children are an expensive pleasure both in terms of material costs and the time spent on care and upbringing. Cheaper to run away. The one who wanted to have a third child later, but now wants to hurry up, can respond to this measure. But these will be few.

"Moon fell to Earth"

Independent demographer Aleksey Raksha recently told Novye Izvestia that due to mobilization and emigration, the birth rate will decrease by 5%, and the accompanying decrease in income will eat up the same amount.

Irina Kalabikhina also draws attention to the fact that the combination of existing factors will aggravate the situation:

- Instability, severe stress from ongoing events and the predicted crisis in the economy will have a stronger effect, which will lead to the refusal to have children, even among those who planned to do this earlier in 2022-2023. Moreover, this will lead to the postponement from birth of both the first and second, and children of higher orders. We are more likely to get not an increase, but a decline in the birth rate.

Yuri Krupnov argues that against the backdrop of a global demographic catastrophe, this no longer matters much:

- I do not think that there will be any special impact of SVO on the birth rate. The smartest reasoning is like in the fairy tale about Pinocchio, as the famous doctor argues - that the patient is either alive or dead. In my opinion, these are completely speculative things, but the most important thing is that even the NWO, as a colossal socio-political phenomenon, does not affect our catastrophic demography. We have an epoch-making world-historical catastrophe, it is the same as if the moon had fallen to the Earth. And the questions about how covid or CBO will affect the birth rate are about the same as the question of what will happen to the wallpaper in my apartment when the moon fell to Earth. Because nothing will.

It turns out that even if the NWO had not happened, Russia would still have fallen into a demographic abyss. The only difference is that now we stepped off the cliff a little earlier, and at the same time dug ourselves an additional hole at its bottom. But on the other hand, as it turned out, in some regions of the country, a separate demographic miracle happened. Only his recipe is very ambiguous. We will talk about it in the next article "NI".

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