In 2017, there were 25 regions in Russia that showed natural population growth. In January-August 2022, only 12 of these remained. These are the Caucasus and rich oil and gas regions. Central Russia is dying out - the regions that are the cradle of Russian culture. National and religious traditions win , as well as money that coexists with not the best climatic conditions.
Mortality has a strong influence on population growth and decline. But, apart from two covid years, it is declining in Russia. And the period from January to August 2022 in this regard turned out to be much better than the similar one in 2021. But there is still no growth ... Covid has gone through the whole country, but the birth rates in each region are different, unique. They have only one thing in common: the birth rate in the period from 2017 to 2022 inclusive fell in all corners of the country. There is only one exception - the Republic of Tuva. If the average birth rate in Russia decreased during this time by 2.6 children per 1,000 inhabitants, then in Tyva it increased by 3.5 children. Even Chechnya, which is the absolute leader in terms of fertility (19.9 babies per 1,000 inhabitants), has reduced this figure by 0.6 children over 6 years. Tyva can bypass Chechnya at any moment and become the main child-bearing region of the country. While on average in Russia, 9 children are born per 1,000 inhabitants, Chechnya and Tuva maintain the figure, close to 20 babies per 1,000 inhabitants!
Tyva is a unique region. Firstly, this depressive place falls out of the Caucasian oil monotony, and secondly, Tyva's tendencies do not support neighboring regions. So, for example, Khakassia is the leader in the decline in the birth rate, which has no competitors. In January-August 2017, 22 children per 1000 inhabitants were born in Khakassia, and for the same period in 2022 - only 9.6. The secret of Tyva is revealed by Yuri Krupnov , Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Institute of Demography, Migration and Regional Development :
- The phenomenon of Tyva is explained very simply, just as people like to talk about the Caucasian republics - there the consciousness is more "backward" by 30-50 years. But “backward” is not because it is some kind of negative sign, but simply people are closer to life, and they have not yet been formatted according to the conditional standards of a modern metropolis, the same Moscow. But, from the point of view of existing trends, their birth rate is still falling, and in the next 10-20 years, if everything continues as it is, everything will be the same as today, conditionally, in Moscow. Conditional Khakassia is more “highly developed”, in quotation marks, than Tuva. But I do not see much development in the joyful movement towards extinction. Rather, it is a disaster. With all the minuses, with alcoholism, with the mass of not very nice things in Tuva as a whole, this is an order of magnitude healthier consciousness in terms of demographics, oddly enough. And the “high development” of other regions is most likely evidence of catastrophic degradation, and this is definitely not something to strive for.
The "healthy consciousness" of Tuvans is overshadowed by only two factors. First, Tuva has the highest rate of children born out of wedlock in Russia. On average in Russia, according to Rosstat, every fifth child is born out of wedlock (22% in 2021) - there have been no significant changes in recent years, the situation in this regard is stable. And the spread between other regions is relatively small. But in Tuva, 59–60% (!) of children are born out of wedlock from year to year . Family values are clearly lame there. And this leads to the fact that Tyva has become the leader of Russia in terms of the number of abortions : there are 14 abortions per 1000 inhabitants.
Scientists note that women with low income are 5 times more likely to experience an unplanned pregnancy than wealthy ones. Tuva, on the other hand, in the ranking of regions in terms of poverty from the RIA, stably holds 83-85 places out of 85 possible. One third of the population lives below the poverty line. And the unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country: last year it was 18.4%, and in 2022 the regional authorities immediately reduced it to 9.4%.
It turns out that a lot of free time, a lot of alcohol (Tyva is one of the worst regions in terms of alcoholism), little money is the key to the successful development of demography. Even the distribution of free condoms on World Contraception Day in Kyzyl does not save from such an explosive mixture. It is much easier to spread these factors to other regions than to instill family values typical of the Caucasus. And the deputies can solve the problem of abortions radically and quickly: Vitaly Milonov last summer in the State Duma already proposed to exclude abortions from compulsory medical insurance. No money - give birth. Why even a cocktail of poverty with alcohol will not help some regions in the central part of Russia - we will tell in the next part of the NI study.