Demographer Alexey Raksha: "The number of births in 1.5 years will decrease by 12-15%"

Demographer Alexey Raksha: "The number of births in 1.5 years will decrease by 12-15%"

Demographer Alexey Raksha: "The number of births in 1.5 years will decrease by 12-15%"
Interview

31 October, 12:06
The fall in the birth rate in Russia may be 12-15%. Thus, taking into account new factors - SVO, mobilization, migration of young Russians - there may be a decrease in the number of births in a year and a half. This is a huge drop, says demographer Aleksey Raksha.

Ekaterina Maksimova

About how many people will die in the country in 2022, what will happen to the regions of Russia, why there will be millions more pensioners and how long the demographic failure will last - in an interview with NI.

-In September, about 700,000 people of childbearing age left Russia voluntarily. Mostly men emigrated. Another 300 thousand men fall under partial mobilization. Is it demographically critical?

- After the announcement of partial mobilization, the negative migration balance, I think, amounted to at least 250 thousand people. But, most likely, 300-350 thousand have so far irrevocably left the country, and the vast majority of them are men. With Georgia, the negative balance of population movements is 28 thousand, with Finland the same number. Kazakhstan accepted at least 100 thousand, Tajikistan - about 20 thousand. Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan - about 30 and 50 thousand, respectively.

This is more than 2% of men aged 20-35 years. And yet, apparently, more than 2% of men were mobilized. Plus, in February, about 150 thousand people left the country, among them there were also more men than women. Total: minus 5%. This is approximately how the impact will be on fertility after 9 months and beyond.

According to Rosstat, as of January 1, 29 million 979 thousand men aged 20 to 49 inclusive lived in Russia. In the age category from 20-24 years old 3.5 million (2.4% of the country's population), from 25 to 29 years old 4.1 million (2.8%), from 30 to 34 years old 6.042 million (4.15% ), from 35 to 39 years 6.201 million (4.26%), from 40 to 44 years 5.366 (3.69%), from 45 to 49 years 4.822 million (3.3%).

- And if the mobilization continues, they will announce the second wave, the third ...

- If millions are mobilized, then yes, this is critical for demography, but if hundreds of thousands, then no.

-In September, it was officially announced that 5937 members of the NWO had died. The Ukrainian side, which, of course, cannot be called official information, names other figures.

- How many died during the NWO, we will never know. And we roughly understand how many Russians will die at the end of 2022. I think that approximately 1 million 900 thousand people will die. This is not a record figure, and it is much less than it was in 2020 and 2021 covid years.

- Four new subjects have joined Russia. According to fragmentary Ukrainian statistics, it can be assumed that the population of these territories at the beginning of the year was about 9 million people. And these are mainly people of retirement and pre-retirement age.

Yes, there is a very large proportion of pensioners. Much more than the Russian average. But I estimate the population of this territory at no more than 4 million people now.

-According to Rosstat, the population of Russia is officially considered old. It is recognized as such if the number of citizens over the age of 65 exceeds 7%, in Russia this figure is 16%. How much in percentage terms can the country age further?

- This is an outdated UN classification for the whole world. The population of Russia will continue to age. At the same time, we have been raising the retirement age for several years. This was the main factor in the official reduction in the number of pensioners. Another factor is the coronavirus pandemic, but the first factor affecting the statistics on the number of pensioners was stronger.

- You said that the death rate by the end of the year will be 1.9 million people and this is a good indicator. In 2021, the natural population decline was a record - almost 1 million people, which the country has not seen since 1945.

- Yes, 2021 was a record year in terms of the absolute number of deaths and natural population decline. The reason is clear to everyone - this is the coronavirus. Covid, I believe, caused 660,000 excess deaths in 2021. In 2020 - about 360 thousand. From April 2020 to April this year, the number of accumulated excess deaths exceeded 1 million 100 thousand people.

But that is in the past, the pandemic is almost over. Each subsequent wave after the departure of the delta strain was easier in terms of mortality. Omicron in February-March claimed approximately 100 thousand lives. And the last wave in August-September was very weak.

- When will Russia fall into a demographic hole due to a combination of factors?

- First of all, we are already in this hole. And not the first year. Secondly, it will, of course, sharply "deepen" because of the NWO. I'm not just talking about the outflow of the male population. There are many factors to take into account here. What is happening today is a shock, a drop in income, a fall in the economy, a mobilization, a loss of the image of the future.

Plus, the completely illiterate state policy of transferring mother capital to the first child, the untimely extension of such wonderful programs as family mortgages and the gratuitous payment of 450 thousand rubles for mortgages to those who give birth to a third child.

The combination of shock news, the dire economic situation, the short-sighted, inconsistent misguided government policies and the echo of the demographic pit of the 90s in the form of a decrease in the number of young women - all this, in my opinion, will cumulatively and sharply accelerate the decline in the number of births.

How long does a failure like this usually last?

- A demographic dip usually lasts for many years, since the generation length is about 30 years, for example, 15 years down and the same number up.

But, believe me, if it were not for a series of events independent of the waves, then these waves should have calmed down a long time ago, leveled off, smoothed out. But every time the wave goes up, something good happens, for example, the introduction of maternity capital, and vice versa, when the waves go down, bad events occur, as in 1988-1993, so the waves cannot subside in any way. And now, once again, in a big recession, we are experiencing catastrophic events. This means that in the end, the decline in the birth rate will be even more powerful.

We said above that the birth rate will decrease by 5% only due to mobilization and emigration. Due to the fall in incomes of the population by at least another 5%, due to the transfer of mother capital, another minus 3%. Due to the decrease in the number of women of childbearing age, the number of births will decrease by another 3%.

In total, at least 12-15% will be typed. And this is a huge fall. So, taking into account the new factors added this year, there may be a decrease in the number of births somewhere in a year and a half.

- How do you see the future of small and poor regions, which, as we can judge, have fulfilled their mobilization plans quickly and 100%. 700 men were taken from the same Republic of Tyva.

-Regions have long been impoverished, empty and impoverished. And what happened now, just sharply accelerates this process. Desolation is the future of these regions. After all, even before there was a large outflow of people from depressed regions to more prosperous ones, including to Moscow, where there is a very large concentration of money, power, and authority. But Tyva, due to the high birth rate, can compensate for this in the future, while regions with a predominantly Russian population cannot.

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