Yelena Ivanova, Natalia Seibil
The pension reform was not only the cause of popular anger against the government, but also a chance to impartially examine one of the main demographic indicators - the life expectancy of Russians. For all the bright prospects - Russians have begun to live longer, hurray! - new details are revealed.
Life expectancy has risen to 73.34 years, but men live on average 10 years less than women. In 33 of 85 regions, they do not live to be 65, the retirement age for men set by the Russian government.
Geographically, no regularities can be traced, in the list of outsiders, along with Magadan, Novgorod, Kemerovo and Irkutsk regions, Kamchatka and Komi. In Chukotka, the mortality rate among the rural male population is 52%. In 15 regions, men live to be just 65 years old and will go straight from their workplace to eternal rest. All the rest, with the exception of the North Caucasian republics, Moscow and St. Petersburg, will live for a maximum of five more years after reaching the age of 65.
There is also a purely statistical problem - in the Caucasus and in some Russian regions, the population is overestimated. This way they get more money from the federal budget. The larger the population, the more political weight the governor has. A population census was scheduled for this October, which Rosstat asks to move to next year due to the pandemic. Then demographic indicators will be reduced, for example, for the North Caucasian republics, but life expectancy there will remain high - at the level of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The trend of earlier death of men began in the 70s of the last century. This is not only a Russian but also a global problem.
"Earlier death of men is a serious fact. There are many explanations behind this, but one of them is, as the remarkable biologist Vigen Geodakian said, that if women ensure the stability of the system, then men ensure its flexibility and quick response in extreme situations. From an evolutionary point of view, this comes at a price. Those who provide flexibility are at risk all the time, and they die earlier”, - says Alexander Asmolov, a psychologist, academician of the Russian Academy of Education, head of the Department of Personality Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Moscow State University named after Lomonosov.
In addition to global trends, Russia has its own specific reasons why Russian grandchildren have many grandmothers, but very few grandfathers. Extreme situations cause stress, which men in Russia relieve in a well-known way.
"Such a high mortality rate is primarily due to the fact that risky behavior is quite widespread in Russia, as well as irresponsible behavior in terms of smoking and drinking alcohol in men. Women in Russia are much less emancipated than in the West, they smoke much less and drink less", - says independent demographer Alexey Raksha.
In 2016, more than half of all male deaths in Russia were attributable to behavioral risk factors. Every fourth man dies from the consequences of smoking, from excessive alcohol consumption - 18%. In the age group from 15 to 49 years, the situation is even more serious: the cause of death of 59% of men was their reckless behavior, and one in three dies from alcohol.
If someone thinks that these are the final numbers, he is greatly mistaken. In addition to direct causes of death, there are also indirect ones. One in ten men of active age who died of a heart attack or stroke, the disease was caused by excessive alcohol consumption. They die in traffic accidents as a result of drunk driving, as a result of alcoholic intoxication, injure themselves or die from violence, from mental disorders and disorders associated with alcoholism, another 6% of men of active age die a year. 7 times more men die from lung cancer than women, which is directly related to smoking. From the consequences of alcohol consumption, the number of deaths in men exceeds female mortality by 4.5 times.
The numbers speak for themselves: it's not beer that kills people, but vodka. Therefore, Aleksey Raksha believes that the state should increase excise taxes on strong alcohol at an accelerated pace so that for the consumer with an increase in the strength of the drink, each gram of alcohol would cost more, and not cheaper, as it is now. When asked whether the increase in excise taxes on alcohol will lead to the fact that most of the family budget will be spent on vodka, the demographer replies categorically no:
- No, it won't! The rise in the price and decrease in the availability of drugs leads to a decrease in their consumption. A striking example is Yakutia, where alcohol was banned in two hundred villages, and Yakutia became the leader in terms of life expectancy in the Far Eastern District, and was an outsider.
Tobacco taxes in Russia remain among the lowest in the world. At the same time, there is the experience of Poland and Ukraine. Since the introduction of high taxes on tobacco products in these countries, people have become more active in quitting smoking.
And of course, life expectancy cannot be increased without a functioning health care system and a real medical examination.
“The state of medicine is terrible, everyone is obsessed with the bubble, everyone has forgotten about the Hippocratic oath, although there were big disagreements in this area during the Soviet era, but acquaintances and cronies helped out. And they don't even want to work in the ambulance, they just go there for the sake of appearance, but before they helped”, - writes Vladimir Levkin.
Nikolay Kuzyaev says: “Kostyan, Northern Sakhalin, Okha, for a city with a population of 23 thousand people give ONE coupon to the dentist. People are waiting for the opening of the border to China, where any medical assistance is provided immediately, but for money".
Everything has been done so that they do not live to retire, Anatoly Peiner laments . And Mikhail Komarov has a proposal on this matter:
“We must do, as in Europe, in terms of the survival time. The lifetime in Europe is on average 16 years... therefore, in Chukotka, men should go out at 43.7 years !!! So it will be fair, and not as they suggested, according to "European standards!!!"
“Why did they raise the unjustified retirement age? And in order to collect taxes and deductions, and not pay a pension in the future, knowing that the bulk of the people do not live up to retirement. H-U-M-I-L-I-A-T-I-O-N over his own people”, - writes Sergey Ivanovsky.
Demographer Alexey Raksha agrees with these opinions:
- Men live 10 years less than women, and their retirement age comes five years later than women. It’s not fair. Therefore, it was necessary to raise the retirement age only for women. Raising the retirement age was inevitable. But this had to be done much earlier and gradually, to prepare the population for this and explain the need for such a decision, and not the way it was done.
Scientists say mortality rates rise in times of social upheaval. This was the case in 1994. The same surge was noted in 1998 and 2008, and it also affected men.
There is another dimension to this demographic imbalance:
- This is fraught with the emergence of powerful social and psychological disharmony, literally concerning the working capacity and efficiency of society. This will lead to very serious disharmony and disruption. Of course, these evolutionary things will come to the surface sooner or later. Now this is beginning to manifest itself, - says Alexander Asmolov.
With the onset of a pandemic, male mortality will not only not decrease, but, on the contrary, will increase - men become infected more often and get sick more severely. Therefore, disharmony in society will grow, and the emancipation of women will increase.