Goal of the research: Comprehensive study of the historic and more recent demographic trends in Russia within the context of long-term trends in developed countries (OECD countries) aimed at identifying general and specific features in the demographic evolution at different stages of the convergent-divergent process.
Methodology. The methodological basis of the research is the Demographic Transition theory, including its more detailed specifications ("epidemiological transition", "second" and "third" demographic transitions). We use and develop ideas about the demographic transition as a modernization of the specific demographic system, which, in turn, is seen against the background of economic and socio-cultural changes that demonstrate universal as well as nationally specific nature. This approach provides a basis for understanding the demographic shifts of recent decades both in view of global trends and the country specific development in Russia and the former Soviet Union in the twentieth century during the Soviet and post-Soviet periods, and opens the way to understanding the demographic and socio-economic prospects of the country and its regions .
In this study, classical methods of statistical and demographic analysis are widely used: the system of general and specific rates and indicators to estimate the intensity of demographic events, life tables, including life tables by cause of death, fertility tables by birth order, the characteristics of the quantum and timing for births, marriages, divorces abortions and some other socio-demographic events.
Of important methodological significance in the analysis and prediction of the demographic changes is a cohort approach, which not only provides a clearer understanding of the historical societal and demographic changes, but also allows to distinguish long-term changes from temporal, conjectural fluctuations of demographic indicators.
Empirical base of the study. This study is based on:
- Official statistical data provided by ROSSTAT, including the results of 2010 Census and previous population censuses and microcensuses; detailed data from the annual vital and migration statistics reports, the annual estimates of population size and age and sex composition of population, results of population projections, results of representative sample surveys such as “Reproductive Health Survey”, “Survey on Life Conditions”, “Employment Survey” and some others;
- statistical data provided by Russia’s Federal Ministries and Agencies: Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Interior Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Social Development, The Federal Migration Service, Social Insurance Fund;
- International comparative data of the sample surveys carried out in Russia, in particular, data from three waves of the panel study "Parents and children, men and women in family and society"/RusGGS (2004, 2007 and 2011); data from "Russian longitudinal monitoring survey of the economic situation and health»/RLMS; “European Social Survey”/RusESS and others;
- HSE IDEM Demographic Database that has been created and is supported by Institute of Demography of Higher School of Economics, and which contains long series of data for Russia and 40 European and non-European developed countries;
- International demographic databases: United Nations, WHO, OECD, EuroStat, Human Mortality Database, Human Fertility Database, INED Demographic Database and others;
- Data from national statistical offices of the OECD and CIS countries.
Key results of the research include:
- Generalization of Russia's historical and prospective demographic trends within the international context as a result of the identification of universal and specific features of the evolution of the demographic system in Russia;
- Analytical characteristics of componentsof thepopulation size changes in Russian Federationand its regions, changesin the spatial distribution ofthe Russia’s populationand itsurban and ruralcomponentson the basisof longtime seriesof vital statistics and migration data within the international context;
- Analyticalcharacteristics of the development of population ageing in Russia in comparison with OECD countries;
- Results of analysis of the latest trendsin family formation and dissolution of marital unions and non-marital partnershipsin Russiain the context oflong-term processes in OECD countries;
- Updated results of analysis of trends in period and cohort fertility indicators and structural characteristics of fertility, and their response to the pronatalist policy interventions in Russia within the international context;
- Analytical review of the situation in family planning and prevalence of abortion in Russia in comparison with OECD countries;
- Findings of an in-depth analysis of the long-term and short-term changes in mortality and life expectancy in Russia, evaluation of contribution of specific age groups and specific causes of deaths to these processes within the wider international context;
- Inclusion to the national and international academic information turnover of new data relating to international and internal migration in Russia within the context of trends observed in OECD and CIS countries;
- Evaluation of the existing systems of state support for families and migration policies in the different countries of the world with an emphasis on the OECD countries;
- Analysis of the latest demographic projections for the OECD countries.
Implementation of the results. In 2015, the results of research studies conducted by HSE IDEM in the field of demographic analysis and projections were used by Rosstat in the refinement of the official demographic projections for the period up to 2050. The results of the studies are used at a regular base by Rosstat, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Labour and Social Development, the Federal Migration Service to develop the socio-demographic, family and migration policies. Methodological approaches that have been developed in this project are actively used by Rosstat, in order to improve the statistical monitoring of demographic and migration processes, assessments of the indicators characterizing the demographic situation and its change, in the analysis of the results of the National Population Census and national socio-demographic sample surveys.
International demographic database, supported by HSE IDEM which is actively used in this study is freely available on the Internet and is widely used at all levels of the Russian government, for scientific and educational purposes as well as in the electronic and print media in Russia and abroad.
The results were presented at international conferences, including the International Conference on Population Geographies 2015 «The Spatial Dimensions of Population» (Brisbane, Australia, June 30 - July 3, 2015), Population Association of America 2015 Annual Meeting (San Diego, USA, 30 April – 2 May, 2015); International Seminar "The demographic theory and demographic history: from description to explanation", organized by HSE IDEM (Moscow, 22-23 October 2015), and others. They will be well represented at the forthcoming HSE XVIIth April International Conference on problems of economic and social development (19-22 April 2016).
The research results have been used as part of a large international project «Fertility and Family Policies in Central and Eastern Europe» with the participation of representatives from more than 20 countries, performed under the coordination of the University of Oxford (UK) (See: Fertility and Family Policies in Central and Eastern Europe. Working papers by Department of Social Policy and Intervention. University of Oxford (UK). Series "Barnet Papers in Social Research". 2015. No. 15-01 (9).) The results are regularly published in scientific domestic and foreign journals, and in particular, in the ‘Demographic Review’ Journal and in electronic periodical ‘Demoscope-Weekly’ both published by HSE IDEM.
Results of the study are reflected in the scientific report, "Social policy: long-term trends and changes in recent years", prepared by a large group of academic staff of the Higher School of Economics (Project leaders: J.I. Kuz'minov, L.N. Ovcharova, L.I. Yakobson).
In the most complete form results of the study will be published in the book "The Population of Russia 2014" (HSE Publishers, 2016).
The results of the study are reflected in the teaching activities, including "Demography," "Population and Development" master's programs in HSE, and in the short-term international courses for advanced demographic analysis and socio-economic development, organized with the support of UNFPA for administrations, state statistics officers, experts and researchers in population studies, employees of international organizations from the CIS countries (September 2015).
Area of application
The results of the study are recommended for use:
- in the activities of the executive branches on the federal and regional level to improve the depth and quality of monitoring demographic processes, to improve the system of criteria and indicators used to characterize the population and analyze the effectiveness of public policy;
- in the work of the supreme bodies of state administration, ministries and departments responsible for the strategic development of family, health and migration policies;
- to improve the content of educational socio-demographic programs for bachelor and master students in HSE and in other secondary and higher education establishments in Russia, and in universities in CIS and Euro-Asian Countries.