• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site
For visually-impairedUser profile (HSE staff only)SearchMenu

Demographic and migration processes in Russia in historical and international context in the light of new methodological approaches

Priority areas of development: sociology

Subject of the study

Current and prospective demographic situation in Russia, long- and short-term trends in the main processes contributed to change of population size and it’s composition - fertility, mortality, migration, age, sex, marital and family structure of the population, as well as demographic, family, health and migration policies provided by the state.

Goal of the research

Comprehensive analysis of short-term and long-term demographic trends and the results of the demographic policy in Russia based on a critical reflection of the methodological approaches existing in international practice of demographic research and recommendations for their improvement


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 taking into account population policy measures and instruments, structural and institutional changes in general.

In this study, we use combination of classical methods of statistical and demographic analysis and recently developed instruments and approaches which are called for more adequate and reliable assessment of indicators to estimate the intensity of demographic events, life tables, including life tables by cause of death and healthy life, fertility tables by birth order, the characteristics of the quantum and timing of fertility, and some other socio-demographic events and processes such as national transfer accounts.

Empirical base of the study

This study is based on:

  • Official statistical data provided by ROSSTAT, including the results of All-Russia 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 “Employment Survey” and some others;

  • statistical data provided by Russia’s Federal Ministries and Agencies: Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Interior Affairs (Migration department), Ministry of Labour, Social Insurance Fund, Pension Fund;

  • International comparative data of the sample surveys carried out in Russia, in particular, data from three waves of the panel study Russian Generation and Gender Survey (2004, 2007 and 2011) within the framework of the UNECE “Generation and Gender Programme”; “Reproductive health survey” (2011-2012), European Social Survey and others;

  • International demographic databases: United Nations, WHO, OECD, EuroStat, Human Mortality Database, Human Fertility Database, “Comparative Family Policy Database”, “Population and Policy Database”, INED Demographic Database 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;

Key results of the research include:

  • the critical analysis of domestic and international practice of methodological approaches to the study of changing demographic reality and to the demographic projections for the medium and long term, and recommendations based on it to use these approaches and methods to increase the depth and consistency of research on demographic trends in Russia;

  • critical assessment of the state of information system for demographic research and population and migration police making in Russia;

  • the evaluation of the current demographic situation in Russia within the context of long-term demographic trends in Russia and abroad, identifying of universal and specific features of the long-term and more recent trends;

  • the analytical characteristics of all components of the population size changes in Russian Federation and its regions, changes in the spatial distribution of the Russia’s population and its urban and rural components on the basis of long time series of vital statistics and migration data;

  • the evaluation of trends in period and cohort fertility indicators based on life-table (survival) analysis of fertility by birth order, and a measurement of response of fertility indicators to the pronatalist policy interventions in Russia;

  • the analytical review of the situation with official statistics on family planning, abortions and assessment of change in prevalence of abortion and contraception in Russia based on official statistics and sample surveys;

  • findings of an in-depth analysis of the long-term and short-term changes in mortality and life expectancy (including of LE of healthy life) in Russia, evaluation of contribution of specific age groups and causes of deaths to these changes within the wider international context;

  • results of analysis of data relating to international and internal migration in Russia, including data on labor migrants, based on different international and national sources of data: critics of domestic system for registration of migration events and migrants, official statistics of migration and assessment of possible usage of “big data” provided by mobile operatorsresults of measuring and analyzing the generational economy in Russia by the national transfer accounts approach.

Implementation of the results

In 2019, the results of studies conducted by HSE IDEM in the field of demographic analysis and projections were used by ROSSTAT in order to improve the statistical monitoring of demographic and migration processes and the elaborating of annual estimates of demographic indicators and official demographic projections. The results of the studies are used at a regular base by the Presidential Administration, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Interior Affairs, and Ministry of Public Health to develop the socio-demographic, family and migration policies.

International demographic database, created and 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 most detailed results of the study will be published in the book "The Population of Russia 2018" (HSE Publishers, 2020).

The results of the study are reflected in the teaching activities, including "Demography" (in Russian) and "Population and Development" (in English) Master's programs in HSE, and in the short-term international courses for advanced demographic analysis and socio-economic development, organized by IDEM with the support of UNFPA for administrations, state statistics officers, experts and researchers in population studies, employees of international organizations from the CIS and some other countries (September 2019).

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.


Васин С. А. Старение населения: Россия в международном контексте, in: Население России 2017: двадцать пятый ежегодный демографический доклад. Москва : Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2019. С. 71-105. 
Вишневский А. Г., Захаров С. В. Заключение, in: Население России 2017: двадцать пятый ежегодный демографический доклад. Москва : Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2019. С. 459-477. 
Зайончковская Ж. А., Карачурина Л. Б., Мкртчян Н. В., Флоринская Ю. Ф., Абылкаликов С. И., Середкина Е. А. Миграционные процессы в России, in: Население России 2017: двадцать пятый ежегодный демографический доклад. Москва : Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2019. С. 382-458. 
Захаров С. В., Сакевич В. И. Рождаемость и планирование семьи в России на мировом фоне, in: Население России 2017: двадцать пятый ежегодный демографический доклад. Москва : Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2019. С. 106-177. 
Щербакова Е. М. Россия в мировом пространстве мнений государств о росте численности населения и его территориальном размещении, in: Население России 2017: двадцать пятый ежегодный демографический доклад. Москва : Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2019. С. 11-70. 
Юмагузин В. В., Винник М. В. Смертность молодежи от внешних причин в Южном федеральном округе, in: Здоровый образ жизни студенческой молодежи: проблемы и перспективы развития и совершенствования. Таганрог : Издательство Южного федерального университета, 2019. С. 214-236. 
Вишневский А. Г., Щербакова Е. М. Демография: за и против повышения пенсионного возраста // Журнал Новой экономической ассоциации. 2019. № 2. C. 148-167. doi
Вишневский А. Г., Щур А. Е. Смертность и продолжительность жизни в России за полвека // Оргздрав: новости, мнения, обучение. 2019. Т. 5. № 2. C. 10-21. doi
Blum A., Zakharov S. V. Russie: une démographie très politique et instable // Les Grands Dossiers de Diplomatie. 2019. Vol. 51. P. 33-35. 
Karachurina L. B., Florinskaya Y., Prokhorova A. Higher Wages Vs. Social and Legal Insecurity: Migrant Domestic Workers in Russia and Kazakhstan // Journal of International Migration and Integration. 2019. Vol. 20. No. 3. P. 639-658. doi
Karachurina L. B., Ivanova K. Migration of the Elderly Population in Russia (According to the 2010 Population Census) // Regional Research of Russia. 2019. Vol. 9. No. 2. P. 164-172. doi
Митрофанова Е. С. Модели взросления разных поколений россиян // Демографическое обозрение. 2019. Т. 6. № 4. C. 53-82. doi
Ревич Б. А., Кузнецова О. В., Харькова Т. Л., Подольная М. А. ЭКОНОМИЧЕСКИЕ ФАКТОРЫ ДИФФЕРЕНЦИАЦИИ РОССИЙСКИХ МЕГАПОЛИСОВ ПО УРОВНЮ СМЕРТНОСТИ // Электронный научный журнал "Социальные аспекты здоровья населения". 2019. № 3. C. 1-22. doi
Belkina T. D., Scherbakova E. M., Protokalistova L. V. Imbalance between Social and Economic Functions of Cities and Regions // Проблемы прогнозирования. 2019. Vol. 30. P. 672-681. doi
Щербакова Е. М., Белкина Т. Д., Протокалистова Л. В. Дисбалансы социальных и экономических функций городов и регионов // Проблемы прогнозирования. 2019. № 6. C. 110-122. 
Yumaguzin V., Vinnik M. V. Surnames in modern Russia // Annals of Human Biology. 2019. Vol. 46. No. 6. P. 475-490. doi
Покровская А. В., Юмагузин В. В., Киреев Д. Е., Винник М. В., Покровский В. В. Влияние миграционных процессов на ситуацию по ВИЧ-инфекции (аналитический обзор) // Вестник Российской академии медицинских наук. 2019. Т. 74. № 2. C. 88-97. doi
Абылкаликов С. И. Миграция как компонент общего прироста населения Воронежской области до 2035 года, in: Теоретические и прикладные проблемы географической науки: демографический, социальный, правовой, экономический и экологический аспекты: материалы международной научно-практической конференции. Воронеж : Воронежский государственный педагогический университет, 2019. С. 536-540. 
Yumaguzin V., Vinnik M. V. Variation of surnames and migration in the Russian regions, in: Теоретические и прикладные проблемы географической науки: демографический, социальный, правовой, экономический и экологический аспекты: материалы международной научно-практической конференции. Voronezh : Воронежский государственный педагогический университет, 2019. С. 700-703. 
Юмагузин В. В., Винник М. В. Сколько мигрантов нужно для обеспечения естественного прироста в России до 2024 года?, in: Национальные демографические приоритеты: подходы и меры реализации.: Экон-Информ, 2019. С. 549-552. 
Вишневский А. Г. Эпидемиологический переход и его интерпретации // Демографическое обозрение. 2020. Т. 7. № 3. C. 6-50. doi
Исупова О. Г. Гендерная специфика жизненных планов молодежи Дальнего Востока России // Мониторинг общественного мнения: Экономические и социальные перемены. 2020. № 5. C. 602-628. doi
Щербакова Е. М., Сороко Е. Л. Оценки численности и состава населения России в свете новых методических подходов, in: Население России 2018: двадцать шестой ежегодный демографический доклад . Москва : Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2020. С. 10-86.