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Recent demographic trends in Russia and their consideration in socioeconomic forecasting

Priority areas of development: economics

Object of the study: The current and prospective demographic situation in Russia, long-term trends in basic demographic processes and components of population change: fertility, mortality, migration, evolution of size and demographic structure of the population, and the possible impact of demographic processes on economic and social development.

Purpose of the study

To conduct a comprehensive analysis of Russia’s demographic trends in the 2000s in an international context, and to produce updated versions of demographic projection scenarios for their consideration in socioeconomic forecasting. The analysis takes into account the annual data series, revised after the 2010 Census, for fertility, mortality and migration, and the implemented measures of population policy.

Empirical base of the study

This study is based on:

- Official Rosstat data, including the results of the 2010 Census and previous National Censuses; the results of special processing of the initial micro data of the 2002 and 2010 Censuses, performed at the request of the HSE IDEM; detailed data from annual vital statistics reports (births, deaths, marriages, divorces), estimates of population size and its demographic composition, basic demographic and migration indicators and characteristics; statistical data provided by the Federal Ministries: Public Health, Interior Affairs, Labour and Social Development, The Federal Migration Service, the Social Insurance Fund;

- International comparative data of 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 the "Russian longitudinal monitoring survey of the economic situation and health»/RLMS; “Russian reproductive health survey”/RusRHS (2012 ), “European Social Survey”/RusESS and others;

- The information contained in international databases of statistical and demographic data: United Nations, WHO, OECD, EuroStat Demographic Database, Human Mortality Database, Human Fertility Database, as well as databases HSE IDEM and some others;

- Data from national statistical offices of the European countries and the CIS countries, including the results of national population censuses, data from national civil registration systems relating to national citizenship, foreign citizens and migrants of different categories;

- The results of national and international sample surveys on labor migrants in European and CIS countries.

Key results of the research include:

- Analytic characteristics of components of population dynamics in Russia and its regions, recent changes in the regional distribution of the Russian population including its urban and rural components, based on the adjusted time series (after 2010 Census) of demographic data for the 1990s and 2000s;

- Results of the study of the most recent trends in family formation and termination of marriage and partnerships in Russia in the context of their long-term development and the experience of developed countries, which simultaneously allowed an introduction to Russian and international academic community of new data and estimates obtained from the development and analysis in more, than in previous years, detail of vital statistics on marriages, divorces, deaths in 2011 and 2012;

- Results of updated analysis of fertility trends and their response to demographic policy measures as well as the evolution of these measures, the introduction to academic consideration of new data relating to ethnic differentiation in fertility and differences in birth rates by marital status, analytical description of the situation in family planning in Russia ;

- Results of analysis of the continuing decline in mortality in Russia, assessment of the contribution to this process of the main age groups and leading causes of death, in-depth study of mortality from external causes of death, infant and perinatal mortality;

- Introduction to the Russian and international academic community of new data relating to the intensity of internal Russian migration: both of temporary labor migration and permanent migration, as well as socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of migrants;

- Evaluation of the impact of existing government policies on demographic processes and spatial redistribution of the population, revealing their lack of effectiveness in terms of the goals which were set in "The Concept of demographic policy in the Russian Federation until 2025" and in the May presidential decrees of the Russian Federation (2012);

- Scenario hypotheses about future changes in the basic demographic processes, and projections of the population size and sex-and-age structure in Russia for the period up to 2030 in 36 variants demonstrating that the stabilization of Russia's population in the long run can only be attained if the most optimistic scenarios for fertility, mortality and the inflow of migrants seeking permanent residence in Russia are realized;

- Conclusions about the possible impact of projected demographic changes (decrease in the number and proportion of people of working age, reduced youth population, aging of total population and its able-bodied segments, demographic dependency ratios increase) on economic and social development in Russia.

Implementation of the results

In 2013, long-term research activities of the Institute of Demography, HSE in the field of demographic analysis and projections (including studies of the current year) were used when performing research for the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation "Assessing consequences of change in the demographic structure of the population of the Russian Federation for social and economic development of the country, taking into account different scenarios of future demographic trends", (the Institute won the official tender for this work). The results of IDEM research work are regularly used by Rosstat, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Labour and Social Development, Ministry of Health in the development of official population projections for Russia and its regions, the development of measures to improve the socio- demographic, family and migration policy. Methodological approaches developed in this project are widely used by Rosstat in order to improve the statistical monitoring of demographic and migration processes, and to produce research-based assessments of indicators characterizing the demographic situation and its change, in analyzing the results of the National Population Census and national socio-demographic sample surveys.

The International demographic database supported by IDEM with open access in the Internet is widely used at all levels of the state administration, for scientific and educational purposes, as well as in electronic and print media in Russia and abroad.

The results of this study were presented at the International conference organized by IDEM "Low fertility and low mortality: the observed reality and images of the future" (Moscow, October 31 - November 1, 2013), and are published in professional journals, as well as published by IDEM in the popular internet magazine "Demoscope Weekly".

Area of application

The results of the study are recommended for use:

- in the activities of 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 other secondary and higher education establishments.


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