Russia runsacross the northern Europe and northern Asia and is the largestcountry on earth with an area of over 17 million km2. Thecountry covers more than 12.5% of the inhabited land area of theearth. Despite being the largest country in the world, Russia is thenumber nine in the world rank of countries based on the populationsize. According to Worldometers, the current population of Russia is143, 442, 515 people. The population density of Russia is 8.5 personsper square kilometer. In the year 2015, the country had a negativenatural population increase in the number of deaths (2027303 deaths)was more than the number of births (1859092 live births) by 168,211.However due to external migration, the country had a positivepopulation growth of 59971 people (0.04% growth rate). The netmigration in 2015 was 228181 people. This shows that the number ofimmigrants exceeded the number emigrants1.
The trend ispredicted to continue by the end of 2016. The number of deaths byDecember 2016 will be more than a number of live births. This means anegative natural increase according to predictions, the naturalincrease will be -168 280 people. However, the number of immigrantsis expected to increase by the end of 2016. Therefore, the populationgrowth of Russia is dependent on migration since there is decliningbirth rate and slowly increasing the death rate. According toestimates, the population increase of Russia in 2016 will be 164persons per day. In the 2014 estimates, the death rate and birth ratewere 13.83 deaths/1000 population and 11.87 births/1000 populations2.The overall sex ratio is 0.86 males per female. The infant mortalityrate was 7.08 deaths/1000 live births with the males having a higherrate. The life expectancy at birth is 70 years. The total fertilityrate of Russia is 1.61 children born per woman. This indicates that 3children are born to two women. Russia has over 180 ethnic groupswith Russia forming over 80% of the population.
The Russianpopulation has a low fertility rate to the extent threatening thenumber of natives in the future. The number of children two couples,4 married individuals, will give birth to approximately 3 childrenmeaning there is a deficit of one person two couple in case of deathof parents. There is no increase in population. The natural increaseof Russia will be negative the population of the natives isdiminishing with time. For Russia to maintain or increase itspopulation, the net migration should always be more than the negativenatural increase. With the current population trend, the populationof native Russians will drop to approximately 107 million in 2051.However, the population of the non-natives will continue to increaseand when they have a higher birth rate and low death rate, theirpopulation will experience growth very fast. Therefore, thepopulation of the natives may be exceeded by the population of thenon-natives. Various political decisions may be made with lesser needfor the natives’ approval.
The Russian PrimeMinister Vladimir Putin pointed out that the falling populationgrowth poses a threat to the existence of the country. He feared forthe geopolitical gap that will result in case the populationcontinues to decline the fate of the Russians will, therefore, bedecided by other powers. The country has abnormally high mortality ofthe working class and low birth rates. In 2012, Putin proposedvarious strategies to address the issue of declining population. Hepromised to start a fresh fight against the threatening rates of malealcoholism in the country that reduces their fertility and economicvalue. The Prime Minister proposed to implement allowances for womenwho give birth to more than three children. Effective implementationof this result in a positive increase in the population since everycouple will give birth to extra persons apart from those who taketheir place if they die3.
The governmenthas put in place strategies to improve the living standard of itsnationals. The housing and education in Russia have been improved bythe Putin’s administration since he entered the office. The housingand education were made universal for all Russians. After attainingthe seat, the Putin’s administration formulated immigrationpolicies that encouraged foreigners to settle in their country.Russia is the second in the world after the United States in thenumber of immigrants. As a result, the number of immigrants hasexceeded the number of emigrants and is the reason for the positivegrowth of the Russian population. Most of the immigrants in Russiaare pleased with the living standard of this country as they considerit to surpass that of their country of origin. The Putin’sadministration ensured to improve the sectors that attract foreignersto move into their country. The government has put efforts toincrease employment opportunities to attract labor immigrants. thegovernment has improved health care service to reduce death rates andalso encourage immigration. The UN estimates that more than 1.74million immigrants are living in Moscow alone currently4.
When thepresident first came to power, there was a drastic decrease in theRussian population. The population was decreasing by 0.5% every year.Through his administration, the government reserved this trendmaintain political stability, improving the living standard andholding various public health campaigns that aimed at increasing malelife expectancy from 58 to 70 years. The strategies employed by thePutin’s administration were significant in reversing the populationtrend in the country5.The fertility rate increased from 1.2 children per woman in 2002 to1.61 children per woman in 2015. However, social scientists considerthat the fertility rate is still too low since the country’sfertility rate should be 2.1 to maintain the population.
From thereasoning of the Prime Minister, people are willing to have morechildren but due to lack of enough money and good housing, they optto have no or few children. Therefore, when families are providedwith good housing and more money, they will have more children.However, this may not be effective since other developed countrieshave good housing and better financial status and still have the sameor even lower fertility rate. The Putin’s government gives housingpriorities and a special allowance of $250 per child every month tofamilies with more than three children6.Additionally, there are strategies to avail daycare for workingmothers, make adjustments to their working schedules and enhance theprofessional capacities. The population is growing but at a slow rateand mainly due to immigration.
Impact of thedeclining population
Demographics of apopulation affect various economic and social sectors of a country.Namboori argues that there is a negative relationship betweenpopulation growth and economic development. The increase in thenumber of people demands increases in expenditure when providingfood, housing and other goods and services7.This means that every family will spend less and save and investmore. Savings are used in development projects. However, for acountry to improve its productions, it must have enough humanresources to provide the necessary skills and expertise during theproduction processes. Declining Russian population means decliningnational productivity and economy. When the population continues todecline, various positions in companies and factories will becomevacant and thus hindering the performance of specific tasks that arecritical for production to occur. This increases vacancies in forforeigner since the natives are not enough. A growing populationleads to economic development. High population is a motivating forcethat encourages communities to change their methods of production.Improvement in the methods of productions increases the productivityof various sectors in the economy of a country and thus increasingthe output.
Growingpopulation provides a potential and reliable market for both domesticand imported goods and services. Increasing population size isassociated with high demand for goods and services. The decliningpopulation of the country provides a diminishing market for goods andservices and hence does not stimulate the growth of production.Entrepreneurs and businesses are motivated to increase theirproduction when they are guaranteed a market for their goods andservices. High demand and the market for goods and services resultsin increased sales and subsequently, higher profits. The increase inproductivity results in the improvement of the performance ofindividual organizations and the entire national economy. Lowpopulation discourages large-scale investments in infrastructure8.Exploitation of natural resources within the country is enhancedthrough the provision of necessary skills and expertise by thepopulation. In order to continue with the exploitation of naturalresources and production activities, Russia may be forced to hireforeign labor which is unreliable and expensive.
Due to the lowfertility rate in Russia, most households have few children and henceeasier to manage. The family will be able to purchase food and otherbasic needs of the family compared to when the family is large. Foodshortages within a family level will be minimized. Living standardswill increase with a decline in population since the family has savedextra money to purchase goods and services they need. They will beable to afford healthcare services and thus increasing their lifeexpectancy. However, food production is expected to declinenationally due to the declining manpower. The death rate of theworking population is high and thus depriving agricultural sector ofenough manpower. With time, the country will not be able to producefood to feed its citizens. Russia has an aging population which isless productive to the country and thus increasing dependency rates9.
The Russianpopulation is declining with and negative natural increase. Thedecline is due to the infertility of the population, 1.61 childrenborn per woman. The population growth of the country is dependent ofnet migration and is responsible for the slow growth. The reducingpopulation threatens the existence of the country. The government hastried to reverse the trend and have been successful to increase thefertility rate and death rate to some extent. However, the countryhas a long way to go. Some of the strategies used to increase thepopulation include: giving special allowances to families with morethan three children, improving the living standard and housing, andencouraging immigration. The declining population has its effects onthe economy of the country. Low population is associated with reducednational productivity and low economic growth. Businesses are alsodiscouraged to continue with production processes due to reducing themarket for the goods and services.
Bohon, S. A., & Conley, M. E. (2015). Immigration andpopulation. Place of publication not identified: Polity Press.
Fred Weir (2012), Putin vows to halt Russia`s population plungewith babies, immigrants, retrieved fromhttp://www.csmonitor.com/World/2012/0214/Putin-vows-to-halt-Russia-s-population-plunge-with-babies-immigrantson 4 May 2016
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Russia: The World`s Second-Largest Immigration Haven,retrieved fromhttp://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/russia-the-worlds-second-largest-immigration-haven-11053?page=2on 4 May 2016
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1 Worldometers, Russia Pupolation, retrieved from http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/russia-population/
2 Index Mundi, Russia Demographics Profile 2014, retrieved from http://www.indexmundi.com/russia/demographics_profile.html on 4 May 2016
3 Bohon, S. A., & Conley, M. E Immigration and population. Polity Press, 2015
4 Fred Weir, Putin vows to halt Russia`s population plunge with babies, immigrants, 2012
5 Fred Weir (2012), Putin vows to halt Russia`s population plunge with babies, immigrants,
6 Paul Bushkovitch, A Concise History of Russia, Cambridge University Press, 2011, p.102
7 Namboodiri, N. K. A primer of population dynamics, 1996, p. 267
8 Szirmai, A. The dynamics of socio-economic development: An introduction. Cambridge [u.a.: Cambridge University Press, 2005, p.16
9 Bohon, S. A., & Conley, M. E. Immigration and population. Polity Press. 2015, p.35