Sunday, July 15, 2007

Understanding Migration in Russia

Searching for more information on migration and the CIS I found this useful paper, which I thought I would draw to people's attention:

Understanding Migration in Russia

A policy note
by Yuri Andrienko and Sergei Guriev
Center for Economic and Financial Research at New Economic School


This note summarizes the policy debate and the existing academic research on internal and external migration in Russia. We argue that enhancing both international and internal migration can bring sizeable benefits to Russia. In particular, international immigration seems to be the only solution to Russia’s impending demographic crisis: if current trends continue, Russia’s population will shrink by 20% to 112-119 million people in 2050; moreover, the share of working age population will decline substantially. Internal immigration can help overcome huge interregional imbalances and reallocate millions of workers from regions with low wages and high unemployment to the regions with zero unemployment. The present migration policy is counterproductive as it both restricts much-needed migration and creates illegal immigrants.

The experience of other receiving countries suggests that Russia will soon have to reconsider its policy and will have to undertake an immigration amnesty in the near future. We suggest coupling the amnesty with an introduction of a point system for admitting new legal migrants We also provide a survey of the existing data and empirical literature on migration on Russia. We conclude that any reasonable analysis of migration would require new efforts in data collections and thus propose a plan of such efforts.


and please note the following, which makes clear that the demographic issue is already biting in a very significant way. Basically, all of this is simply not sustainable given the generalised nature of the population shortage across the whole of Eastern Europe.

While the population in Russia has been gradually falling since 1992, the decline in working agepopulation will be especially severe after 2007, especially in central regions, as a long-term consequence of birth rate behavior in 1980s (Mkrtchyan and Zubarevich, 2005). In order to fully compensate for this drop, there should be an annual inflow of about 1 million working age migrants, a number which is three times the average net inflow in the years between the Censuses of 1989 and 2002. According to a demographic forecast for 2050, the share of population of working age (from 16 and 55 for females and 16 to 60 for males) will be close to 50 percent, which is considerably lower than the 61 percent reported in the 2002 Census, but similar to the the share in the 1939 Census, with a difference of a higher proportion of elderly in the population: 34 percent in 2050 vs. 9 percent in 1939 (Andreev and Vishnevsky, 2004).


Creditworthy said...

The migration inflaw to Russia may solve the single problem of the working population lack. It will cause lower wages, the national intolerance growth and other social troubles.

Борис Денисов said...

may solve the single problem

it also may nat solve that problem, especially if the problem does exist