Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Johnson's Russia List

by Edward Hugh

Johnson's Russia List have a very interesting population thread which is here. Population is now falling and life expectancy has been reducing dramatically:

Glowing economic statistics show that Russia is in the midst of an oil-fueled boom, but the life expectancy of its citizens remained woefully low, the nation's top statistician said Tuesday......... Russia's population dropped by 0.5 percent, or 680,000 people, to 142.8 million last year, Sokolin (head of the Federal State Statistics Service) said. And the average life span of the Russian male is now just 58 the level to which it dropped in the social turmoil that followed the default just over seven years ago. "Nothing has changed with regard to life expectancy,"

There is also an interesting thread from Russia expert Murray Feshback:

Figures may be correct (or not) but out of context they can be misleading. In the case of the first item, reference is made to the fact that the current 2005 birth numbers are greater by 210,000 than in 1999. Yes, but (odnako). the 1999 birth numbers in Russia were only about 1,250,000 and the 2005 figure is 1,460,100 (in 2004, the number was even higher­1,502,500). Two points arise here, in sequence, the 1999 figure itself was one-half of the number in 1987, of 2,500,000 births, a drop of 50 percent. The comparison to 1999 may be technically correct, but leaves out much in its analysis. Second, the 1.4 or 1.5 million birth numbers are in part a reflection of a higher total fertility rate (the number of children born to women in ages 15-49 years), as well as in absolute terms the issue of the number of such women. Shortly, these latter numbers will decline by some one-third to reflect the downturn 20 to 29 years previously (the ages of their mothers at which some two-thirds of children are born in Russia). In addition, major issues of child and reproductive health are complicating factors now and in the near term.

Also here's a link to Murray Feshback and Cristina Galvin on HIV/Aids in Ukraine


Scott said...

The fact that Russia's population shrank by 680,000 people in one year is worth pondering. That shrinkage is the equivalent of about 7 medium size cities disappearing from the map. Assuming a household size of four persons, that is 170,000 residences abandoned in one year. That will put a dent in home prices in Russia.

Jeff Jackson said...

Feshbach has a keen eye for the demographic patterns of the Russians. What is more alarming than the low fertility rate of females 20-29 is the rate at which the population supplies, or in this case fails to supply, the army with healthy young males for conscription. But both the female fertility and the male health are singular components. The composite effect of these components and public health, environmental conditions, judicial policies (as in the sentencing for narcotics crimes for HIV/TB co-infected individuals), and some other factors create a synergistic effect on the population. Such conditions stagger the imagination as they shed light on the population black hole located in Russia.