26 Aug Russia: Demographic Crisis
“Mother Russia” is experiencing an unprecedented decline in population. In the last 20 years, it is estimated that an astounding 80 million unborn Russian children have been aborted. On average, a Russian woman over the course of her reproductive life will have seven abortions.
Combing that high abortion rate with a fertility rate of 1.2 (a fertility rate of 2.1 is needed for replacement of population), Russia stands to lose over one-third of its population every generation. “We’re losing almost three quarters of a million people every year,” said Alexey Komov, chairman of the Moscow Demographic Summit that was held this last June.
The video below, by Population Research Institute, gives an excellent overview of the demographic problem and some insight into Russian history and culture. It notes the ways that Russia is attempting to reverse the decline – albeit not very successfully.
For example, in 2003 President Vladimir Putin put in place a $9,000 “baby bonus” to encourage couples to have children. This video tells of a Russian bank that is currently offering a 0.5 discount in mortgage rates to families for each child born. All valiant attempts, but history has shown that is extremely difficult – if not impossible – to reverse this type of demographic decline.
“Ultimately it’s a matter of faith and spirit that determines how many children people decide to have,” said Phillip Longman, lecturer and author of The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity. “That’s not something the government can really do. That’s something society can do.”
We would add it is something that society must do.