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The "Normalization" of Russia's Demographics

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This is the first of my promised Last Three Posts on DR. It’s been a bit more than a year since my last update on Russia’s demographic turnaround, and believe it or not, the cause of this was more than just laziness and lack of time on my part. A different question started bugging me:

Is there really a point to it?

Nobody concerns himself overmuch with the United Kingdom’s birth rate, and its portents for the economic and geopolitical destiny of that land. Well, some actually do, but said concern is of the Eurabia, not the Children of Men, variety. In contrast, the image of Russia formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union was one of a desolate wasteland where women voted with their wombs against its continued existence. This might have once had some elements of truth to it, but surely this view is increasingly fantastic now that Russia’s crude birth rate, at 13.2/1,000 in 2013 – and slated to rise even higher this year – is the highest bar none in Europe. It is also, as of 2012, higher than that of the US. The only developed countries where birth rates remain higher than Russia’s are Australia, New Zealand, and Iceland.

A major cause of this is that Russia still has a relatively high number of women in their childbearing years, even though this indicator began to drop precipitously from around 2010, when the effects of the post-Soviet fertility collapse started making themselves felt. This is an inescapable structural legacy that will be making itself felt in the form of downwards pressure on crude birth rates until well into the 2030s. This is where a concept known as the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) comes in. The TFR measures the expected number of children a woman will bear in her lifetime, and is calculated by summing up age-specific fertility rates in a single year. Its advantage is that it is independent of the population’s age structure. After plunging to a low of 1.16 children per woman in 1999 – a “lowest-low” fertility rate that was once theorized by some demographers to be irreversible – it has since climbed to 1.71 in 2013, and on the trends observed this year until August, will rise further to the mid-to-high 1.7s in 2014.

(And before you ask, no, it’s not all down to Muslims. Or even significantly so.)

fertility-rates-in-europe-2013

This map shows European TFRs as of 2013 (or 2012 in a few cases). In the late Soviet years, Russia was deep green, but plunged into the red and deep orange during the dislocations of the transition years. But it has now regained a greenish hue. A normal country, quite similar in its TFR to Finland or the Netherlands – countries not particularly known for being in a deep demographic abyss. And considerably better than the Christian Mediterranean, the Balkans, the Baltics, the Germanic lands, and East-Central Europe. It is, in fact, remarkable that the two countries considered to be Europe’s most politically “regressive” by the Brussels-Atlanticist elites – that is, Russia and Belarus – have come to possess Eastern Europe’s best TFR indicators, while star reformers such as Poland and the Balts wallow in the demographic doldrums. This must be a bitter pill to swallow for the ideologues who claimed demographic decline is a natural consequence of Putinism. Or it would be, if they ever bothered descending from their pulpits to look at actual statistics, but they don’t.

Russia performs much more poorly on measures of mortality and life expectancy. This has its roots not in Putin’s age, nor even in the Soviet collapse, but in the alcoholism epidemic that began to spread throughout the Soviet Union from the 1960s. This is when life expectancy, previously rising fast, hit a plateau at close to 70 years and then stagnated indefinitely with the occasional peak (e.g. Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaign) and trough (the mid-1990s).

In the early 2000s, it was estimated that excessive drinking – which in Russia takes the form of concentrated vodka (if not moonshine or other substitutes) binges, as opposed to the moderate daily wine drinking characteristic of Mediterranean countries that on paper drink abou as much as Russia – accounted for 32% of aggregate mortality (including 23% of CVDs, 42% of suicides, and 72% of homicides). In comparison, this figure was just 4% in Finland, by far the most “alcoholized”of the old EU countries. But thanks to increasing wealth, changing cultural mores, increasing state taxes on alcohol, and advertising restrictions, the prevalence of bingeing has been going down for the past decade. This trend is directly reflected in the mortality rate from alcohol poisoning, which peaked around 2003 and has since plummeted to levels significantly lower than even in 1990, when Gorbachev’s anti-alcohol campaign was still active. Suicide rates and homicide rates are also vastly down, in the process making a mockery of a large part of Michael McFaul’s academic career (he wrote a huge and hugely influential Foreign Policy article arguing that public health declined in Putin relative to Yeltsin’s time).

russia-deaths-from-external-causes-1990-2014

Overall mortality too has declined significantly, from a peak of 16.4/1,000 in 2003 to 13.0 in 2013, despite the continued ageing of the population. This resulted in very considerable growth in the life expectancy. After hovering around 65 years from the early 1990s to the mid-2000s, it started rising quickly and broke the symbolic 70 year barrier for the first time in Russian history. This positive trend continued, with the 71 year mark likely to be passed this year.

life-expectancy-in-russia-1950-2013

There is still a long way to go, of course. The Baltic states and Hungary, where alcoholism was also somewhat of an epidemic during the Communist period, have a life expectancy of 75 years (though it was more like 70 years, i.e. Russia’s today, some 5-10 years ago). In traditionally more sober – at least as regards vodka bingeing at any rate – Poland and the Czech Republic, it is 77-78 years. In Finland, a country that shares Russia’s traditional drinking culture, but avoided its Communist experience and from the 1970s acquired access to high-end healthcare, it is 81 years. But the progress that has been made in the past decade has been very considerable and is in considerable part attributable to the policies of the Russian government under Putin.

russia-cross-and-russian-hegaxon

One consequence of the big improvements in fertility and mortality indicators is that had by the 2000s, what had become pessimistically known as “the Russian Cross” – the sharp crossover between the number of births and deaths observed in Russia as the Soviet Union fell apart – has since transformed into the Russian Hexagon, my term for the return of demographic “normality.”

Perhaps the one concerning recent trend is in the migration sphere. Are Russians, or at least the Echo of Moscow liberal types – after the “sixth wave of emigration” loudly trumpeted three years back, and ruthlessly exposed on this blog – finally making good on their promise of “pora valit” (“it’s time to leave”)?

russia-migration-2012-2014

Upon a closer examination of the migration stats, it’s clear that the answer to that question is in the negative. By far the biggest portion of the recent increase in emigration accrued to member states of the CIS; rest assured that people are not going from Russia to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, or Kyrgyzstan in search of a better life. Moreover, the emigration increase was largely matched with an increase in immigration from those countries. This suggests a bureacratic as opposed to a “real” change, e.g. better border surveillance, or a change in the reporting procedures. While there was a significant increase in emigration to the Far Abroad, its overall scale remains virtually insignificant both relative to population flows between Russia and its Near Abroad, and to Russian emigration to to the West in the 1990s.

None of the cataclysms predicted for Russia in the days when a “dying bear” article was getting published every other week have come to pass. There is no sub-Saharan African level AIDS epidemic. The Chinese have yet to take over Siberia, and the Muslims have yet to take over the Russian Army. The population hasn’t plumetted to 130-135 million, as many demographic models were predicting for 2015 just a few years ago; to the contrary, even discounting Crimea’s return to the fold, Russia’s population has decisively broken its post-Soviet pattern of decline, and is now back to 144 million and is slowly but steadily growing. Russia’s demographic trajectory in the years since I started this blog and created my own demographic models has exceeded even my most optimistic predictions.

There is no more point in talking about Russia’s (non-existent) demographic crisis or really in paying undue attention to it, except perhaps insofar as it could provide lessons to other countries on how to escape from a demographic rut (in particular, a strong argument can be made that maternal capital can have real efficacy, in contrast to the conventional demographic wisdom of ten years’ yore).

In short: The bear is not dead. Long live the bear!

The real puzzle now, if anything, is explaining how a negative Russia trope could sustain itself so long in the Western press – a Washington Post op-ed from this very month is still, risibly, talking about Russia’s “demographic decline” – long after whatever factual underpinnings it might have once had have crumbled away. It’s amazing how pundits get away with elementary mistakes like this in a press environment that at least pretends to be free, professional, and adversarial (unlike those lying goons at RT).

(Reprinted from Da Russophile by permission of author or representative)
 

75 Comments to "The "Normalization" of Russia's Demographics"

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  1. Anatoly,
    I have been a reader of this blog for almost five years. You were and still are among the best demographers on Russia. It can be proved very easily and especially your post Faces of the Future confirms it. In this post you predicted what seemed to be almost impossible at that time. But time proved you right. I was sad when I read in your post a few weeks ago that you will end on this blog. It was always a refreshing reading, but I do understand your reasons why you end with blogging here. I wish you all the best and hope that you will continue with writing on akarlin or anywhere else, although the last post on akarlin is one year old.

    Greetings from Slovakia

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  2. Discounting Spain and Moldova, Poland has the worst birthrate in Europe?

    How accurate is this data and how do you know Russian figures that have a notorious legacy for state corruption which regions get state payments to implement Putins birthrate program that the local authorities are simply not fudging the numbers to get more state funding?

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  3. Not the worst birthrate, but fertility rate. It has to do with quite high number of women in childbearing age born in communist Poland in late 70s, in 80s and in early 90s and when you calculate the number of births to the number of women in childbearing age is fertility rate. Poland is not in the lowest four European states in birth rate but in fertility rate. The same goes for Slovakia, birth rate in comparison with other countries is maybe not so bad, but then you take in consideration strong years of 1970s, 1980s and the first years after the revolution, and thus calculate the fertility rate then you realize it is not so rosy.

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  4. Not the worst birthrate, but fertility rate. It has to do with quite high number of women in childbearing age born in communist Poland in late 70s, in 80s and in early 90s and when you calculate the number of births to the number of women in childbearing age you get the fertility rate. Poland is not in the lowest four European states in birth rate but in fertility rate. The same goes for Slovakia, birth rate in comparison with other countries is maybe not so bad, but then you take in consideration strong years of 1970s, 1980s and the first years after the revolution, and thus calculate the fertility rate then you realize it is not so rosy.

  5. Is Israel’s TFR the highest of any developed country?:

    http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2014/israel-demography.aspx

    The Muslim total fertility rate (TFR) was 3.5 in 2011, compared to the Jewish TFR of 3.0, the Christian TFR of 2.2, the Druze TFR of 2.3, and the unclassified religion TFR of 1.8.

  6. “…the alcoholism epidemic that began to spread throughout the Soviet Union from the 1960s. This is when life expectancy, previously rising fast, hit a plateau at close to 70 years and then stagnated indefinitely…”

    Is there data showing that alcoholism in the USSR went up in the 60s? If so, did it go up in the early 60s or the late 60s? Any guesses about the causes? Did alcohol prices go down then or was it something else?

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  7. In the graph in the post you can see that the life expectancy reached its first peak in mid 60s, exactly in 1964. That was the last year of Khruschev rule. And then you can see stagnation in female LE and rapid decrease in male LE and slow decrease in overall LE as well.

    http://whqlibdoc.who.int/whf/1990/vol11-no3/WHF_1990_11(3)_p246-252.pdf

    In this article about the anti-alcohol policy in USSR in late 1980s you have tables 1, 2 and 3 about the production, consumption and sales of alcohol in USSR since 1960 so you can see that there was really a rise of alcohol consumption accompanied by the decrease in life expectancy. And I would say that the life expectancy basically followed the trend of alcohol consumption rise. But I do not know about the prices but I think that they decreased, if not in nominal value, in real value at least.

  8. […] job and acquire life experience before tying the knot. 2. http://darussophile.com: Anatoly Karlin, The “Normalization” of Russia’s Demographics. 3. RIA Novosti: Top Russian psychiatrist links increased drink driving to economic strain. 4. […]

  9. Poor John, grasping at straws, trying desperately to deny that Putin has re-established conditions suitable for the having and raising of children in Russia after the ‘FreeMarketDemocraticReformers’ wrecked the place.

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  10. It would be pretty easy to find faults with Putins rule that vastly outweigh any good he has done.

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  11. Yes, people who care not how, or even whether, Russians live would find that easy to do.

    Others who actually care about the well-being of Russians would have a tad more trouble ignoring the fact that while births exceeded deaths by about a million per year when ‘FreeMarketDemocraticReformers’ were running the place, births in Russia now exceed deaths.

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  12. Thanks Enkidu, really appreciated. I’ll be resuming blogging at my akarlin.com blog from the start of next January at the latest. There’ll still be some Russia stuff there from time to time.

  13. Enkidu is correct here. Also see this old post.

    Life expectancy in the USSR and the West had come close to converging (2-3 years) by the mid-1960s. What happened then is that Russia experienced an alcohol epidemic, while the West really cleaned up its habits (binge drinking has since almost vanished, smoking massively down, etc) and made great gains in medical science/availability. Hence the sharp divergence from then on that only began to be reversed in the mid-2000s.

    In particular Nemtsov’s (not the politician of course) research on this is really good/comprehensive.

    If you’re particularly interested in Russia’s alcohol history and its interrelatonship with demographics, Mark Schrad’s Vodka Politics is the go-to book for that.

  14. Both fertility rate and birth rate are important. The current Russian cohort has a higher fertility rate but because they represent the coming-of-age of the “lost generation” of the 1990s the birth rate is still not so great. The smaller number of women reduces the impact of fertility rate on birth rate. So, the Polish women coming of age have fewer children but there are still a lot of them relative to the overall population. And so, Poland has a much lower fertility rate than Russia but only a mildly lower birth rate.

    Also, the ethnic differences are greatly exaggerated by Western Russophobes, but they are not nothing (people like Tatars have similar TVR as do Russians, but those from the Caucuses and the Eastern Buddhist peoples have very high TFR). If Russia’s overall TFR is about 1.74, its Slavic TFR may be more like 1.64 or so, which is still below replacement level and lower than, for example, the white non-Hispanic American TFR around 1.8.

    As for the Baltic states, Balts claim that their TFR and birth rate stats are skewed by ethnic differences: the ethnic Russians have much lower TFR than do, say, ethnic Latvians whose demographics are not dire. From an old post on Karlin’s blog:

    “Statistics also indicate that ethnic Latvians have a significantly higher birth rate than ethnic Russians. In 2010 ethnic Latvians were 59.5% of total population, but about 68% of all children born were ethnic Latvians. Russians make 28% of Latvian population, but only 23% of all children born were ethnic Russians.”

    The fact that Latvia’s demographics are the worst of the Baltic states may reflect that it has the highest % of ethnic Russians of the Baltic states.

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  15. “The fact that Latvia’s demographics are the worst of the Baltic states may reflect that it has the highest % of ethnic Russians of the Baltic states.”

    Alas, AP, Latvia’s path to being a delightfully Russenfrei paradise is marred by the fact that the number of ethnic Latvians there has declined since Latvia gained independence.

    It seems that yearly parades by elderly SS veterans is an insufficient stimulus to fertility…

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  16. “It seems that yearly parades by elderly SS veterans is an insufficient stimulus to fertility…”

    Here’s an idea! Maybe the Latvian government should invite the Azov Battalion to parade the symbol of
    2nd SS Panzer Division ‘Das Reich’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2nd_SS_Panzer_Division_Das_Reich

    If that fails to get the women of Latvia in a mood to procreate, I don’t know what will!

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  17. […] problem, not helped by rampant alcoholism, there are signs that the corner has been turned. New evidence shows that Russia actually has one of the higher birth rates in Europe, thanks in part to […]

  18. “Yes, people who care not how, or even whether, Russians live would find that easy to do.”

    The exact opposition. Where do you even start with the situation in Russia and Putin’s regime and his misrule that is actually creating new problems that either did not exist or where not a major issue like his colonial war in Ukraine and I would argue he hasn’t actually dealt with long term issues like security that was a large part of his platform launching the war in Chechnya during his first presidential term.

    “Others who actually care about the well-being of Russians would have a tad more trouble ignoring the fact that while births exceeded deaths by about a million per year when ‘FreeMarketDemocraticReformers’ were running the place, births in Russia now exceed deaths.”

    This comparing things to the 90′s is an easy cop out that no matter who was president and came to power would achieve any success that Putin has accomplished with a handful of exceptions like the jailing of Khoderkovsky that was heavily criticised in the west especially when you consider the advantages he has had like the rise of oil prices due to US lead war in Iraq that Russia opposed. During his 14 year rule he hasn’t achieved that if you compare Russia to another emerging market/power Turkey has performed much better although Erdogan is fact becoming like Putin with some of the actions he is taking.

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  19. Yes, but is the decline of ethnic Latvians due to emigration or negative population growth?

    (I don’t know the answer to this, and haven’t found it through a quick googlesearch)

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  20. “Where do you even start with the situation in Russia and Putin’s regime”

    Government, you mean. A ‘regime’ is what Yeltsin & the ‘Seven Bankers” ran. And you start where Russia was when Putin took it over.

    “and his misrule that is actually creating new problems that either did not exist or where not a major issue”

    Bald assertion backed by no facts whatsoever. As usual.

    “like his colonial war in Ukraine”

    Oh, so preventing Donetsk & Lugansk getting the “Odessa” treatment is “colonial”

    “and I would argue he hasn’t actually dealt with long term issues like security that was a large part of his platform launching the war in Chechnya during his first presidential term.”

    Russia is far more secure now than when Putin first took office. A population no longer dying is a significant advance in security.
    The end of slave-taking raids from ‘independent’ Chechnya is another.

    “This comparing things to the 90’s is an easy cop out that no matter who was president and came to power would achieve any success that Putin has accomplished”

    Unadulterated horsesh*t. And his predecessor shows why.

    “with a handful of exceptions like the jailing of Khoderkovsky that was heavily criticised in the west”

    Yes, we endured eight years of the Times, the Economist, Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and I could go on, uncritically publishing Khodorkovsky press releases as fact. But you know John, when Khodorkovsky presented these claims to an actual court with actual standards of evidence, they all turned out to be unsubstantiated.

    http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-104983#{%22itemid%22:[%22001-104983%22]}

    Khodorkovsky went to Strasbourg claiming that he had been singled out for prosecution because of his ‘fierce’ criticism of Putin, and that Yukos had done nothing that all the other Russian oil majors weren’t doing, and he was looking for $98 billion in compensation.

    The ECHR rejected both claims as utterly unsubstantiated.

    “especially when you consider the advantages he has had like the rise of oil prices”

    Hilarious! If the likes of Khodorkovsky had retained their power, they would have taken the energy price windfall, offshored it, leveraged it 30-1 on global business empire-building, and lost all in The Crash. Mother Russia would have been financially naked in the Force-12 financial storm of 2009, and tens of millions of Russians would have been rendered destitute, just as in 1999.

    Instead, Mother Russia faced that storm wrapped in half a trillion $ of central bank foreign currency reserves.

    Because Putin.

    “During his 14 year rule he hasn’t achieved that if you compare Russia to another emerging market/power Turkey has performed much better”

    Hilarious!! Has Turkey’s GDP sextupled in dollar terms since Erdogan first took office??

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  21. “Yes, but is the decline of ethnic Latvians due to emigration or negative population growth?”

    Yes.

    The emigrants are mostly young adults, with no job prospects in Latvia whatsoever.

    These happen to be the most fertile people in Latvia too, the ones who find they cannot afford to start a family there, or find they must leave to feed, clothe, and house small children.

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  22. “Government, you mean. A ‘regime’ is what Yeltsin & the ‘Seven Bankers” ran. And you start where Russia was when Putin took it over.”

    Yeltsin was a terrible president. So what? It doesn’t change the fact that anybody after him could have done a better job. So the argument that Putin is better than Yeltsin is hardly a compliment. If a monkey was assigned president of Russia after Yeltsin he would have done a better job.

    “Bald assertion backed by no facts whatsoever. As usual.”

    There was no war with Ukraine when Putin took power.

    “Oh, so preventing Donetsk & Lugansk getting the “Odessa” treatment is “colonial””

    Russia instigated the conflict in Ukraine when there crony president was deposed.

    http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/11/25/should-putin-fear-the-man-who-pulled-the-trigger-of-war-in-ukraine/

    “Russia is far more secure now than when Putin first took office. A population no longer dying is a significant advance in security.
    The end of slave-taking raids from ‘independent’ Chechnya is another.”

    a) And how long did that take into his rule to see some improvements in population
    b) Again you are comparing it to statistic of misrule by Yeltsin.
    c) Security situation in Chechnya has improved by backing the strong armed rule of Kadyrov spending billions of dollars, huge loss of life both civilian and military and resulting terrorists attacks but the situation in the neighbouring regions especially Dagestan and Central Asia where most of Russia’s work migrants come from are either as bad or worse.
    Large part of the improved security is a result of US lead war on terror and the crackdown in terrorist financing and a base to operate in Afghanistan that directly affected the jihad in Chechnya.

    “Unadulterated horsesh*t. And his predecessor shows why.”

    How so?

    “Hilarious! If the likes of Khodorkovsky had retained their power, they would have taken the energy price windfall, offshored it, leveraged it 30-1 on global business empire-building, and lost all in The Crash. Mother Russia would have been financially naked in the Force-12 financial storm of 2009, and tens of millions of Russians would have been rendered destitute, just as in 1999.

    Instead, Mother Russia faced that storm wrapped in half a trillion $ of central bank foreign currency reserves.

    Because Putin.”

    Yes that I highlighted was one of the positive moves he did during his rule despite being criticized by the west.

    “Hilarious!! Has Turkey’s GDP sextupled in dollar terms since Erdogan first took office”

    The GDP under Erdogan quadrupled with no serious accusation of vote rigging compared to Putin who doubled the GDP largely due to high oil prices and has a virtual monopoly on the political process.

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  23. Would be good if you did a post comparing Erdogan’s rule in Turkey to Putin rule in Russia during the same time period.

    http://www.network54.com/Forum/84302/thread/1408306771/last-1408306771/Who+is+better+President+Erdogan+or+Putin-

    The text underneath the Young Turks video description is not mine but a YouTube comment and although I disagree with some of the points he raised like how Putin handled Russia’s terrorism problems and intervention in Georgia the other points he/she raised are interesting and worth discussing.

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  24. Mitleser [AKA "Golos"]
    says:
    • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Are you serious?
    They are blaming Putin for the Second Chechen War and the South Ossetia War, while completely ignoring that Erdogan’s attempts to get rid of Assad helped IS and the Syrian al-Qaida to conquer most of northern Syria.

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  25. Goods point but the other point raised like GDP growth and opposition access to mass media and government positions are worth discussing.

  26. “Yeltsin was a terrible president. So what? It doesn’t change the fact that anybody after him could have done a better job. ”

    Indeed, and Berezovsky et al thought they had found one they could control the way they controlled Yeltsin. And it took no small courage and no small skill on Putin’s part to beat these murderous oligarchs at their little game.

    And you know, I can’t think of a Western leader that has shown the degree of courage and skill that Putin demonstrated while dealing with the likes of Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky, especially considering that these scum had for years the media resources of the Anglosphere at their disposal. So it was not only entirely possible, but rather likely, that a successor to Yeltsin could have been as bad as Yeltsin, or worse.

    “So the argument that Putin is better than Yeltsin is hardly a compliment. If a monkey was assigned president of Russia after Yeltsin he would have done a better job.”

    More unadulterated horsesh*t, as I show above.

    “There was no war with Ukraine when Putin took power.”

    There was no war in Ukraine until the Ukrainian armed forces commenced offensive operations against Doneytsk/Lugansk.

    “Russia instigated the conflict in Ukraine when there crony president was deposed.”

    False, and of a piece with loony Saaak the tie-eater’s claim that the 2008 war in Georgia was instigated by Russia.

    “a) And how long did that take into his rule to see some improvements in population”

    Well the death rate began declining in 2004, the year after Putin had sorted out Khodorkovsky.

    “b) Again you are comparing it to statistic of misrule by Yeltsin.”

    Considering the power of Yeltsin’s backers, continued misrule by his successor was not an unlikely prospect, which Putin did not allow to materialize. You really underestimate this. For instance, Ukraine has had an unending series of crooks, at best, and lunatic crooks at worst, since independence.

    “c) Security situation in Chechnya has improved by backing the strong armed rule of Kadyrov spending billions of dollars, huge loss of life both civilian and military and resulting terrorists attacks but the situation in the neighbouring regions especially Dagestan and Central Asia where most of Russia’s work migrants come from are either as bad or worse.

    Um, no. There are no floggings, amputations, slave-taking raids, or slave markets in Dagestan.

    “The GDP under Erdogan quadrupled with no serious accusation of vote rigging compared to Putin who doubled the GDP largely due to high oil prices and has a virtual monopoly on the political process. ”

    Since 2000, turkey’s GNP has increased from $240b to $820b.

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/turkey/gdp

    Since 2000, Russia’s GNP has increased from $250b to $2,100b.

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/russia/gdp

    And as I have argued above, it was not inevitable that the energy price windfall would have accrued to the benefit of Russia. That was Putin’s doing, against strong, bitter, and deadly opposition.

    And the vote-rigging accusations are interesting, considering that in both the 2011 Duma elections and the 2012 presidential elections, the party supporting Putin, and Putin himself, got a lower percentage of the vote than was indicated by the pre-election polling by Levada Center, one of the NGOs which had the benefit of Western funding and which is no advocate for Putin to say the least.

    So the degree of ‘seriousness’ behind the vote-rigging accusations is not clear, considering that the most vocal accusers were the Anglosphere Foreign Policy Elite & Punditocracy (AFPE&P) whose record of reckless lying over Iraq’s WMD, Berezovsky/Khodorkovsky as a human rights advocates, and Saakashvili as the victim of, rather than the instigator of, the 2008 Caucasus war.

    And its hardly the fault of Putin that his opposition are potty-mouthed in churches or nail their own scrotum to Red Square.

    Frankly, you’d have to be insane to vote for such opponents as Putin has.

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  27. Anyone here that knows what the racial makeup of the French birth rates are ? I know that France does not keep racial stats, and I know there are some that say that France will become Muslim, are there any reliable racial demographics that can confirm or deny this ?

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  28. WHITE EXTINCTION AND WHITE GENOCIDE ARE ON THE WAY!! ARE YOU READY?
    ALL THESE WHITE COUNTRIES HAVE LOW FERTILITY AS BELOW 3 IS LOW.

    This is an interesting article, but the celebration is premature. A fertility rate of 1.9 is NOT high, but is below replacement levels.

    Whites are dying and becoming extinct in the greatest ‘mass cultural suicide’ ever witnessed in the history of mankind.

    Whites used to be 50% of the world population around 1900′s, but by 2100, Whites are estimated to be only 10% of the world population. Whites are having children below replacement levels. Nations such as US, Europe and Russia are being invaded by hordes of invaders from other third world countries undergoing a population explosion. See:

    http://www.thenationalpolicyinstitute.org/2008/04/18/global-white-population-to-plummet-to-single-digitblack-population-to-double/

    The few million Russians will be invaded by the billions of Chinese who will pour in, take over Russia and steal all the wealth and the white women.

    When Whites become a minority, the other darker races, which have higher testosterone and aggression levels, will attack Whites, seduce and even sexually assault white women, steal white property and kill off the remaining White men completely. This is exactly what is happening in Mozambique and South Africa (SA), which is on genocide watch. In SA, a black killer openly admitted in Court that he killed whites just for their race. Blacks are openly threatening to r*** all white women. See:

    http://www.genocidewatch.org/southafrica.html

    http://stopwhitegenocide.praag.org/

    http://www.rense.com/general56/murd.htm

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/04/genocide_in_south_africa.html

    White women are being raped and the black police/judges do nothing and let them free. Flash mobs of black teenagers that attack whites are already appearing in many US cities. Rap music released by Jewish companies like Time Warner says “Kill Whitey.” Almost all the rapes of white women in European countries are by dark skinned aliens. (Yet, the govts. keeps giving more visas!) Dark-skinned people find white skin extremely attractive and a white woman (even if fat and old) appears 10 times more desirable to them than to a white man, who is used to the white skin color. Seeing white skin releases large amounts of testosterone in blacks, which leads to an uncontrollable desire to attack the target. Along with higher levels of testosterone and low impulse control, this makes a dark person much more likely to rape a white woman. According to the US DOJ statistics, between 1976-2005, blacks made up 13% of the US population, but committed 59% of felony murders. Overall, blacks are 9 times more likely to commit murder than whites and even more likely to rape.

    The Russian people are one of the smartest and the most beautiful people in the world. But there is a genocide of the Russian people–by smoking and drinking. There are 4000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, out of which 40 are known carcinogens. The polyaromatic hydrocarbons in the smoke are toxic. Smoking increases the risk of respiratory infections, pneumonias, heart attacks, strokes, insomnia, blood clots, osteoporosis, and all kinds of cancer (lung and other).

    Alcohol is, medically, a toxin. It damages the liver and leads to alcoholic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, liver failure and death. Smoking kills 400,000 Americans a year in the U.S., though they smoke much less. Extrapolating, my rough estimate is smoking probably kills about 200,000 Russians a year. Russia is perishing from smoking and drinking.

    The best way to save Russia is to start a news campaign to alert the public and change the culture from the one that glorifies smoking and drinking to one that frowns upon it. Whites must have 5-10 children each to remain 50% of the world population, or risk total extermination.

    For whites, the bottom line is: Procreate or perish.

  29. If this trend continues Russian may become a real threat for China again. Because while the Russian TFR is rising the Chinese fertility is falling to world record levels, even as the Chinese government is changing the One-Child Policy slowly. Well actually I could not find the birth number for China for 2014, the first year in which the policy change could have an effect, but I guess there will be no change in births. And if there is a change in births it will have more to do with DEMOGRAPHIC STRUCTURE, aka the size of the relevant cohort of chinese women in the age between 25 and 30 than with DEMOGRAPHIC behavior. Also Japan can say goodbye to their northern islands forever, because they with the decreasing population also would have problems competing Russia.

    Related to the puzzle that many western journalists still write about Russian demographic decline is the habit of western journalists to write about the japanese demographic catastrophe. Every 3-6 months you see some article in some big western newspaper with always the same content: Japan is doomed, they have no babies, etc. But while it is true that Japan has real demographic problems one should not forget that Ethnic Germans have as few babies as Japanese, ethnic French only slightly more etc.

  30. PS:
    while fertility differences between eurasian / american countries and population are very interesting and might have important consequences one should not forget that the huge fertility differences between subsaharaan africa and the very rest of the world

  31. pre-election polling by Levada Center, one of the NGOs

    Do you have a link for those? English would be better, but if you only have in Russian, it would be useful, too.

  32. I only have this, I hope this helps.

  33. “By far the biggest portion of the recent increase in emigration accrued to member states of the CIS; rest assured that people are not going from Russia to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, or Kyrgyzstan in search of a better life. ”

    Perhaps people working abroad for long enough are being counted as emigrants?

  34. Russia should consider promoting active immigration of Christian from Syria,Iraq,and sub Saharan Africa and also offer same caught in the violence in Latin Americs . It should try to lure Christan from NE India, Pakistsn,and Phillipine.
    It will broaden the population base and also help project its soft power abroad in future . It is a big country and it can manage few more millions who can add to its safety,security,and economic progress.

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  35. says:
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    Good to know a government that wants to improve fertility can do it.

  36. That naughty Putin must be behind this nefarious upswing in heterosexuality.

  37. Rising oil and gas prices may have stimulated more than the Russian economy it appears. Now that this has gone into reverse and the Russian economy set to have a severe contraction birthrates may follow.

  38. Just to clarify my position here, I am of the firm opinion that the “Eurabia thesis” is nonsense from a demographic view.

    By far the most comprehensive study overtaken on this issue was PEW’s 2011 Future of the Global Muslim Population. Drawing on a huge array of opinion polls, estimates, and census data for various countries, they estimated that France – at 7.5% of the population – had significantly the highest proportion of Muslims of any EU country.

    In particular, while the gap between Muslim and native French total fertility levels are significant (2.8 vs 1.9) – and, I would add, would for the time being be further compounded by the younger median age of Muslims, while would result in an even higher birth rate difference – this is not a differential that could conceivably lead to a “Eurabia” scenario in the foreseeable future, even if we assume that fertility rates will not gradually converge as they typically do so. These figures are broadly confirmed by official statistics on the national origins of new parents.

    Relevant graph.

    I would estimate that today Muslims including nominal ones account for 15% but almost certainly no more than 20% of all births in France. This is loosely confirmed by definite statistics on the national origins of new parents. “Both parents not born in EU27″ accounted for 10% of total births in 2010 (most of these will be Muslims, since they rarely marry out). Perhaps double this figure to account for second generation Muslim marriages. But then reduce it because not all immigrants to France from outside the EU are, after all, Muslim.

    There is a big but here, though; much of this is predicated on the assumption (and I think this assumption exists in the PEW study as well) that current levels of immigration are going to be significantly scaled back. If they aren’t, though, factors that would naturally lead to a fall in the share of the Muslim birth rate – the ageing of their population, and some degree of fertility convergence – are going to be mitigated. The “default” scenario now is one in which the share of Muslims in France gradually approaches Russian or Israeli levels before leveling off in mid-century – hardly any good for social cohesion, needless to say, but it’s not as if French culture will subside let alone vanish at those levels. If, however, there is another decade or two of large-scale Muslim immigration, we might be looking at something more like a Lebanon-like scenario by the mid-2050s, in which society fissures into Christian, Muslim, and various other religious and sectarian groups.

    So even though I disregard the Eurabia hysterics and doom-mongering, I do agree that immigration control is the #1 issue for France that must take precedence over anything else. Keep calm and vote Le Pen!

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  39. Faces of Islamophobia- demographic and terror
    ” Emerson’s and Miller’s mission had always been to depict all Muslims as likely terrorists–to foster the idea of a “conflict of cultures.” One of the more enlightening explanations of that process was “The Green Peril,” a 1992 Cato Institute paper by Leonard Hadar, a former bureau chief for the Jerusalem Post. In descriptions that, looking back 13 years, are near-prophetic, Hadar describes how the “green peril”–Islam–will be substituted for the “red menace.” The process, Hadar wrote, will involve government leaks that, without skepticism, are echoed by the media, creating fear and distrust in the nation.” http://www.counterpunch.org/2005/10/25/judith-miller-and-me/

  40. I never was a fan of the Russians, they are the most crime prone among the Non Muslim White ethnic groups which makes them the least desirable European ethnic group in Western Europe and the U.S.

    Despite the presence of Cosa Nostra in Italy, the Russians still commit significantly more crimes than my people the Italians. Just compare the homicide rates between Russia and Italy.

  41. “… the most crime prone among the Non Muslim White ethnic groups …”

    I’d like to see a breakdown on the ethnicity of Wall Street banksters! :-)

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  42. And what do you think of these statistics which seem to show that at least 34% of children are born to families where both parents were born in an historical malaria region? Granted, the number includes Italians and Greeks, but it doesn’t include non-whites like Vietnamese and Chinese. So quite possibly in France now less than two-thirds of the children born have French ancestry.

  43. Demographic statistical projection is all very well, but can miss certain very real possibilities. For one thing, the number of refugees from Mid-East nations is now quite high, and this is unlikely to diminish significantly, indeed it may increase as climatic and ecological pressures increase, along with conflict. Germany had 200,000 asylum applications last year, and much of the German political establishment is talking in terms of welcoming many more as a demographic replacement for local declines. Germany currently has 4 million Muslims, 75% Turkish origin, 5% of the population. It’s now credibly on track to double in a couple of decades at the most. This applies in some degree to other European nations like the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia and France or Italy. From there it’s not hard to imagine another doubling by mid-century or so the way things are going, with the situation far more salient in the cities and areas where such populations are concentrated, with solid majorities prospectively emerging in some key cities. This process will then likely influence the politics overall in favour of more such immigration, as even 10% concentrated in key areas can act as a swing vote, and the left which favours immigration generally and courts such constituencies will become more powerful and hold office more often, continuing the cycle. The further it goes the harder it is to reverse or even stop, especially given Europe’s general fertility malaise, which only seems to increase as the process develops, quite possibly with a degree of linkage. As for Russia, your findings are interesting, but how it holds up over time is the bigger question.

    Certainly “Eurabia” may take a little longer than sometimes claimed, but over a century or so, even two, it’s quite a credible outcome the way things are going, and if one includes Turks, Indo-Iranians and African Muslims in the equation (even Indonesians for the Netherlands). And of course Africa is projected to double in population by mid or end-century, I can’t remember which, but the part of Africa nearest Europe is of course the Islamic belt.

    France btw credibly has 10% Muslims already, there are no official figures, but it would only be 6.5 million or so, which some credible estimates reach or even exceed. Given that there are at least 4 million Maghrebis, and half a million Turks, the other Africans and Arabs are lilely at least 2 million.

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  44. I personally think as things now stand, Europe is doomed, Eurabia or not. At the end of the day, immigrants will swamp the native stock of Europe really quickly. Unless something cataclysmic happens, to which, frankly, I’m not looking forward either.

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  45. A lot of Russians don’t like Armenians and Georgians (for example, my half-Armenian step-nephew has ben assaulted by skinheads a few times on the metro) and wouldn’t like such immigration either.

  46. Demographic projections beyond 40 years make little sense: who would have predicted during the Baby Boom that america’s white population would start collapsing?

    There may be a Euro baby boom, the Muslims might follow Euro trends (in the USA, for example, black fertility rate has now dipped below replacement level), etc. Predictions for this generation and maybe the next are meaningful; otherwise, who knows?

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  47. You’re not trying to go with the jew meme there are you?

  48. ““… the most crime prone among the Non Muslim White ethnic groups …”

    I’d like to see a breakdown on the ethnicity of Wall Street banksters! :-)

    You mean the Jews. Russia still has a significantly higher per capita murder rate than Israel even though Russia is not currently at war with anybody while Israel is war with radical Islam.

    Russians don’t need war to commit violent crimes.

  49. “A lot of Russians don’t like Armenians and Georgians (for example, my half-Armenian step-nephew has ben assaulted by skinheads a few times on the metro) and wouldn’t like such immigration either.”

    A lot of Russians are still on that the Blond Race is the master race Aryan bullshit, that is why they hate on the darker haired Georgians and Armenians and refer to them as “Blacks”. Nazism is still big in Russia.

  50. Either that or they introduce a new approach of really supporting native birth-rates and targeting immigration from related societies to the extent possible, along with better assimilation policies. This will require however a reinterpretation of “European values” along more sensible lines.

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  51. Tight projections perhaps, but obseving and extrapolating strong and durable trends is reasonable (with the usual caveats) and even necessary. The US situation was broadly predictable from the time that the immigration gates were reopened around the 60′s especially, the example from the decades around 1900 was already there as a guide, when the hitherto mostly north-European white population began to be supplanted by south and east Europeans in the big cities rather rapidly, with considerable social implications and changes following (not in itself necessarily bad, but still a fact).

    A Euro baby-boom would of course be a big part of an alternative outcome, but more religiously-minded Muslims (and Jews) tend to preserve pretty high birthrates relatively to secularised populations, and as I pointed out, the demographic pressures on Europe from Africa and the Mideast via refugee flows etc are likely to remain high for decades and beyond.

  52. On a somewhat related note, Ukrainian demographics have been positive for January – October 2014:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Ukraine#Birth_data_by_oblast

    Improvement over 2013 in almost every oblast. A few oblasts – Lviv, Chernivtsi, Kiev City, Kharkiv, Zaprozhia, Poltava seem to be at post-Soviet historical highs. Donbas continued to decline. Positive natural population growth in 4 oblasts (Volyn, Rivne, Transcarpathia, and Chernivtsi) plus Kiev City.

    No data yet for TFR for 2014; it had declined in all oblasts in 2013 after consistent improvement in previous years.

    Economic data somewhat but very roughly mirrors demographic data: many of the Ukrainian oblasts with good demographics have seen GRP improvement in 2014:

    http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/operativ/operativ2014/pr/tpo/tpo_u/tpo0814_u.htm

    From January to August 2014 Ukraine as a whole declined by 7.8%, Volyn oblast saw 2.8% improvement, Transcarpathia 1.9% improvement, Odessa 4.8% improvement. Other western oblasts showed declines of 4% or less.

    Two outliers: Kiev City, with 14% collapse. But it was by far the wealthiest place in Ukraine, and remains so. Ternopil oblast in the West, with 12.3% improvement. This is attributed in large part to the completion of a massive sugar refinery complex, the largest in Ukraine and one of the largest in Europe. Ternopil had been one of the poorest regions in Ukraine so this has had a large impact.

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  53. As they wrote Luhansk and Donetsk data may be underreported, plus many of the babies expected there might have been born elsewhere. I’m sure I’d try to move my pregnant wife out of a war zone.

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  54. And also trying to reduce immigrant fertility or trying to induce them to leave…

  55. As they wrote Luhansk and Donetsk data may be underreported, plus many of the babies expected there might have been born elsewhere. I’m sure I’d try to move my pregnant wife out of a war zone.

    Correct. But the numbers had been similarly dismal before the war.

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  56. You mean like January through April? How do you know that?

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  57. AP is a Ukrainian, and knows a lot about Ukrainian demographics. He is correct on this. By “before the war” he means the years preceding that.

    Relevant map of regional TFR in 2011.

    The western, more Ukrainian and rural provinces have healthy TFRs. The eastern, more Russified and urban/industrial provinces have low TFRs (though Sumy and Poltava are exceptions, being firmly Ukrainian). The south is intermediate.

    And here is population change 1989-2012.

    Re-the economics, it seems that the wealthier and more industrial regions all showed the deepest collapses, them being deepest in Lugansk and Donetsk for obvious reasons. The sole major exception is Odessa oblast. Maybe because it got the bulk of Crimea’s lost port thoroughfare (just guessing). I suspect the good performance in rural province GRP this year was because there was a good harvest?

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  58. Oh I thought by “dismal” he meant compared to previous years. Yes, they are dismal compared to other regions, but I guess the year-on-year comparison must be moving similar to other regions, just from a lower TFR/birth rate base.

    This data actually looks quite a bit optimistic, if I’m correct. Apparently Ukraine has more future than I had previously thought, because as time passes it is getting more Ukrainized.

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  59. This data actually looks quite a bit optimistic, if I’m correct. Apparently Ukraine has more future than I had previously thought, because as time passes it is getting more Ukrainized.

    Pretty much. It isn’t great, but neither is catastrophic from a Ukrainophile perspective. Here’s a map of the change in the raw number of voters from 1991 until 2013:

    http://pollotenchegg.livejournal.com/166933.html

    (Lviv oblast losses to a large extent involve a large number of ethnic Russians leaving after independence)

    With a shrinking base of sympathetic voters, I suspect Russia was hoping to “lock in” Ukraine into the CU while it was still possible, hoping that an improved economic picture within the Union combined with heavy costs associated with later leaving, after there has been tighter and more integration, would result in permanent union.

    The revolution prevented this, so Plan B was to at least secure Crimea, which was accomplished successfully. I think most of the the rest of Ukraine has largely been written off.

  60. (I made a minor edit and my comment was marked as spam, so I’m reposting)

    Thank you.

    You are correct, although I would add a couple caveats.

    The western, more Ukrainian and rural provinces have healthy TFRs. The eastern, more Russified and urban/industrial provinces have low TFRs (though Sumy and Poltava are exceptions, being firmly Ukrainian). The south is intermediate.

    Yes. Rural and western are both factors that contribute to better TFR. I will add a third factor: within western Ukraine, Orthodox areas have higher TFR than Greek Catholic ones. TFR everywhere in western Ukraine is higher than most of the rest of the country, but Orthodox Volyn, Rivne, Transcarpathia and Chernivtsi have higher TFR than Greek Cathlolic Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts.

    Lviv oblast is fairly urban (Lviv has about 900,000 people) and its TFR in 2013, 1.55, was much higher than that of Luhansk oblast (Luhansk city had 425,000 people), 1.30 that year.

    Re-the economics, it seems that the wealthier and more industrial regions all showed the deepest collapses, them being deepest in Lugansk and Donetsk for obvious reasons. The sole major exception is Odessa oblast. Maybe because it got the bulk of Crimea’s lost port thoroughfare (just guessing). I suspect the good performance in rural province GRP this year was because there was a good harvest?

    Economic growth in the country’s west has been consistent for several years, so it isn’t simply about a good harvest this year. There have been more exports to Western markets of agriculture products (including processed ones such as sugar) and some modest increase in investment such as IT in Lviv. Between 2008 and 2013, Lviv oblast’s economy grew 1%, Volyn oblast’s 3%. In contrast, Donetsk oblast saw 9.4% decline during those 5 years. And this was before the war.

    In terms of recent factors from this year, some companies have left Donetsk for other places in Ukraine. For example Siemans has transferred all of its Donetsk operations to Lviv. Lviv’s economy declined only 3.6% from January to August 2014. Like Ukraine’s demographics, its economics varies very widely by region and a general country-side statistic doesn’t reflect the reality that well.

  61. […] wrote up a really fantastic correction of outdated views of Russian population issues, “The Normalisation of Russian Demography“. Keep this in mind if you read idiots like Masha […]

  62. Oh, yea? Why would that “get them in the mood”? Is it because both SS and the Soviet army took their best (strongest, hottest, youngest) men? Mobilized them illegally, by the way, against the Hague convention. Most of them died too. If you ever happen to come across a European history book… why don’t you open it and read it too.

  63. You can easily “house and feed children” in Latvia (and Lithuania and Estonia), also you can find one of the best school systems there (without minorities, as those are few of the whitest countries left in the world). The reason some people emigrate is because they want more and because they can – if Russians were allowed to leave, they would leave in droves. But they can’t – they still don’t have the visa free travel to the West that the Balts have had for 20 years, much less the opportunity to legally compete for any job in the West.

    Also, the birth rates in Europe have nothing to do with the political system, but with select demographic policies. Putin gave some money to moms and he has introduced a few other good social policies, but so did the Estonian government – as a result Estonia saw an improvement in birthrates (it was 1.7 from 2008-2011, Latvia is trying to do the same). It doesn’t matter who is democratic or not, as long as they help families.

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  64. Although I am normally rather pro-Russian, in the case of the Baltic states I agree with the Balts: Russians (except maybe those whose ancestors have lived there before 1917) have no business living there. They were settled en masse only because the Soviet leadership wanted to russify these countries, and so unless we think the Balts had no rights to resist Russification, they shouldn’t get citizenship and should be encouraged to leave.

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  65. reiner, that’s generally correct, and those who wish are free to leave but they don’t have to. The issue is that some of them have Latvian / EU passports (quite a privilege compared to other Eastern Slavs), yet they identify with Russia (I can’t blame them, but it’s just not really fair to Latvia). And, yes, there is a tiny community of Old Believers who still live in Eastern Latvia (they fled here and we accepted them), one of them even sits in the Latvian parliament.

  66. I basically agree. Those Russians who wish to integrate adequately (ie learn the local lingo and acquire citizenship in a positive manner) are fine, but those who want to cling entirely to their Russianness and persist in treating the Baltics as errant provinces of Russia should go back to the Russia they evidently prefer, and Russia has certainly got plenty of room for them, and even need. I have some Baltic relation and can entirely sympathize with the desire of those small but culturally distinct nations to not have to live under the shadow of Russo-Soviet colonialistic hegemony, or even the strong perception of it, which the current large and rather recalcitrant minorities in Latvia and Estonia especially give rise to, especially when backed by strong words and even occasionally deeds from “Mother Russia”. Latvia especially came close to losing its own ethnic majority (and language/culture) under the Soviets, something which should not be forgotten or ignored by those who condemn Latvia harshly over the situation of the ethnic Russians there now.

    Russia will just have to get used to the idea that the Baltics are gone for good, as provinces, if not cordial neighbors.

  67. Speaking of Russianness, it thrives in Latvia – there is a full spectrum of Russian language media, there is a Russian business culture, a high quality Russian drama theater in the very center of the capital, financed by the evil Latvian fascist state, etc. So I wouldn’t worry about that, it’s a free country and as long as there is some basic respect for the Latvian society and some basic acceptance of the Latvian statehood, it’s ok to be as Russian as one wants. :) But they have agency, they can choose where to live, the choice between a Baltic city, St Pete or Berlin, is generally not a bad choice.

    But to get back to the topic, it seems that about 2/3 of those who have left Latvia, were Russian speakers. This is enough to skew the birth rate stats.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in Eastern Europe, including Russia, in 5-10 years. My guess would be that, even though the numbers of children born will be smaller, the rates of marriage / co-habitation and childbirth might increase, as there will be more competition for younger women and the economic standards will probably also rise.

  68. says:
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    President Putin took a nation that was on it knees and stood it back on its feet. He turned a prostrate and conquered Russia back into a world power. The West vilifies and hates him because he wont go down the road to ruin the West is taking.

    The leaders of the NATO coalition think nothing of subverting foreign countries, engaging in unprovoked wars of conquest and deliberatly spreading chaos. The highest moral goal of the West seems to be supporting the Isreali “final solution” to the Moslem problem, suppressing the Christian religion and encouraging homosexuality.

    Vladimir Putin is the last best hope for Western civilization. My only problem with him is that he is the leader of some country other than my own.

  69. […] and had dwindled significantly. Putin has promoted the rebirth of the Russian family and even solved the seemingly insurmountable demographic problem. Goodbye Russian Winter. Meanwhile the West […]

  70. […] over a decade of war and a fundamentalist death cult controlling a chunk of their territory. Now as others have pointed out, these obstacles are not insurmountable, and Russia is indeed making progress. But […]

  71. […] Excellent summary by Anatoly Karlin. By the way, Russia now has a higher crude birth rate than anywhere in […]

  72. […] tales of the “dying bear.” Which are pure hokum anyway, because Russia’s birth rateis far healthier than that of many other large European states, including Germany, Italy, Poland and […]

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