Results of the latest Levada polls:
Incidentally, when I was in Saint-Petersburg, the hotel receptionist said that if anything, there has been a substantial increase in repatriates like myself.
Another account to that effect.
I am not going to claim that there is some great repatriation trend, because I am not a dishonest Western hack who constructs a “sixth wave of emigration” meme on the basis of purely anecdotal evidence.
Still, it’s something to think about it.
Incidentally, according to the OECD’s latest PPP benchmarks (2014), actual Russian household consumption is comparable to the rest of East-Central Europe and the Baltics, and is at 50%+ of the German/French/UK level and 42% of the US one.
The OECD countries & partners, with Russia in red.
Russia has also continued gaining relative to the US through to 2014, despite the Great Recession. It must have fallen somewhat during the 2014-2016 recession and devaluation, but only modestly, since Russia produces most of its own consumer goods.
Rule of thumb for Russia: While wages might be 4x lower than in the developed Western countries, prices are likewise 2x lower, so the differential in living standards is far more modest.
So, no particular reason for Russians to want to leave, considering the administrative barriers they face as a non-Schengen European country.
I suppose that if Russia had freedom of movement with the EU (like Poland, Romania), or was truly destitute (like Ukraine, Moldova), then there would surely be more emigration.
But this is not the case. And, hypocritical though it might be on some level, that’s probably for the best. Russia has already lost enough of its cognitive elites during the 1910s-1930s and the 1990s.