Time for this year’s update, now that 2019 preliminary stats are out. I am not going to write much for this one, since there’s nothing new or interesting. For the most part, updating the graphs should suffice.
For extended commentary, you’d be better off reading the last one.
None of the main trends have changed:
- Plummeting fertility since the mid-2010s (in line with global trends).
- Rapidly increasing life expectancy.
- Rapidly falling mortality from external causes.
Absolute numbers of births are back at the levels of 2005, though this is from a significantly smaller cohort of women in their childbearing age.
TFR for this year hasn’t been released, but will be 1.48-1.49 according to my estimates, corresponding to the levels of 2008. I don’t expect a turnaround this year, since trends are still negative, but the rate of decline is slowing.
I don’t expect Russia’s TFR to remain in the 1.4-1.5 range beyond the early 2020s since I view the current shift as being significantly driven by birth postponement.
There’s no official estimate for life expectancy in 2019. However, with a figure of 73.4 years being cited on Russian TV based on the first 11 months of this year, it might as well be the final figure.
Rates of death from “external cases” continue to decline rapidly: Suicides fell by 6.5%, murders by 7.5%, deaths from car accidents by 7.9%. In particular, the homicide rate was 4.9/100,000 by 2019. It is the lowest number to date since the early 1960s. The US rate was 5.0 in 2018, so for all purposes the inflection point is nigh.
Infant mortality reached 4.9/1,000, which is considerably worse than the OECD average, but not a wild outlier (and better than the US). It was at 20/1,000 during the late Soviet period.
After at least a century in the lead, Russia has overtaken the Ukraine in life expectancy, despite Russians generally drinking more. Ukrainian life expectancy actually fell a bit from 2017 to 2018, though this year it would have recovered back to 72 years or slightly more.
Still, whereas there are currently 20% as much deaths as births in Russia, in Ukraine there are nearly twice as many deaths as there are births. The rate of natural increase of -272,297 is similar to Russia’s -316,160 despite Ukraine’s almost four times smaller population.