BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2018/05

Therewere fewer than 1.7 million live births in Russia last year, a drop of 200,000 births from 2016. Last time such a drop in births was seen in early 1990s after the collapse of the USSR. The drop was fairly consistent nationwide, with the number of births falling last year in all Russian regions except Chechnya.

Much of the drop reflects a long-term demographic trend with the number of women of childbearing age falling for over a decade and also the number of births for several years. Last year also the birth rate dropped, however, particularly sharply, possibly due e.g. to the weak economy. Real disposable household incomes have fallen for four years in a row.

Preliminary figures, however, show net migration caused Russia's total population to increase slightly also last year. Rosstat estimates that Russia's population at the start of this year was 146.9 million people. The figure includes nearly 2.4 million residents of Crimea, an area that Russia annexed in violation of international law. Under Rosstat's base scenario, the number of births will continue to decline until 2030 and natural population growth will remain negative.