Demographic crisis in Russia

By Slava Tsukerman

On January 1, 2013 Russia officially had 143,347,059 permanent residents.

According to UN projections, Russia’s population in 2025 will be 121-136; by 2030 it will be only 115 million. Fertility In today Russia is too low for population replacement. Declining of the birth rate in Russia is so extreme that Russian scientists refer to it as “hypermortality”.

Today 27% of the Russia’s population are retired; in 2050 their share is expected to reach 55%.

As the population is decreasing a lot of settlements are disappearing.

Census of 2010 found some towns and cities that appear in the inventories and exist on paper as administrative units, in reality have zero population.  Many leaders of regional level districts command areas where there are no people.

Last year the country has officially lost more than 3,000 settlements. Small cities, towns, villages, hamlets are dying out by thousands. Experts say that the government does not intend to interfere in what is happening. According to the Ministry of Regional Development, since 1990 23,000 settlements have disappeared. Other sources claim that more then 40,000 Russian settlements were completely deserted by their settlers.

Here are some photos of such ghost towns.


Halmer (Komi Republic)


Yubileyniy  (Perm region)


Yultin  (Chukotka region)


Neftegorsk  (Sakhalin region)


Kadykchan (Magadan region)

Nicholas Eberstadt, a known American political economist and the head of the National bureau of Asian research, wrote the following in his book “Russia’s peacetime demographic crisis: Dimensions, Causes, Implications”:

“The Russian Federation is incontestably victim to a genuine and severe population crisis today. The country’s population is steadily shrinking, mortality levels are nothing short of catastrophic, and the human resource base appears to be on a trajectory of dangerous erosion…

“Russia’s demographic problems are not typical, much less normal, for a contemporary society.

Worse still, there is little evidence that any general process of self-correction is as yet underway for

the afflicted population.

“Russia’s demographic travails qualify as nothing short of a humanitarian catastrophe in the

modern world. The implications and consequences of this catastrophe, however, extend beyond

the realm of humanitarian sentiment alone.”

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Updated: January 21, 2014 — 2:59 pm

1 Comment

  1. These photos look like scenes in a post-apocalypse, depopulation movie, only they are REAL.

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