Russia is facing a demographic crisis that threatens to destabilize the country in the coming years. The combination of a low birth rate, the outflow of young and educated people leaving Russia to escape mobilization, hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded as a result of Russian invasion to Ukraine take its toll.
The birth rate in Russia has been steadily declining for decades, and the trend shows no signs of reversing. According to data from the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, the number of births in Russia decreased from 2.3 million in 1991 to 1.6 million in 2020. The fertility rate, which measures the number of children born to each woman, is also at a record low of 1.6, far below the replacement level of 2.1.
The decline in the birth rate is partly due to the impact of war and economic hardship on families. The ongoing conflict in Syria, for example, has displaced thousands of Russian citizens and created instability in the region. At the same time, many young people are leaving Russia to seek better opportunities abroad, further reducing the number of people of childbearing age.
The Russian population in certain regions of the Far East and Siberia, which are known for their low population density, are being gradually displaced by Chinese migrants.
The outflow of young and educated people is also a cause for concern. The result is a drain on the country’s human capital.
Russia is facing a demographic crisis that could have serious and long-lasting implications for its future, which could even pose an existential threat.