Economists have estimated the impact of the crisis on fertility in Russia


Stagnation in the Russian economy did not affect the reproductive behavior of the population”: in 2016, the families continue to have children, despite the crisis, said in the latest monitoring of socio-economic development and wellbeing of the population prepared by the Institute for social analysis and forecasting Ranhigs. According to Rosstat, in the first half of 2016, the number of births increased by 1.6% compared to the same period last year. It is precisely those children who were conceived in the second and third quarters of 2015, when economic stagnation “already being felt”.

Last year, economists had feared that a prolonged recession could cause a decline in fertility rates. Stagnation in the Russian economy, “most likely, will be expressed not so much in the abandonment of children, as in the transfer of reproductive plans at later date” indicated at the end of 2015, the report of the Ranepa “the Economic crisis — the social dimension”.

These fears were not justified — it is already possible to say with full confidence”, say the experts now. In the first six months of 2016 in Russia were born about the same children as in the previous two years, the researchers write in the August monitoring. According to their estimates, citizens could go to failure on the conception of children, in case if the crisis was more acute, and the negative effects of it “would have affected a significant number of potential parents.” The case, for example, about the loss of jobs is, according to polls of Institute affected not more than 15% of the population.

In Russia there is a “great result” for the growth of birth rate, happy September 9, Deputy Prime Minister for social issues Olga Golodets (quoted by TASS). The fertility rate, which reflects the average number of children born to one woman, in 2015 increased to 1.77 (Rosstat data), and by the end of the first half of 2016 “could even be more than 1,83”, said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, Minister of labour and social protection Maxim Topilin. He recalled that in the may decrees Putin, the aim was to achieve a factor of 1.75. On current results the authorities “did not count”, said Topilin. “If a favorable situation, we are even, I think, a few years can achieve a 1.9. This Europe almost nowhere, only in France. In almost all European countries these figures are lower,” said the Minister.

Director of the Institute of demography of the Higher school of Economics Anatoly Vishnevsky in General agreement with the interpretation of experts Ranepa. The crisis was not so all-encompassing that the Russians have abandoned plans to have children, he says: “still, people don’t behave like a thermometer that automatically reacts to every change of temperature”. Greatly affect the decline in the birth rate could, for example, war, but in General people adapted to the fluctuations and often do not pay attention to them, sums up Wisniewski.

The lowest indicators of birth rate in Russia was observed in 1999, after the 1998 default. Then the number of children born fell by 70 thousand and the fertility rate reached a record low value – 1,157 (it is, as follows from observations of Rosstat, did not fall below this level). Less negative consequences for the demographic situation in Russia had crisis of 2008-2009 — then the birth rate continued stable growth, despite the economic decline. The difference between the crisis in the nineties and situations in 2009 and the years 2014-2016 in the General standard of living, says chief economist at Alfa Bank Natalia Orlova. “The numbers in the birth rate is the result of a long-term trend, not one year. A lot depends on, a crisis occurs in low or high quality of life,” she says. The income level of people was very low in the nineties and is constantly falling, reminiscent of Orlov: “it is natural that additional crisis people are very scared and had a negative impact on fertility.” In the zero years, and now people in General “feel comfortable enough compared to the nineties”, she said.

However, in the first half of 2016, Russia experienced a natural population decline. However, the population has not declined as much as in the same period of 2015 (32,2 thousand persons as compared to 61.3 thousand). Contribution to this, among other things, contributed to the rising age of motherhood, is celebrated on the Ranepa: now in the reproductive age included a reduced generation of the 1990s, but the contribution to fertility made by women 30 years and older. In General, the primacy of fertility belongs to the age group 25 to 29 years, said Wisniewski.

At the same time, Russia has ceased to be a negative trend in the dynamics of mortality, which was fixed in early 2015, experts say Ranepa. At the end of six months, the number of deaths per 1 thousand people population declined by 2.9% compared to the same period in 2015.

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