Rosstat Now Says Russia’s Population To Fall By Three Million By 2030 – OpEd


Russia’s demographic situation will continue to worsen over the next several years and by more than Moscow thought earlier, the State Statistical Agency Rosstat says. In 2020, it said the country’s population would decline by 2.1 million by 2030; now, it says that it expects the number of residents of Russia to fall by 3 million.

Neither of these figures include the recently annexed regions in Ukraine where there are serious problems in enumeration and whose inclusion, Rosstat experts say, would distort the figures for Russia as a whole. Those annexed regions are projected to have 3.23 million residents by next year (

What that means is that Vladimir Putin, whose regime does count those people, will be able to claim that he has stabilized the Russian population rather than overseen its continuing fall. But the Kremlin leader will have achieved that not by improving fertility, mortality and migration figures but by absorbing new territories.

The number of births is down, reflecting both a decline in the size of the prime child-bearing cohort of women and a fall in the fertility rate from 1.505 children per woman per lifetime to 1.416 now. Infant mortality is down allowing Moscow to claim longer life expectancies. And migration, while it has gone up and down, has helped to fill some of the gap.

Migration data are especially unreliable compared to the other figures because the information is collected by interior ministry offices in the federal subjects. But one thing is now clear: Moscow isn’t likely to be able to count on migration to compensate for the declines in the number of child-bearing age women and in fertility rates.

Experts like Igor Yefremov of Moscow’s Gaidar Institute say that the Kremlin could affect all three factors with changes in policy but that doing so in the next few years may be difficult if not impossible.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

One thought on “Rosstat Now Says Russia’s Population To Fall By Three Million By 2030 – OpEd

  • October 15, 2023 at 3:29 pm

    aren’t declining birth rates linked to increasing prosperity?
    hopefully they can use Immigration like all the Western countries do.


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