Russia has a population of around 143 million inhabitants. The largest city and capital is Moscow, with a population of around 12 million residents. The average life expectancy is around 71 years. While the fertility rate is still below the replacement rate, population growth is once again positive.
The economy of Russia is in a bit of a turmoil; it is largely propelled by the country's oil and gas industry, since Europe is highly dependent on Russian gas, but at the same time Russia's economic success is also reliant on export trade. Russia has one of the largest shares of global oil and natural gas reserves, and its production of both oil and natural gas continues to flourish. Yet, due to recent reductions in oil and gas prices, Russian GDP growth has slowed andeven dipped into the red in 2015. Negative growth is also expected on the household level as GDP per capita decreased by approximately a third from 2014 to 2015 and has yet to reach previous levels. Its impact will be felt even more as the inflation rate jumped up to more than 15 percent in 2015, and unemployment is not expected to decrease anytime soon. At the same time, national debt is also expected to rise.