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Demographics of Russia - statistics & facts

With the largest country area worldwide, Russia ranks ninth by population with over 146 million inhabitants. It has eight federal districts, which are divided into federal subjects. The capital Moscow, the country's largest city with over 12.6 million residents, is located in the Central Federal District. Besides Russians, the country is home to many other ethnic groups, including Tatars, Ukrainians, Bashkirs, Chuvashs, and Chechens. Furthermore, Russia is a popular migration destination, especially for citizens of Central Asian countries. More than 4.7 million foreigners immigrated to Russia in 2019.

Is the Russian population in decline?

Russia faces a demographic crisis, as its population shrinks and ages year-on-year, while the number of deaths exceeds births. The number of Russian residents decreased by approximately 0.5 million between January 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021. The increasing migrant outflow and the so-called 'brain drain' from Russia also contribute to the population decline. One of the potential threats stemming from the demographic crisis is a workforce shortage, which could result in the inability of the government to pay out pensions to the next generation of retirees, a decline in labor productivity, armed forces recruitment, and a long-term economic slowdown. In addition, the increasing internal migration to Central Russia raises fears of depopulation of the country's Far Eastern and Siberian Federal Districts.

How did COVID-19 impact the death rate in Russia?

The death rate in Russia increased to 14.5 mortalities per thousand population as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020. To compare, in the previous year, it was measured at 12.3. COVID-19 was the primary cause of death of 104 thousand people across the country between April and December 2020, according to the Russian Federal Statistical Service (Rosstat). These figures are higher than the operational data provided by the state authorities, which listed approximately 57 thousand COVID-19 deaths at the end of 2020. The reason for that are methodological differences. Rosstat additionally counts deaths of patients whose COVID-19 diagnosis was based on disease progress with no test results, and its data are based on death certificates from registry offices.

What is the maternal capital in Russia?

The country's government has implemented several measures to increase fertility. One of them, referred to as the maternal capital, is a payment to Russian mothers or, in exceptional cases, fathers, that can be spent on improving living conditions, education for a child, social adaptation and integration of disabled children, or the mother's retirement savings. While the program was initially designed for mothers giving birth to or adopting a second or further child, it was modified to include first children starting from 2020. A mother giving birth to the first child would receive a maternal capital of nearly 484 thousand Russian rubles, or approximately 6.6 thousand U.S. dollars, in 2021.

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Demographics in Russia

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Key figures

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Russian regions

Demographic crisis

Aging population



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