The Federal Service for State Statistics (Rosstat) has registered the record population decline in Russia over the past eleven years.

This year, the country’s population has declined 260,000 people, mostly due to decrease in the number of women of reproductive age and late birth of children, according to  

Experts consider that Russia’s population is declining due to decrease in the number of women of reproductive age and due to the fact that they prefer to give birth to their first child much later than it was accepted by previous generations.

According to data from Rosstat, women in Russia give birth to their first child aged 25 to 34 thus lowering the possibility of a second or third child.  

Migration inflow, which amounted to 193,200 people during the period from January to September 2019, also failed to compensate for the natural population decline in Russia.    

Meanwhile, the U.N. Commission on Population and Development earlier this year concluded that the world’s population will grow from 7.7 billion in 2019 to 9.7 billion by 2050, an increase of some 26 percent; Russia, however, was projected to lose a little over 10 million people, shrinking by about 7 percent from 145.9 million in 2019 to 135.8 million in 2050. 

Russia’s population has dropped for the first time in a decade.  According to World Bank data, this happened between 2017 and 2018 and the year-on-year drop was about 19,000.   

According to the World Bank, after more than 15 years of growth, Russia’s birth rate began to decline in the past couple of years, steadily rising from 8.3 births per 1,000 people in 1999 to a high of 13.3 in 2014-2015, and down to 12.9 in 2016-2017.  

Russia’s overall mortality rate has remained relatively constant over the past few years, totaling 12.9-13 deaths per 1,000 people in 2015-2017.   

Overall, Russia’s demographic situation poses a significant challenge for the government. In the most optimistic of three scenarios developed in March 2018, Russia’s statistics agency, Rosstat, said that natural population decline could be reversed by 2023-2024 and the population could grow from 146.9 million in 2018 to 153.2 million by the end of 2035; that, however, would require a 160 percent increase in net in-migration.  The most pessimistic of the three scenarios had the country’s population shrinking by more than 8 million people by the end of 2035.