The men are dying too young; the women aren’t having enough kids;
the [xenophobic] country has more immigrants than it knows what to do with; and it’s running out of working-age people to support everybody else. __ TechInsider
According to UN statistics, by 2100 Russia’s population could shrink to around 67 million, at current fertility and immigration trends.
One of the biggest causes of the decline in [Russian] population is the shift in family dynamics away from marriage, and the corresponding decrease in child birth. Russia is experiencing a revolution in family values with a significant decrease in the number of couples choosing to get married, and a significant increase in divorce. Since the 1990s, more women have opted for cohabitation before marriage, and often forgone marriage altogether. __ http://cesran.org/my-dying-mother-russias-depopulation-crisis-and-its-consequences.html
Patriarchy Preserves High Quality Fertility
Throughout the broad sweep of human history, there are many examples of people, or classes of people, who chose to avoid the costs of parenthood. Indeed, falling fertility is a recurring tendency of human civilization. Why then did humans not become extinct long ago? The short answer is patriarchy.
… Patriarchy does not simply mean that men rule. Indeed, it is a particular value system that not only requires men to marry but to marry a woman of proper station. It competes with many other male visions of the good life, and for that reason alone is prone to come in cycles. Yet before it degenerates, it is a cultural regime that serves to keep birthrates high among the affluent, while also maximizing parents’ investments in their children. No advanced civilization has yet learned how to endure without it. __ http://foreignpolicy.com/2009/10/20/the-return-of-patriarchy/
Under the USSR, Russia suffered a spiritual devastation from which it has not recovered. Crime and corruption — along with government tyranny — has always been bad in Russia. But most Russians before communism enjoyed positive traditions and customs. Under communism, positive cultural institutions were destroyed, purged, suppressed, and collapsed — and Russian governments have not allowed anything positive to replace those institutions, for fear of a political plurality that might shake the power of a one-party government.
What happened to Russians over the course of the Soviet century that has rendered them incapable of hope? In The Origins of Totalitarianism Hannah Arendt argues that totalitarian rule is truly possible only in countries that are large enough to be able to afford depopulation. The Soviet Union proved itself to be just such a country on at least three occasions in the twentieth century—teaching its citizens in the process that their lives are worthless.
… Russia is dying of a broken heart… __ http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/sep/02/dying-russians/
Well before the collapse of the USSR, Russian birth rates had been falling, and male mortality rates were rising. But since the collapse, the adverse demographic trends have only worsened.
Between 1990 and 1995, the period during which many of today’s potential soldiers were born, the birth rate was 10.8 children per 1,000 residents in Russia, compared with 11.3 children per 1,000 residents in Western Europe, according to United Nations statistics. During the same period, the death rate for men aged 15 to 50 was 221 per 1,000 in Russia and 69 per 1,000 in Western Europe. Between 2000 and 2005, the mortality rate for men aged 15 to 60 had reached 459 per 1,000 in Russia and 121 per 1,000 in Western Europe. Since then, premature mortality among Russian men has decreased somewhat, but life expectancy for a man in Russia today is 60 years (compared to 73 years for Western Europeans). Alexandre Sidorenko, a social policy expert and former UN official specializing in the former Soviet republics, blames the high mortality rates on heavy drinking and “the Russian-style macho attitude of not going for medical checkups.”
… during the first quarter of this year, mortality rose by 5.2 percent compared to the same period last year, according to Rosstat, Russia’s statistics agency. The male mortality rate has increased: it rose by 23 percent between 1990 and 2013, largely due to drinking and chronic disease.
A very temporary bump in birth rates has been reported by state statistics, but a quick look at the Russian population pyramid reveals that there are not enough young women in the pipeline to provide the necessary demographic boost that Russia needs. And Russian men — such as they are — do not appear to be up to the task.
“The mortality rate is increasing this year. No one knows yet how high it will get and for how long. I cautiously suggest that it is the beginning of another round of mortality rate growth,” said Vlasov.
Every demographic slump impacts the economy directly, and the impact can be seen already, explained Svetlana Gerasimova, director of the Center for Corporate and Social Responsibility of the MIRBIS Moscow International Higher Business School.
At the moment, universities accommodate fewer students than they are able. This is a result of the demographic pit of the 1990s, she told The Moscow Times in a phone interview. “It means there will be fewer people to fill the job vacancies, fewer people to work,” the economist said Friday.
“There will be also fewer women to have children, therefore their children will have fewer children, etc.,” Gerasimova added.
With those who were born some 70 years ago during the post-war baby boom era getting older and eventually dying and young women nowadays not in a rush to give birth, it appears that the country is looking into another demographic pit in the years to come. __ http://russialist.org/why-is-russias-growth-in-life-expectancy-slowing/
Russia’s population is expected to drop by 20% to 30% by the year 2050 — and by 50% by the year 2100, if current fertility rates continue. But given economic trends in Russia, it is more likely that current fertility rates will decline, rather than continue.
According to government figures, the average monthly salary in Russia is only $500 — nearly half, in dollar terms, of where stood at last year. Russia responded to Western sanctions by banning many Western goods, moving to replace them with domestic products or items produced in former Soviet republics whose currencies hew closely the ruble, but prices continue to rise across various sectors. The Russian Central Bank reports that the purchasing power of Russians fell by more than 8 percent in the second quarter of 2015 compared to last year. __ https://news.vice.com/article/russias-economy-is-a-mess-and-its-problems-arent-going-away
Russia is beginning to experience a collapse of the “working age population,” the ones who go to work (or the military) and keep the country from collapsing from its badly over-leveraged (in every sense) condition.
In Russia, the working age population — the number of folks aged 15 to 60 that can go to work — is collapsing.
UN Population Division data indicates that while just about every other country in the world is growing its working age population, Russia isn’t. Yale says it will shrink by 15% by 2060. ___ http://www.businessinsider.com.au/a-perfect-demographic-storm-is-crippling-russia-2015-9
Not only is Russia experiencing rising rates of unemployment, inflation, poverty, and deprivation — Russia is due to experience another severe spike in crime rates, thanks to returning veterans of Russia’s covert wars.
Russians who fought as volunteers in the Donbas militias are returning home not only with their weapons but with increasingly violent dispositions, and according to three experts, they now represent a threat not only to public order but also to political stability.
… Valentina Melnikova of the Union of Committees of Soldiers Mothers of Russia agrees, arguing that the Russian authorities having sent these men into battle has now largely washed its hands of them, and as a result, there is increasing violence in their homes and on the streets of Russian cities and villages. __ http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2015/09/returning-donbas-veterans-bringing-war.html
Neighboring economic giant China is not going to save Russia’s economic bacon. In fact, China is beginning to back away from Russia, in real economic terms.
There are problems with the Russian economy that have caused Chinese investment (encouraged by both countries) in Russia to decline 20 percent so far this year (versus 2014). China currently has investments in Russia worth about $4 billion. Russian GDP shrank 2.2 percent during the first three months of 2015 and 4.6 percent in the second quarter. This shrinkage shows no signs of slowing down. The Russian government tries to mask the economic damage with positive propaganda but Russians closely involved with the military, the space program and major government projects know better. Budgets are being quietly cut and managers warned that government promises of future funding is subject to “special circumstances”… __ http://strategypage.com/qnd/china/articles/20150826.aspx
On the surface — and as reported by skankstream journalists — Russia : China relations couldn’t be better. But look beneath the surface, and you will see a significant cooling in economic cooperation.
The last four months have shown that “hot politics, cold economics” remains the best paradigm for understanding Sino-Russian relations. When Putin visits Beijing this week he is certain to receive a warm reception indicative of the “hot” nature of the political relationship, but look beyond the flirtation and it becomes obvious that the economic component of the partnership has cooled significantly over the summer. Russia is actively seeking to diversify its partnerships in Asia, cementing ties with Vietnam, and increasing cooperation with India. Ultimately, the Kremlin must be beginning to realize that any pivot to Asia is impossible without first improving Moscow’s tattered relationship with the West.
China is beginning to see that it can take advantage of Russia’s “Putin Recession” to begin buying up Siberian wealth. But China needs time to bolster its economy, and to continue building its military leverage over Russia.
Putin is turning to China, the largest energy importer, as U.S. and European Union sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine limit the access of Russian oil companies to foreign financial markets and drilling technologies. While Russia’s need for credit and new markets increases as the country enters its first recession since 2009, Beijing is stalling on further deals as it grapples with industrial overcapacity, the fallout from a downturn in property investment and a volatile stock market. __ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-04/putin-s-china-energy-deals-may-hide-paper-tigers-as-growth-slows
Soon, China may be back in a position to begin buying Siberia out from under Russia at wholeshale prices. And at Russia’s current rate of decline, there will be nothing that Russia’s government — whatever form it will take at that time — can do about it.
The Wall Street Journal says that Russia’s experience with the oil price collapse is reminiscent of its experience in the days of the Soviet Union when it had very limited intercourse with the trading nations of the world. It still has a very high dependence on rents from its natural resources – 18.2 percent, third behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The result has been a steep loss of value in the ruble – more than 50 percent – and a deep recession – 3.4 percent forecast by the IMF, 5.7 percent by the bank of Russia. __ http://www.realclearenergy.org/charticles/2015/09/03/the_perils_of_being_a_petrostate_108728.html
Who wants to bring children into the corrupt and bitterly harsh world of Putin?
… based on results from the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, VCIOM, only 5% of women polled in November 2008 are planning to become pregnant in the next two years. The numbers become even more desperate when considering the rising number of unhealthy babies being born. Only 30% of children born in Russia are healthy; 50% of newborns lack either iodine or calcium, the leading causes of brittle bones and mental retardation; seven in every ten newborns suffer from some kind of disorder; and one in twelve babies is born underweight.
Those women who do choose to give birth face many risks, from losing a job to dying in childbirth. According to the World Health Organization, a Russian woman is six times more likely to die in childbirth than a German woman. Combined with the high chance of giving birth to an unhealthy child and the unstable finances of the majority of the population, it is no wonder the birth rate has decreased. __ http://cesran.org/dergi.php?id=99 quoted in: A Death Agony
Russia’s brain drain — the outward emigraion of Russia’s best and brightest — can only get worse, as the Putin Recession stretches out into 2016, 2017, and to 2020.
Russia’s womb drain creates the same loss among Russia’s most fertile populations.
Look at Russia’s population pyramid and you can see the “death spiral” of fertility that Russia is risking. With the en masse out-migration of its best young men and its most fertile young women, the population pyramid appears far too optimistic.
Just as when Russia was under communism, Russia under Putin is experiencing a suppression of independent opportunity for individuals, and an oppression and collapse of any independent civil society that may have sprung up in the pre-Putin days.
The Russian Orthodox Church is thoroughly entangled in Putin’s corrupt “buddy system”, news and entertainment media are thoroughly under the thumb of the Kremlin, and even the internet is losing whatever independence it once had.
How could Russia possibly create a new “patriarchy” in the middle of the ongoing catastrophe that Putin has built? Putin’s neo-oligarchs and other wealthy insiders are too busy going through as many small-town girls as they can, to be able to provide an example of positive patriarchy. Moscow alone has 3 million unmarried women between 25 and 50 who seem unlikely to marry or bear children — unless they emigrate and find a better class of men in Europe or the Anglosphere.
Russian media is up to its neck in Putin worship, and in the promotion of Russian xenophobia, to be able to help Russian men reform their abusive, adulterous, alcoholic, and otherwise obnoxious ways — that Russian women find so repulsive in Russian men.
Rather than building a corrupt empire based upon oil & gas, Putin should have spent his political capital building a solid Russia, with a strong civil society, and with the type of openness and opportunity that would encourage young Russian men to be the type of young patriarch that Russian women could respect, and raise healthy families with.
Anyone who understands population dynamics, and who understands Russia’s many problems of chemical (including alcohol & tobacco) abuse, suicidal despair, corruption & criminality, collapse of education, collapse of health systems, collapse of physical infrastructure, etc. etc. is likely to take a pessimistic attitude toward Russia’s future.
On the larger internet, Kremlin-paid trolls abound, and attempt to provide a rosy picture of Russia’s prospects. But wise people do not risk very much upon other people’s opinions. They analyse as many parameters of societal dynamics as deeply as they can, and interpret opinionated commentary within the frame of more basic data.
Neighboring China is growing stronger, and is penetrating Russia with “emigrants,” investments, agricultural colonies, and an ever larger level of economic control of more and more of Russia’s assets.
Putin is being forced to give China intimate details of Russia’s most secret weapons systems, so that China can produce delicate missile guidance systems, turbine engines for jet aircraft / helicopters / and ships that Russia cannot build for herself (formerly built by Ukraine). Soon, China will have so many back doors into Russia’s missile and rocket systems that Russia will not be able to launch a nuclear cruise missile or ICBM if China does not allow it.
China will play a waiting game with Russia, hoping the country will eventually implode from a lethal combination of ethnic strife, government corruption, Islamic rebellion, fiscal mismanagement, and a commodities driven economy that lacks diversity. When a total collapse does occur and chaos ensues, China will move in a deliberate and swift fashion across its 4,000 km boarder with Russia to secure what it can of the Russian Far East and Siberia. _ China’s Manifest Destiny
Want a piece of Russia? Take a number and stand in the queue. But don’t stand too close to Russia’s borders, because when things begin falling apart, you may experience more excitement than you bargained for.
Russia is not the only contemporary nation that could use a stronger patriarchy. One of the useful side effects of The Dangerous Child Method of Education and Child-Raising, is the improvement of competence and character in both young men and young women — and their greater awareness of the need to raise future generations of competent and skilled Dangerous Children.
Russia’s economy has already dropped well below Italy’s, and likely below Spain’s. Russia’s GDP is smaller than California’s, and probably below both Canada’s and Australia’s. No one really knows, exactly, because of all the mafia shenanigans in the Kremlin under Putin.
We can anticipate oil prices staying well below Russia’s fiscal breakeven well into the 2020s. If Putin enlarges his covert wars against Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and other nations of Eastern Europe and the Baltic, western sanctions are likely to be tightened significantly.
China is beginning to look at Russia with a jaundiced eye, balking on investment agreements inked a year or more back. China will suck as much classified military technology from Russia as it can, before it sticks the knife in the back.
Sad News On Russia’s Decline: