Needed: Millions of 20 Somethings
Russia is losing a million working age adults a year due to low numbers of young people entering the workforce, and high numbers of the aged leaving. Witness the cascading dropoffs in the Russian demographic pyramid below:
Low birth numbers now reflect low numbers of births 18 to 20 years ago when those who now should be giving birth were born.
Because the size of that cohort was small, that alone, he points out, “leads to a reduction in the number of marriages and a consequent reduction of births, the first cascade.” That in turn sets the stage for another decline 18 to 20 years from now. And so on and so forth every two decades for as far into the future as experts can project.
And that in turn has a devastating impact on the number of working age Russians who are declining by a million a year at present. “If in 2010,” Gundarov says, “there were 88.9 million” working age Russians, in 2016, there were only 82.3 million.” Losses of a million workers a year represents “the most fundamental form of demographic [and hence economic] collapse.” __ Igor Gundarov (ng.ru/kartblansh/2017-11-14/3_7114_kartblansh.html) quoted in: http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com.ee/2017/11/looming-demographic-collapse-now-main.html
If one can read a “population pyramid” such as the one above, one can predict the demographic future of a country to an important degree. Russia’s population — like many populations in Europe, East Asia, and the Anglosphere — is shifting in composition. And that is bad news for Russia’s workforce of the future.
Russia can do little about the time it takes to grow a 20 year old. But the Kremlin is wasting the young people it does have in many ways, including nonsensical foreign military actions and a destructive bloating of governmental and quasi-governmental workforces — diverting workers away from potentially productive sectors.
Russian Economy Stutters and Stalls
Russia’s GDP growth has been achieved against the backdrop of rather shaky industrial output…
… Russia’s GDP growth disappointed as the July-September numbers came in well below the government expectation at 1.2 percent, making the annual GDP growth only 1.8 percent.
The government had been expecting 2.2 percent growth. __ The Moscow Times
This small level of growth is based upon borrowed money. And since Russia’s GDP is already so low, a tiny percentage of something tiny is actually very tiny indeed.
Aging Workers Taking Skills With Them
Russia’s “skills gap” is particularly severe, because the older engineers and skilled tradesmen of Russia are dying out and not being replaced by younger generations — thanks to educational systems in terminal decline. This trend is fatal for a nation whose income is based upon the technical extraction of oil & gas and upon the sales of highly technical weapons systems to the third world. Russia will no longer be able to maintain its position in either of these foundational industries as time degrades its demographic and economic base.
According to Russia’s state statistical agency, 350,000 people emigrated from Russia in 2015 — 10 times more than five years ago. The outflow began in earnest in 2012, driven mostly by political friction in the country, but Russia’s current economic crisis has accelerated the pace. The Kremlin is attempting to curb the so-called suitcase mood, but other national interests remain a higher priority. As highly skilled Russians emigrate, the future of innovation and private business in the country has been called into question. Meanwhile, migrants from mostly Muslim former Soviet states are entering Russia in search of work, altering the ethnic and religious composition of the population and heightening tension in the process. __ Source
Is Europe’s last empire fading away? More potential problems facing a shaky recovery:
1. Komsomolskaya Pravda today documents that under Putin, Russia has far too many people in the force structures and in government offices and far too few workers to ensure economic growth (kp.ru/daily/26756.5/3786426/)
2. Kommersant reports that the inequality of property ownership in Russia is now just as high as it was in 1905 at the time for the first Russian revolution (kommersant.ru/doc/3462081).
3. Vzglyad notes that divorces are now so numerous in Russia that they are by themselves having a negative impact on birthrates and social stability in Russia (vz.ru/society/2017/11/13/889977.html).
4. Regional news agencies are reporting that migrants are no longer making up for natural declines and outmigration from the millionaire cities of Russia, depressing the amount of funds they get from Moscow and calling into question their futures as centers of development (afterempire.info/2017/11/13/babkina/ and kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5A042202234AE).
5. Demoscope Weekly reports that no nations in the Russian Federation now have birthrates more than twice those of ethnic Russians but that more than 30 of these ethnic groups have higher birthrates than Russians do and that most of these are traditionally Muslim (demoscope.ru/weekly/2017/0711/tema04.php), a pattern compounded by the fact that many of these Muslim groups because rates of alcohol consumption are so much lower than among Russians have far greater life expectancies than Russians do with people in Daghestan, one of the poorest republics, living on average five years more than Russians do (newstracker.ru/news/society/10-11-2017/prodolzhitelnost-zhizni-v-dagestane-dostigla-istoricheskogo-maksimuma-a7b997af-3734-437a-96a6-5a8bd62ec01a). __ Excerpted from http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com.ee/2017/11/five-more-worrisome-demographic.html
Russia vs. China
In both Russia and China, it takes 20 years to grow 20 year old workers. Since both nations are undergoing a “shrinking workforce” phenomenon, this could present a problem. But Russia’s problems and weaknesses are far closer to a terminal level than are those of China. The dragon is already strengthening its geopolitical position in Central Asia and Eastern Europe vis a vis the bear. Over time, the dragon will continue to eat away at the bear’s soft underbelly, gaining economic and strategic advantage at the expense of its ever weakening neighbor to the north and west.
China must move up and out, since its own land, air, and water have grown too toxic to sustain a vigorous and rising power. Unfortunately for China, it has not escaped its historical legacy of expansion followed by disintegration and collapse. Watch the underlying fundamentals of both of these powerful Asian nations — one still rising and one clearly on the downward path. But protect your eyes. The sparks may prove blinding.