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How to sit in the pit

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When the Russian leadership has nothing to say about the dismal effects of his policies in the course are complaints about the “dashing nineties”.

It is noticed that when the Russian leadership has nothing to say about the dismal demographic consequences of its policy, in the course are complaints about the notorious “demographic hole 1990-ies”. As if to confirm this observation, the Vice-Premier of the Russian government Tatyana Golikova called the “expected” population decline in Russia, which, according to Rosstat, in the first nine months of the current year amounted to 173.4 thousand.

The reason for the renewed decline of the population, Vice Prime Minister called the situation caused by the “demographic consequences of the 1990-ies”. In other words, the very “pit of dashing nineties”. Let’s find out whether this is so.

Initially a small forecast with an accuracy that very soon it will be possible to check. Already had occasion to note that by the end of 2018, the natural decrease of the population of the Russian Federation with high probability will exceed 200 thousand people, or will be close to these figures. Counting is not difficult when you consider that the average monthly decline for the first nine months of this year amounted to 19.2 thousand.

Here I remind you that for twenty years — from 1992 to 2012 — every year in Russia recorded natural population decline, which in some periods has exceeded 900 thousand, and even 950 thousand persons per year. Then for three years — from 2013 to 2015 inclusive, there was a small increase in population, which ranged at the time in the area of 24 thousand to 32 thousand people per year. Such “growth” would be more correct to call it stagnation, because he’s certainly not compensated the previous huge human losses, but compared to the demographic catastrophe of the preceding 20 years it was almost progress.

And now, it seems, everything is back to normal. In 2016, Russia has resumed large-scale decline. Moreover, the population decline comes rapidly. If in 2016, the loss amounted to only about 2.3 thousand people, while in 2017 this figure “jumped” to almost 136 thousand people, that is three orders of magnitude If we compare current figures for the first nine months of 2018 and 2017, we will see that for the same period last year, the decline amounted to 106.2 thousand people, and for the first nine months of this year the population has decreased, as noted, already on to 173.4 thousand. And worse both values, on the basis of which is formed such rate as the growth/population decline — a falling birth rate and rising mortality rate.

Now try to understand the reasons for this state of Affairs. So, the government represented by Tatiana Golikova, tells us “the demographic implications of the 1990-ies”. Understand, it corresponds to reality or not. Here it should be recalled that a generational lag of approximately 20 years. Then there is a sharp decline in the birth rate was to come about in 2012, as the first major decline was recorded in 1992 (the Russian population then decreased by almost 220 thousand people, in 2013 more than 750 thousand, and so on).

Accordingly, in the “demographic hole” we had to get in 2012-2015. That is, when in Russia for the first time in twenty previous years was recorded not decline, and population growth. Thus, the theory that blames the “dashing nineties”, is not tenable.

The pit then, in the last decade of the twentieth century, of course. However, the demographic implications of the restoration of capitalism at that time was largely offset by millions of new Russians came to Russia from former Soviet republics. So, to explain the current decrease in the Russian population “demographic pit” of the 1990s is at least a mistake. That is, the pit today, but it is not so much demographic, many socio-economic.

The latter is proved by the fact that the population growth rate in 2013-2015 miraculously coincides (with natural delay of approximately a year) with peaks of world oil prices. In 2011-2014, they fluctuated an average of around $ 110 per barrel, periodically lifting at this time, even up to 130 to 140 dollars.

And Vice versa. The current population decline in Russia about (with the same yearly lag) coincides with the drop in oil prices that began in late 2014.

We have to admit that the state demography depends not so much on “demographic Yam” as indicators of socio-economic development of the country and state actions directed at promoting the birth rate and reducing mortality.

The problem is that in today’s Russia, it all depends on the state of oil prices on the world market. The high price of black gold — people something’s gotta give. Low — will have traditional values, and spiritual ties and… turned out as you know.

In the end, we’re really in the pit. But not only demographic, but also socio-economic, foreign, domestic, any… And how to get out of them is not very clear.

There are, of course, a tried and tested method of dealing with poor statistics, it can be a little “tweak”, what Rosstat has already been seen. For example, the economist Igor Nikolaev on the basis of the data of the Rosstat has recently caught the statistical office’s hand when it was assured that Russia is now the industrial growth in the district is 7.4%, while in key sectors is nothing like that.

The author of these lines has also recently noted that the statistics service on indicators of mortality unreasonably optimistic. Well it is not that the objective conditions for reducing mortality (for example, of improved health and/or growth of the standard of living of the population), but people are dying, if you believe the official figures, less and less… due to what?

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