Source: J.N Westwood, Endurance and Endeavour: Russian History 1812-2001, Oxford University press (2002)
Year Total (in millions)Percentage in towns
•The biggest spurts in population growth occurred from 1870 to 1914 and during the inter – war period. In both cases this was due to an increase in birth rates rather than a fall in death rates. Rising Birth rates were stimulated by the success of industrialisation as people would have a tendency for people to marry earlier and have more children. •Industrialisation stimulated urbanisation. Increasing numbers of people moved to the big cities, especially St Petersburg and Moscow, in search of work. This had serious implications with respect to living standards and more specifically, the availability of housing. •The Emancipation Edict of 1861 gave freedom to peasants to marry anyone they wished. However, civil marriage wasn’t introduced until after the October revolution of 1917. Ironically this led to an increase in the number of divorces among families as it now became an option. •In 1926 abortion was legalised this resulted in the fall of the birth rate which promoted a revision of law; abortion was only allowed if the life of the mother was thought to be threatened. Subsequently, the birth rate rose only to fall again after, in 1955, all restrictions on abortion were lifted. •Distinctions to mother Heroines – In 1944 the scheme was introduced and gave mothers who produced or had more than 10 children at one time would be given huge financial rewards. Stalin provided various financial incentives to strengthen the family unit. This was considered important during the second world war which demanded that the Russian people should maintain unity with the common purpose to “defeat the...