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Russian Population Trends

By curly_00 Mar 23, 2007 1504 Words
Russian Population Research Project
By Tom O'Donnell

1.Natural Characteristics affecting population Distribution (Arizona 07)

Population distribution is heavily affected by natural characteristics such as rivers, mountains, lakes and forests. A lot of people tend to live where there are pleasant living conditions and/or conditions that suit themselves. Flat, easy accessible, build-able and agricultural friendly land always attracts people. To establish towns and cities there is a number of geographical and natural factors. Cities are usually established next to or close to places with a plenty of natural resources, seas and large rivers for ports, trade routes and water supply. They are located on or next to flat land for agricultural purposes, though in some cases especially with very old cities they might have been located with surrounding hills for protection against enemies. A moderate and temperate climate is always pleasant for living too, as well as evenly distributed rainfall for farming, vegetation and fertile soil. Good natural resources include minerals eg. Coal and Iron for trade, income, economy as well as a power supply, also forests for timber and a reliable water supply. Natural routes such as gaps through mountains and confluences of valleys ensure easy transport and trade which in return can equal immigration and as well as friendly neighbouring cities. (The New Wider World)

(Leicester 06)

The overall population density of Russia is 8 persons per sq km, but the population is unevenly distributed across the country. The population density of a particular area generally reflects the land's agricultural potential, with localised population centres occurring at mining and industrial centres. Most of the country's people are concentrated in Western Russia (or known as European Russia) in the so called ‘fertile triangle', which has its base along the western border between the Baltic and Black seas and tapers eastward across the southern Ural mountains into south western Siberia. Many of the cities are clustered on rivers, mountains and lakes. The rural cities are very scattered while the bigger urban cities are clustered with smaller cities around them. (MSN Encarta)

2. Population characteristics

Age/sex pyramid of Russia

The population of Russia has a very uneven structure. With a low and declining birth rate and relatively high death rate Russia has a low life expectancy, but indicating a longer life expectancy with relatively larger numbers aged 65 years and over. This population structure is a very up-and-down structure. There is also a lot more boys being born while a lot more women are living longer into old age. This tells us that there is a lot of conflict in Russia and an uneven high death rate where many people are being killed from different ages. This is a very unbalanced and unstable population structure. (The New Wider World)

At the moment in Russia there are on average 16 deaths per 1000, far more than the world average of just under 9, and just 10 births leading to a population decline of about 750,000 per year. The infant mortality rate of Russia is 15.13 deaths/1,000 live births. Understandably, due the high rates of alcoholism and workplace hardship, women feel less than encouraged to have children in Russia. It is warned that by 2050 the population of Russia could fall by a third to a half. However the number of Russian people living in poverty has more than halved since the end of the Soviet Union crisis. Male life expectancy now stands at 59 years, with the average Russian woman living 72 years. This difference is primarily a result of high rates of alcoholism among males. The fertility rate is now 1.28 children born per women much lower than previous years. To maintain a stable population Russia would need to have a birth rate of about 2.1 children born per woman. The prime causes of Russia's population decrease and loss of about 700,000 to 800,000 citizens each year are a high death rate, low birth rate, high rate of abortions, and a low level of immigration. (About)


3. Population history

1237-1240 - The Mongols invade and devastate Russia; many thousands of people are killed.

1605-1613 – Poland invades Russia; again many thousands of people are killed.

1914-1917 – Russia enters WWI, suffers defeats from Germany and Austria; over a million killed and Russian revolution erupts (Bolshevik)

1918-1921 - Lenin purges Communist Party, socialises economy; 5 million die of famine

1936 - Millions die in Stalin's Great Purge (through 1953)

1941 – WWII, Germany invades Russia; over 3 million people die

1945 - World War II ends; Russia occupies Eastern Europe, establishes puppet governments, Cold War takes shape

1978-1982 - Soviets invade Afghanistan

1991 - Soviet Union disintegrates; 14 former republics become independent nations. Russian Federation formed. Increase birth rate.

1994-1996 - Russia invades breakaway province of Chechnya; humiliated, withdraws with heavy casualties.

1998 - Russian stock market crashes, economy collapses

2000 - Russian Orthodox Church bestows sainthood on Czar Nicholas as 1,000 killed by Communists (Infoplease)
4. Levels of Development

Most of the wealth of Russia is due to exports. Russia exports many agricultural products such as; grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, vegetables, fruits, beef and milk. Oil is also a main source of income with over $300 billion being produced yearend. Russia has many industries as well, some which have major investments into them such as the Russian Space Program, and many others. Gas and electricity are two other major exports as well. Russia's population employment sectors are split into 10.8% primary, 29.1% secondary and 60.1% tertiary. This information tells us that the primary sector consisting of Agricultural and fishing activities has a relatively low employment compared to that of the secondary sector comprising of mining and construction with medium employment and the tertiary sector consisting of trade, finance and business services with higher employment. This shows that the country is developing and moving towards greater technology and improvement. A lot of people have made the decision to move into the city in search for employment and a better lifestyle. (CIA)

5. Future Trends

Russia is facing a demographic crisis so dismal that its population could reduce by half by 2050. This graph shows an ageing population with a declining birth rate, a declining death rate and longer life expectancy. There are many people living into old age with a good portion of the Russian population living in the 60 – 70 years old period. More and more people are living over the age of one hundred as more and more adults are deciding to have less and less children. In this graph there is also a lot of older age women than men. An obvious solution to this crisis is to encourage immigrants from Asian neighbour countries such as China. The government could also encourage more children to be born and to help with this, give the parent's benefits and improve children facilities, education and hospitals. (CSmonitor)


Arizona 07, University of Arizona, Feb 07, ‘Russia Empire to Federation - Spring 2007', accessed 4/3/07,

The New Wider World, The New Wider World, Second Edition, David Waugh, Nelson Thornes, 2003

MSN Encarta, Dominic Lieven, msn Encarta, 2007 Microsoft Corporation, ‘Russia' accessed 4/3/07,

Leicester 06, University of Leicester, 10/27/2006, ‘Demographic Maps', 4/3/07,

Census, US census bureau, August 24 2006, ‘IDB Population Pyramids', accessed 21/2/07,

About, Matt Rosenberg, 2007 About Inc., May 31 2006, ‘Population Decline in Russia', accessed 4/3/07,

WIKI, Wikipedia, evolution of demography in Russia (1992-2003), 11/2/05, ‘Image: Russia-demography' accessed 1/3/07,

Infoplease, David Johnson, Infoplease Database 2007, Feb 07, ‘Timeline: Russian Culture', accessed 4/3/07,

Timeline, Piero Scaruffi, Scaruffi ‘99, May 2002, ‘A Timeline of Russia', accessed 1/3/07,

CIA, 8/2/07, The World Factbook – Russia, CIA, 4/3/07,

Excerpts from Gujarat Social Infrastructure Vision-2010
Chapter 9 ( Employment and Training), Dr Jivrah Metah, 1/2/07, Directorate of employment & training, Gujurat, India, accessed 4/3/07,

BBC, Steven Eke, BBC News, 23/6/05, ‘Russia's population falling fast', 4/3/07,

Csmonitor, Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, 18/4/02, ‘Russia's population decline spells trouble', accessed 1/3/07,

The New Columbia Encyclopedia, Columbia University Press, 1975

World Civilizations: The Global Experience, by Peter Stearns, Michael Adas, Stuart Schwartz, and Marc Gilbert

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