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Russia's Baby Boom. Fertility Rate Far Higher Than in EU, Rising Quickly

Unique in western hemisphere, government programs have worked

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

FROM THE ARCHIVES:  originally published 7 October 2014

The author is a Danish expert on comparative demographics.  She submitted this article to Russia Insider.

Contrary to popular belief, Russia’s demographic situation is improving as western fertility rates continue to plummet. 

A human population needs to have a fertility rate of at least 2.1 children per woman if it is to achieve natural growth. In the European Union the number is 1.3. In the US it is 2.01. For the world as a whole it is 2.3.

Globally the fertility rate is falling. It has been below replacement levels in Europe since 1972 and in the US since 2005. This has triggered alarm bells from the World Bank, the Berlin Demographic Institute, even the CIA.

This decline in western fertility rates attracts no interest from western politicians or mass media. They remain stuck in the short term. This mirrors the attitudes of other societies that fell into crisis because of low birth rates: the Roman Empire, Etruscan society, the Abbasid Caliphate etc.

In Russia the fertility rate is rising. According to the World Bank it rose from 1.34 in 2009, to 1.54 in 2013 and is currently at 1.60. This rise is almost unique in Europe.

Since President Vladimir Putin acted to address the problem, Russia has been one of the few countries in the western hemisphere to have registered a stable rise in its fertility rate.

By contrast, the European Union and the US are looking to mask their deteriorating demographic situation by importing skilled labour from other regions. However, this can only be a temporary fix.

The war in Ukraine, for all its many other consequences, will cause Russia’s fertility rate to rise further. If that sounds strange consider that wars historically cause population growth. The biggest increase in the European population came about because of the Second World War. Chechnya’s population grew from 800,000 to 1.2 million because of the conflict there. In New York the number of weddings increased by 25% in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Centre on 9/11. Four years later that increase had been lost in full.

The real demographic picture is therefore almost the exact opposite of what you read in the western media.

If fertility rates continue to grow in Russia and continue to fall in the west in line with present trends then the future belongs to Russia.



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