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Demographics of Russia

Russia's area is about 17 million square kilometers (6.5 million sq. mi.). It remains the largest country in the world by more than 2.5 million square miles. Its population density is about 22 persons per square mile (9 per sq. km.), making it one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Its population is predominantly urban.

Most of the roughly 150 million Russians derive from the Eastern Slavic family of peoples, whose original homeland was probably present-day Poland. Russian is the official language of Russia, and an official language in the United Nations. As the language of writers such as Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anton Chekhov, Aleksandr Pushkin, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, it has great importance in world literature.

Russia's educational system has produced nearly 100% literacy. About 3 million students attend Russia's 519 institutions of higher education and 48 universities. As a result of great emphasis on science and technology in education, Russian medical, mathematical, scientific, and space and aviation research is generally of a high order. The number of doctors in relation to the population is high by American standards, although medical care in Russia, even in major cities, is far below Western standards.

The Russian labor force is undergoing tremendous changes. Although well-educated and skilled, it is largely mismatched to the rapidly changing needs of the Russian economy. Millions of Russian workers are underemployed. Unemployment is highest among women and young people. Many Russian workers compensate by working other part-time jobs. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the economic dislocation it engendered, the standard of living fell dramatically. The standard of living has been on the rise since 1999, but almost one-third of the population still does not meet the minimum subsistence level for money income. The Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade[?] estimates that the percentage of people under the subsistence level will gradually decrease by 23%-25% in the period up to 2005.

Moscow is the largest city (population 8.3 million) and is the capital of the Federation. Moscow continues to be the center of Russian Government and is increasingly important as an economic and business center. Its cultural tradition is rich, and there are many museums devoted to art, literature, music, dance, history, and science. It has hundreds of churches and dozens of notable cathedrals; it has become Russia's principal magnet for foreign investment and business presence.

St. Petersburg, established in 1703 by Peter the Great as the capital of the Russian Empire, was called Petrograd during World War I and Leningrad after 1924. In 1991, as the result of a city referendum, it was renamed St. Petersburg. Under the Tsars, the city was Russia's cultural, intellectual, commercial, financial, and industrial center. After the capital was moved back to Moscow in 1918, the city's political significance declined, but it remained a cultural, scientific, and military-industrial center. The Hermitage is one of the world's great fine arts museums. Finally, Vladivostok, located in the Russian Far East, is becoming an important center for trade with the Pacific Rim[?] countries.

Population aging
Russia's population is falling. Lower birth rates and higher death rates reduced Russia's population at a 0.5% annual rate during the 1990s. By comparison, although in many developed countries birthrates have dropped below the long-term population replacement rate, in only a few countries is the population actually declining. Population decline is particularly drastic in Russia, with higher death rates especially among working-age males due to poverty, abuse of alcohol and other substances, disease, stress, and other afflictions. Russians generally disapprove of permanent or temporary immigration of working-age males from countries other than the Russian-speaking former Soviet states that might help solve economic problems brought on by its declining population.

HIV/AIDS
Russia and Ukraine are said to have the highest growth rates of HIV infection in the world. In Russia HIV seems to be transmitted mostly by intravenous drug users sharing needles, although data is very uncertain. Data from the Federal AIDS Center shows that the number of registered cases is doubling every 12 months and by May 1, 2002 had reached 193,400 persons. When this number is adjusted to include people who have not been tested for the disease, estimates of the actual number of infected persons vary from 800,000 to 1 million.

Population: 146,001,176 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 18% (male 13,493,610; female 12,971,546)
15-64 years: 69% (male 48,983,755; female 52,140,022)
65 years and over: 13% (male 5,802,129; female 12,610,114) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.38% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 9.02 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 13.8 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.02 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.46 male(s)/female
total population: 0.88 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 20.33 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 67.19 years
male: 61.95 years
female: 72.69 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.25 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Russian(s)
adjective: Russian

Ethnic groups: Russian 81.5%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 3%, Chuvash[?] 1.2%, Bashkir[?] 0.9%, Byelorussian[?] 0.8%, Moldavian 0.7%, other 8.1%

Religions: Russian Orthodox, Muslim, other

Languages: Russian, other

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 100%
female: 97% (1989 est.)

Health: Life expectancy in Russia has been dropping due to an increase in AIDS/HIV and, what is very rare outside former USSR, tuberculosis and cholera. Both diseases became widespread in Russia in the 1990s.

See also : Russia, Demographic crisis of Russia



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