Statistics revealed by the State Statistics Committee reveal that the population of Russia is shrinking by 0.3% of the total population every year.
Currently situated at 144.2 million persons, the population of Russia is declining steadily by between 500,000 and 600,000 people a year. It is calculated that over the next 15 years, the population will decline by 11.6 million, levelling out by 2020 at 134 million.
So far this year, the population has decreased by 589,700 persons, compared with 507,400 persons last year. The reason stated for this decline is the demise of the excellent health care system inherited from Soviet days and a low life expectancy, quoted at 58.9 years for men and 72.4 for women.
Another reason is the high number of deaths through alcoholism. On a less pessimistic note, what should also be taken into account are the high levels of temporary emigration. In certain Western European countries, there are Russian populations of up to 200,000 people.
The government of the Russian federation has stated that these statistics could constitute a threat to national security.
Timofei BYELO PRAVDA.Ru