If the current birth and death rates, and lack of immigration into Russia are to continue, Russia's population will, by 2050, drop from today's figure (144.2 million) to a mere 86.5 million, a decrease of almost 50%. This was announced at a seminar entitled "Diaspora and Migration; Two Communicating Vessels", by Alexandra Dokuchayeva, head of the Diaspora Department of the Institute of CIS Countries.
She said that the birth-rate over the last decade has decreased by 10.5 million, to add to which, more than half a million people have emigrated over that time to other countries of the former Soviet Union. 'These colossal losses are the result of a depression experienced by Russian people and the legacy of discrimination and nationalism in relation to Russians living outside Russia's borders'.
She went on to say that in the 1990s, between 90 and 110 thousand people left Russia each year for distant countries. And Russia is losing still more Russians. Dokuchayeva says that the Russian diaspora to distant countries comprises almost 10 million people.
At the same time, she said, Russia has taken in more than 9 million immigrants over the last ten years. Dokuchayeva remarked that, after the drop in the inflow of migrants at the end of the nineties, the number of migrants is again increasing. 'Migration into Russia is so substantial, that in a number of regions it compensates the population losses'.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969