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Demographic policies in Russia. Demographic transition and fertility in Russia

Researchers: Ekaterina SELEZNEVA

The steady decline in Russian birth rates has been an important topic both in political and scientific discussions since more than a decade. At the same time, in eyes of the Russian population it is the government which is seen responsible for stimulation of fertility. As a governmental respond, in the beginning of the 2000s -  the first time since the beginning of the 1980s - the pronatalist position of government was clearly articulated.
In 2007 the birth number trend became upward, and in 2009 - the first time since 1994 - the population was registered to grow. The huge role of positive net migration in this increase was not emphasized in governmental reports, and this fact was interpreted in mass-media as an evidence of the effectiveness of the introduced population policies and programmes. However, a range of demographic/structural factors drawing the situation is often left besides the wide-public publications. International experts seem rather skeptic about the optimism and ambitious demographic targets of the Russian government, and warn that “transitional features" should be addressed on the long-term basis by the social policies (UNDP, 2008).
The purpose of this paper is to envisage the process of the Russian depopulation - which has started in a latent form already in the 1960s – and accompanying it measures of family and fertility policies. The detailed demographic statistics and family models (social norms) description are out of complete the picture.