Russian fertility: from demographic abyss to new baby boom? Evidence from period and cohort perspective

Alexey Raksha, National Research University Higher School of Economics

As far as just 9 years ago the United Nations Population Division, Rosstat (Russian statistical agency), as well as Population Reference Bureau, United States Census Bureau and independent researchers all predicted immense shrinking of the population of Russia in the foreseeable future, primary because of low fertility levels. Indeed, the popular yet rather reliable indicator – the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) – stood below 1.35 for 12 years from 1995 until 2006. At some point, there have been only few countries in the world with even lower fertility level. Just one decade later, Russia is set to have TFR of around 1.78 in 2015, a growth of more than 60% from the lowest point observed in 1999. This level provides it a place among 10 or even fewer developed countries with higher fertility. All these years almost every measure of Russian fertility showed positive dynamics, a list, which starts from such rude and disorienting indicator as births count and ends with sophisticated measures like cohort Parity Progression Ratios (PPR) and Recuperation Index (Ri). Author will not investigate determinants and possible causes for such drastic change, which is a possible theme for additional study. Rather than that, an analysis of many fertility indicators and comparison with different developed countries has been conducted.

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Presented in Session 116: Policy and fertility