Why Russia is Shrinking Fast? Russia is huge the country spans through eleven different time zones across two different.
Continents and takes up about one-eighth of all the land on earth.
Despite all of this though. Russia has a critical problem. Russia is shrinking it’s not shrinking in land.
Russia has plenty of that instead Russia’s shrinking problem is with her population, which has been nearly continuously going down for nearly 30 years.
Now when you’re only looking at the size of countries based on how much land they have Russia clearly wins that race but when you factor in Russia’s population of about one hundred and forty-four million people.
Russia comes in as only the ninth largest country in the world behind a lot of other countries that are significantly smaller inland like Pakistan Nigeria and most interestingly.
Bangladesh a country that is 118 times.
Smaller than Russia but has over 20 million more people living there an even stranger case is the island of Java.
Inside of Indonesia. Java is 123 times smaller than Russia is but the island’s population of 141 million easily compares with Russia’s entire population of 144 million and it didn’t use to always be this way as recently as 1900 the territory of modern Russia itself without factoring in the rest of the population of the Russian Empire at the time had the third-highest, population of any country in the world only remaining behind.
Qing China and the British controlled India, there were more Russians at the time than there were Americans but within a century all of that had completely changed and the biggest reason why it changed and the reason why modern Russia is still struggling so much with this problem is largely because of the second world war a war which absolutely devastated the Soviet Union and Russia specifically in just four years of war between 1941 and 1945 the USSR lost a mind-boggling 13.7 percent of her entire.
Population if we divide the USSR up into its separate Republic’s we can see that Russia itself lost 12.7% of all of her people more than one out of every four people in Belarus died while Ukraine.
Lithuania Latvia Armenia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Estonia, and Moldova also all took heavy losses along with other Eastern European countries like Poland the fact of the matter is Eastern Europe, in general, took a massive population hit in only four years and the scars that that war left upon society here can still be felt today. one statistic that I’m reminded about that is Particularly haunting is the one about males born inside of the Soviet Union during 1923 if you were born a boy anywhere inside of the USSR that year then right at Birth. You would only be given a 20% chance of staying alive long enough to see your 23rd birthday in 1946.
80 Percent of all boys born in the USSR that year would be dead by the time of January 1st, 1946 just 23 years later if we take a look at Russia’s population pyramid a chart which shows people living inside of a country of all ages.
You can see healthy growth at first and then a massive gash during the years of World War two in the years immediately.
Following the war the population began to rebound but slowed down in the late 1960s, this slowdown was the first echo of the Second World War.
Those millions of young people who died in the 1940s who didn’t have any children of their own meant that all of their millions of unborn children.
Weren’t alive to have their own children twenty to twenty-five years later by the time of the late 1960s.
Which caused population growth to the slag? fast-forward another 20 to 25 years to the early 1990s and you can see the second echo of World War 2 where the great-grandchildren of everybody who died during the war would have been born had they survived the echo of wars effect on population at the time was worsened by the fact that in 1991.
The USSR itself collapsed which through Russia into deep economic and social upheaval the birthrate plummeted while the death rates soared Russia experienced its first actual drop in population since 1945, in 1992 the first year after the Soviet Union’s collapse.
Massive economic and social hardships experienced in the chaos of that collapse contributed to many people just deciding not to have children or to migrate away from the country and combined with a second echo of the war Russia’s population, continued to shrink every single year from 1992 up until 2012 Russia began to grow again between 2013 and 2015 but then has shrunk more every year from 2016 up to the present some of this modern shrinkage can be attributed to the second world wars third echo on Russian society.
This is happening right now the Great-great-grandchildren the people who died without children in the war would normally be getting born right now. And since that’s obviously not happening.
It’s having a marked effect, but there are other factors at work as well.
Another is that Russia is currently experiencing more economic hardships in 2014.
Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula a move that added over 2 million people into Russia’s population pool and which still wasn’t enough to boost Russia’s population back to the level seen in 1991 with several sanctions passed against Russia by several countries around the world as a consequence of this annexation.
Russia shrunk from the world’s ninth largest economy in 2014 a position equal to Russia’s rank in population.
Down to the world’s 12th largest economy five years later in 2019 with via Canada and South Korea, overtaking her another problem that hasn’t been mentioned yet and that certainly plays a factor is Russia’s geography and the fact that most of it is pretty inhospitable in modern times 77 percent of Russia’s entire population or 110 million people live inside just the European part of Russia where the temperatures are more mild.
But this part of Russia only accounts for 23 percent of Russia’s land the rest belongs to a huge region called Siberia which is the inverse of European Russia it accounts for 77 percent of Russia’s land, but only 23 percent of Russia’s population if Siberia was an independent country. It would still be the largest country on earth in size.
But it would have a smaller population than California Siberia is largely.
Undeveloped and extremely hostile to human habitation with brutal and long winters with absurdly cold temperatures, because of this most of Siberia is completely empty without many human settlements and as a result, Russia doesn’t really have as much land that can be settled by people as it may seem at first.
Bangladesh and the island of Java may be over a hundred times smaller than Russia in total land.
But they arguably have more easily settleable and rich.
Agricultural land than Russia does which in part helps to explain why they have higher or similar populations.
Russia’s geography has in a way always been one of the country’s greatest challenges to overcome.
And it continues to be a massive hurdle for the country to overcome in order to expand her population when you combine all of these factors together along with other issues like a moderately low rate of immigration in regards to Russia’s size and it begins to paint an overall picture if the current shrinking.
Population trend continues up until 2050 Russia will find itself in a position where she is only the 14th largest country in the world far behind countries like Nigeria Pakistan.
Ethiopia Bangladesh the Philippines, Mexico the Democratic Republic of the Congo and even Egypt.
Those estimates are the official estimates of the United Nations though, and they’re far from the most pessimistic, other estimates by other demographers believe that if the population shrinkage returns to the same levels that Russia experienced during the 1990s the population could dwindle down to as little as 110 million making Russia about equal to what Iran will probably look like at the same time in terms of population.
Numbers the next 30 years will almost certainly be an interesting and decisive time for the Russian nation.
Understanding Russia is complicated especially from an outsider’s perspective.
Winston Churchill once said of Russia that it is a riddle wrapped up in a mystery inside of an enigma.
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