Top Priority National Project

Russia's demographic policy until 2025 will reverse the trend towards decreased births in the country seen over the past few decades.

Today the situation is truly alarming. There is a new birth in Russia every 21 seconds, and a death every 15 seconds. Hourly, Russia loses about a hundred people, or 800,000-900,000 a year.

According to the UN's best-case scenario, there will be 113 million people in Russia by the middle of the century, and the worst-case scenario puts the figure at 96 million.

The program to improve the demographic situation has three main goals: increasing the birth rate, lowering the death rate and encouraging immigration. All these goals are set out in the government's program, which plans to secure a noticeable drop-off in the rates of population decline in the next three to four years. The idea is to stabilize its numbers at the 140 million mark by 2015 (Russia's current population is 141.9 million).

The next objective will be to increase the figure to 145 million, and to raise the average lifespan from the present 66 years to 70 years.

A special subject treated separately in the document is immigration. The rapid population decline could have a negative effect on the country's economy in the next few years. The policy prioritizes the task of attracting migrants "according to demographic, social and economic needs," with an eye to their social adaptation and integration.

Such a program should have been adopted long ago, in Soviet times, as soon as the country showed a tendency towards population decline.

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