Russia's population is rapidly decreasing. According to the latest data from the Russian Federal Statistics Service, Rosstat, 110,500 children were born in the country in July of this year, while 135,270 people died. Compared to July 2022, the mortality rate increased by 2.7%, and the birth rate decreased by 3.0%. From January to July 2023, the natural population decline amounted to 297,306 people.
Demographer Alexey Raksha told the news outlet Agenstvo that July 2023 was the worst July in terms of births since at least 1945. Prior to this, the demographic record was set in June, when Rosstat reported the lowest number of children born in the last 30 years - 105,000.
According to the demographer, the main reason for the decline in birth rates is the decreasing number of women of childbearing age by about 3% annually.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who considers the population decrease as one of the main challenges for the country, regularly emphasizes the need to take measures. He last mentioned this at the end of August during a meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects, as reported by Agentsvo.
Earlier, in December 2022, Putin demanded that the government encourage Russians to have children. He noted the "sharp decline in birth rates" in the country and instructed the government to "prepare a special package of measures to reverse this trend."
However, according to researcher Igor Efremov from the Gaidar Institute, it is not realistic to expect an immediate improvement in the situation, as the "planning horizon for most Russian families has been completely destroyed" due to the ongoing war.