December 12-13, 2014 – The 2nd International Conference on Political Demography

On December 12-13, 2014, the 2nd International Conference on Political Demography and Macrosocial Dynamics "Global Aging of the Population and the Future of Russia was held. The sponsors of the Conference were the Gaidar Institute and the RANEPA.

The first day of the Conference took place at the Gaidar Institute. The Conference was opened by Sergei Prikhodko, Executive Director of the Gaidar Institute.

The moderator of the morning panel at which the demographic prospects of Russia, including demographic projections and demographic policy were discussed was Jack Goldstone, Professor of George Mason University and Head of the International Department of Political Demography and Macrosocial Dynamics of the Gaidar Institute and the RANEPA.

In his report: The Current Demographic Policy and Its Effect, Andrei Korotayev from the RANEPA presented a forecast of the natural loss of the population in Russia. So, in 2050 the population of Russia will decrease to 130m people, while by the year 2100, to 105m people.

At the same time, Andrei Korotayev noted that after 2005 Russia achieved great progress in reducing the rate of mortality: from 2005 till 2013 it fell from 2,304,000 to 1,872,000 deaths a year, that is, a decrease by 432,000. The rate of mortality from alcohol intoxication fell dramatically: from 36,000 in 2005 to 9,700 in 2013.

It is to be noted that the general death ratio fell from 16.1% to 13.0% or by 3.1% – in the past few years it has been the best index of the dynamics not only in Europe, but also among all the highly and mid-developed countries of the world in general. The above decrease was achieved almost exceptionally thanks to growth in the life expectancy of the Russians. In 2005–2012 period, it rose by five years from 65.5 years to 70.5 years which is the best result among all the countries of Europe, America and Asia, while male life expectancy increased by nearly 6 years.

It is to be noted that the standardized death ratio of the able-bodied male population decreased dramatically (from 466.8 to 334.3, that is, a drop of nearly 30%). It is the best dynamics among all the highly and mid-developed countries of the world.

The above spectacular results Russia managed to achieve by means of reduction of alcohol mortality.

In his report: The Age Pattern as a Factor of Demographic Situation. Regional Specifics of Russia, Vladimir Archangelsky from the Moscow State University and the RANEPA points out that due to changes in the age pattern of the population the number of those born in Russia will be decreasing unswervingly, while the rate of mortality is getting higher. Vladimir Archangelsky concludes that Russia will manage to maintain positive values of the natural growth of the population only in the next two years and then it will be replaced by loss. According to the expert's forecast, by 2030 the natural loss of the population will amount to 6.4 people per 1,000 people. However, the expert singled out 23 regions of Russia with positive dynamics; they include the Republic of Komi, Kalmykia, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Tomsk, Magadan, Khanty-Mansiisk and other. The speaker explains the positive dynamics in those regions by a high birth rate and growth in migration.

In his report: Demography of Tatarstan: The Present-Day Situation and the Effect on the Economy and Policy in Future, Vasil Sakayev defines the ethnic composition of Tatarstan and touches upon those demographic problems which the Republic of Tatarstan faces, in particular, depopulation.

The afternoon panel of the first day of the Conference was dedicated to the issue: Aging and the Youth in the Russian Politics.

In his report: The Age Pattern of the Russian Public and a "Conservative Turn" in the Russian Politics, Kirill Novikov from the RANEPA touches upon the issue of changes in political preferences under the impact of a change in the demo pattern of the population of Russia. The speaker believes that with aging of the population conservative ideologies are becoming more popular with people. According to a social survey, in 2001 the shares of respondents which preferred conservative values and liberal values amounted to 51% and 47%, respectively, while in 2011, to 57% and only 41%, respectively.

In his report: Conflicts and Birth Rate in the North Caucasus, Konstantin Kazenin, Senior Researcher of the Gaidar Institute elaborated on the demographic specifics in the following three republics: Kabardina-Balkaria, Karachaevo-Cherkessia and Dagestan. Touching upon the example of Dagestan, K. Kazenin concludes that political tensions and a multi-layer nature of conflicts are accompanied by a high birth rate. Ethnic conflicts actually stimulate the birth rate. K. Kazenin explains that phenomenon by the fact that due to the conflict ethnic communities seek to achieve a numerical superiority over other ethnic groups.

In her report: Demographic Factors and Demand on Radical Ideologies, Irina Starodubrovskaya, Director of the Center for Political Economy and Regional Development of the Gaidar Institute elaborates on demographic and political specifics of three republics.