Igor Yefremov, a Researcher of the International Research Department of Political Demography and Macrodynamics at the Gaidar Institute, commented to the РBC on the results of the All-Russia censuses proving the decline in the number of long-living people in the Russian Federation.

Thus, at the yearend 2020, the number of people aged 90 and older dropped by 159.700 (by 20%) compared to the previously posted data for this period (excluding census) - 628.700 instead of 788.500. In 2021 the number of people in this age category dropped by 179.200 (by 23%) compared to earlier data - to 586.500 instead of 765.700.

According to the publication, in 2021, the total number of long-livers dropped by 42.300 compared to 2020 (22.700, excluding census data). In 2022, the number of people aged 90 years and older increased slightly, by 11.800 and reached 598.300.

Actually, the census revealed that a large part of the elderly Russians included in the current population accounting are already dead in reality or have left the country, Igor Yefremov told RBC. “Such errors always accumulate between censuses. If a person was mistakenly enumerated twice in the previous census (for example, at the place of registration and at the place of actual residence) and then died, then the remaining non-existent "copy" of the deceased person will still be listed in the statistics,” he noted.

A marked decline in the number of Russians aged 90 and older in 2021 is most likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when excess mortality was highest among the oldest, Yefremov believes. However, in the period after 2022, the number of long-livers in Russia will continue to grow because more and more people survive to a deep old age in each successive generation, the expert predicts.

“This is due to improved health of the elderly relative to older people from previous generations, which is due both to changes in the lifestyle of these people during their adulthood (less heavy physical labor, better nutrition) and to the development of medicine,” explained Igor Yefremov.