Home Misperceptions Russia - Then & Now Gallery Contact & Links About
© all rights reserved 2011
CURRENT POPULATION      SIBERIA About  70% of the population lives in European Russia, so  Siberia is the weak sister.  Siberia is seeing a greater redistribution of its  non-indigenous  people,  as all of the sparsely USSR-conscript populated  areas are being vacated and Russians are moving near either a major  river or a railroad and as agriculture becomes less and less supportable.   As in the West, many young people leave the farm for cities where there  are both a river and a railroad; after that, some, especially bright young  men, then leave for Moscow and a stable future.   As in European Russia,  all Siberian railroad/river cities have experienced major growth, though as  the overall population is dwindling, the rate of growth is slowing.  From  east to west, the 4 main cities are Khabarovsk , on the border of the Far  East---(besides crime, typically, bureaucracy, trade), Irkutsk (academics,  bureaucracy, drug trafficking), Krasnoyarsk (heavy industry, trade) and  Novosibirsk (academics, industry,  bureaucracy).    There is one other  very important city downstream on the Yenisei River from Krasnoyarsk---  Norilsk, which has a small population but also one of the biggest mineral  deposits in the world.  So everything people read about the great  importance of Russia being a great big place doesn’t translate to  population as well when it comes to Siberia: about 3 people per square  kilometer.  Population-wise, it’s the Texas equivalent of “TALL HAT, NO  STEERS.”        Indigenous peoples in Siberia are re-asserting their pre-Soviet  heritages and are achieving greater autonomy.  China is having a growing  influence via investment in urban businesses and by importing agricultural capital and labor.  Many Russians believe that China is restoring Russia’s  once proud agricultural legacy all over Russia, not just in Siberia.  Many  Russians also believe that China will, by trickle-streaming workers into  Siberia and The Far East (like they are doing in Mongolia), will eventually  take over there without firing a shot.         EUROPEAN RUSSIA    In 1991-92, 16 former Soviet Socialist  Republics, each with a non-Russian nationality majority except  Belorussia,  seceded from the USSR and became independent countries.   Most of the densely populated ones were in Eastern Europe and the net  population loss overall was about 110 million people.  This meant that   Russians living in these places returned to Russia, especially those living  in the Central Asian republics.  There are still some places where  Russians have remained, like Ukraine, the Baltics, and northern  Georgia/Caucasus, where in this latter case there are national security  and economic issues which would preclude the Russian population ever  being less then that of the natives.  Many who have returned to Russia  were connected to the military; most of them now work in the security and  insurance professions.    European Russia’s population is centered   around  the cities of Moscow and St. Petersberg, which between them  (including immediate surrounding environs) hold about  20% of the entire  country’s population.  Besides being the center of political power and  finance, Moscow, with 75% of the population between them,  is the  fortress-hub of all transportation and communication.  With the recent re-  centralizing of all national power there, it is growing exponentially with no  end in sight.  The comparatively low capital expenditure elsewhere means  that the populations outside Moscow and St.  Petersberg are declining in  spite of all those people returning from Eastern Satellites and autonomous republics. 
      Overall, about 75% of Russia’s overall population lives in cities, and this  percentage is expected to grow until foreigners move in to restore  agriculture.  At present, the overall annual decline in Russia’s population is  estimated to be about 800,000 per year.  4 main factors contribute to this:  1.   The death rate exceeding the birth rate.   This is influenced especially by  500,000 people dying each year due to alcohol-related causes.   2.   Abortions exceeding live births, by about 105-100.   3.  A relatively high  median age.   4.  Immigration.    Russia’s birth rate is among the lowest in  the world among first-world countries, similar to Italy and Japan.  The  government tried a financial incentive ($ 8000, to be awarded with strict  conditions after the 2nd child reaches 6 years old) but it failed.   Meanwhile,  the birthrates of those in the former Asian Republics are among the highest  in the world, and many are moving illegally to Russia to work.  One  interesting statistic about births among white-skinned Russians is the ratio of males to females born after World War 2.  Depending on which statistics are  read, on average, females are born much more frequently than males by  112(f)-100(m) or 53(f)-47(m).  A popular theory explaining this reads that it  was a self-protective, evolutionary response to the great disproportionate  loss of male life (due to labor camps, war, purges, etc.) between 1930-1945.   Things should have balanced out by the end of the first post-war baby-  boomer generation, but the trend has continued.  By the mid-80’s, there were   15 million more eligible women than men between the ages of 15-25 and the  trend has continued to this day.  To make matter worse, adolescent/young  adult males are disproportionately exposed to tobacco, drugs, alcohol,  crime/gangs,  bad eating habits, poor medical care, armed services hazing,  etc. , all of which have  really reduced  the desirable breeding gene pool for  the ladies, who are impeccably raised, usually as an only child.  It’s really the  worst in Siberia, because many good men also leave for European Russia to  better themselves professionally.   So young Russians are trickling out and  Asians are trickling in as those who remain just get older on average.  Note:  the actual number of illegal immigrants (usually from Central Asia) is of  course unknown but has been guessed at between 8-15 million, with almost  all being men.   This trend points to the continuing marginalization of the  male Russian nationality-based blue-collar work force; the number of  females, always the majority overall of this work force, is holding steady.  These recent immigrants have little support network beyond how their mini-  mafias work within a broader context of the Russian criminal network.   An  exception to this is China:  Their government pays fantastic bribes to obtain  counterfeit passports (meaning legitimate, but illegally obtained) for the great  majority of its workers, and each region has its own strong and independent  Chinese mafia.  (*KEY*) ALWAYS REMEMBER that beginning in 1929,  Russia (then the USSR) began consuming its own people, reducing its  population via domestic policy.  This is why some people have chosen a  variant title of Putin’s One Russia Party (in Russian) is The “We are eating  Russia” Party.  This policy, though varied over time, has continued to this  day, and will continue unabated, ESPECIALLY now that Putin will remain in  power through 2024.  This means that many  MANY  more Asians will  become residents if society is to be maintained.