Russia. Population declines for the first time in 15 years | New

Experts attribute the decline to the pandemic, which has seen many deaths, while migration and low birth rates have also played a role.

Russia’s population shrank by around half a million last year, its first contraction in 15 years, the country’s statistics agency said on Friday.

Russia has 146.2 million inhabitants, according to the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper, citing the agency.

Experts attributed the decline mainly to the pandemic.

There were 229,700 more deaths between January and November 2020 than in the same period the previous year, an excess mortality rate of more than 13%, the agency said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has long called for more efforts on population growth. Last year, he blamed the trend on low incomes.

Experts say other causes are the migration of younger, well-educated people abroad and the low birth rate.

Similar trends

This month, statistics from Poland and the UK showed similar trends.

On Tuesday, statistics for 2020 showed an increase in deaths in Poland to a level not seen since World War II and a sharp drop in births, trends attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and described by some as a demographic crisis.

The data reported by the daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna on Tuesday comes from a state register that includes weekly births and deaths.

Commenting on data released by state agency Statistics Poland in December for 11 months of 2020, economist Rafal Mundry said the death toll was the highest since World War II and the number of births the lowest. in 15 years.

“We have a huge demographic crisis,” Mundry said on Twitter.

In 2019, some 30,000 people died in Poland each month on average. In November, when COVID-19 cases spiked, the country recorded nearly 60,400 deaths.

In the UK, a study published on January 14 suggested it could be the biggest drop in population since World War II, citing the pandemic.

Faced with poor job opportunities, expats are leaving the UK in large numbers, according to the UK’s Center of Excellence for Economic Statistics (ESCoE).

Around 1.3 million foreign-born people left the UK from July 2019 to September 2020, it said.

Meanwhile, Brexit also appeared to have an impact on people’s motivation to leave Britain, with some Al Jazeera interviewees citing the UK’s divorce from the European Union as a push factor.

In London, according to the ESCoE, no less than 700,000 people left the capital during the 14 months analysed.