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Russia’s demographic policy needs improvements — upper house speaker

June 02, 2015, 8:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"While in 2007 the number of new births per woman of reproductive age was 1.2, last year the indicator rose to 1.75," the speaker said
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© ITAR-TASS/Yuriy Belinskiy

MOSCOW, June 2. /TASS/. Demographic policy in Russia is bringing good results and it does not stand in need of radical changes but still it should be improved in the light of challenges the country is faced with, Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the upper house of Russia parliament said a regular column published by the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily.

"Russian government’s demographic policy has been fairly systemic from the very beginning" and thanks to it notable results have been reached in recent years.

"While in 2007 the number of new births per woman of reproductive age was 1.2, last year the indicator rose to 1.75," Matviyenko said. "The current birth rate in Russia is higher than in most European countries. The lifespan has increased, too - for the first time since 1987 is has reached 71 years."

She called the readers’ attention to the pace, at which Russia had reached the objectives specified in 2007 in the Concept of Demographic Policy. It was "to stabilize the country’s population at the level of 145 million." This target has been reached ten years ahead of the specified deadline.

"Already in May 2015, the country’s population got over the 146.4 million mark and this means we’re ten years ahead of schedule," Matviyenko said. "Some years ago, the growth of our population was explained for by an inflow of migrants but in 2013 and 2014 a natural growth of population was registered."

"We’ve seen correctness of the strategy for the solution of demographic problems and the fruitfulness of the (demographic) policy and I think it does not need any profound, radical changes," Matviyenko said. "What is needed is improvement of the policy on the basis of the experience we’ve gained and with due account of the challenges and risks emerging in the sphere of demography."

She named what she believes to be the main challenge the Russian government is currently faced with - the rather numerically small generations born in the 1990’s reaching economically active age.

"This means a further capacity for boosting new births is close to exhaustion while the resources offered by migration are rather limited, too," Matviyenko indicated. "Consequently, we’ll be able to minimize the aftermaths of these risks only by a highly rational use of the human resources we have."

Her proposals in the light of it consist in boosting the quality of education, increasing the mobility of labor resources, diversifying offers on the labor market, and developing programmes for professional re-training and refreshment.

"People make up the main wealth of our country," she wrote. "They ensure its movement forward and our government and society have duty to keep the population growing so that Russia would have increasingly more people prepared to show initiative, to assume responsibility, and to channel their talents and knowledge into the country’s development.".

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