Saturday, February 02, 2008
Russian Baby Boom for 2007
Russia has a demographics problems. Back in 2006, the Russian population was roughly 143 million people and falling by an average of 700,000 each year. The problem is in the huge gap between those born and those who die each year.
For twenty years, Russia has had a low birth rate and the population of the most fertile women 20-29 years has dropped to 12 million. Over the next few years, women in that age group will fall to 8 million or fewer - possibly too small to bear the next generation to maintain Russian society.
The population threat is not only a very low birthrate, but a very high deathrate. Russians are amoung the unhealthiest people of the industrialized nations. There is no demographic group that is as ailing or fatal injury prone as Russian men whose average lifespan is only 59 years.
Two years ago, President Vladimir Putin championed the cause of motherhood to rescue the Motherland from becoming an unpopulated wasteland, or worse, a Muslim nation of baby making machines. He offered each family $9,000 ($9,500 now) for every birth and monthly cash payments on a graduating scale for infants and subsidies for day care.
Sergei Morozov, the governor of Ulyanovsk, declared September 12 as "family contact day", encouraging couples to stay home from work and have sex. Those who deliver babies nine months later on National Day, June 12, receive cars, TVs, or other lovely gifts.
The program seems to be paying off as Russia has added 1.6 million babies in 2006, up 122,750 over 2006. Tatyana Golikova, the health and social development minister, said, "Russia has not seen such a baby boom for 15 years, the highest number of births since 1991." She credited the maternity incentives for the increasing birthrate.
Demograpics experts fear the Russian population could still face a population crisis in the near future. The United Nations predicts the Russian population will fall another 30% by mid-century before a positive reversal takes place. The U.N., however, has a very poor record of prognostications. The best bet Russia has for survival is the continued encouragment of the copulation nation.
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.