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The President of Russia on Population

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Russian president Vladimir Putin's 2005 annual address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, delivered on 25 April, was widely noted in the world press for the startling statement that “the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century.” The address also contained a brief passage discussing the demographic problems of Russia. This passage, touching upon the issues of high mortality and the low birth rate, and commenting on drug abuse and alcoholism and on immigration policy, is reproduced below. The president expressed confidence that by creating conditions to “encourage people to have children, lower the mortality rate and bring order to immigration,” the size of the Russian population will gradually stabilize. (The United Nations medium population projection for Russia, which assumes gradual improvement of fertility and mortality, reaching a TFR of 1.85 and an expectation of life of 72 years by the 2040s, as well as net immigration exceeding 2 million persons, foresees a decline from the current 143 million to 112 million by 2050.) The full English text of the address can be accessed at
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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