Arnon Grunberg



On birth rates – The Insider:

‘The term “demographic transition” (some sources use the term “demographic revolution”) is used by demographers to refer to the shift in population reproduction models that began in the late 18th century and has not yet been completed on a global scale. Simply put, the demographic transition is a transition from high birth rates and high death rates to low birth rates and low death rates.
In traditional society, death rate was extremely high. It had to be balanced by high birth rate - and all social mechanisms, all ideas about gender relations, family and marriage, religion and culture were aimed precisely at forcing people to “be fruitful and multiply.” The transition to industrial (and later, post-industrial) society, with its medical breakthroughs, improvements in amenities, better living conditions, the spread of new ideas about hygiene, led to a hitherto unprecedented decrease in mortality rates and an increase in life expectancy. Under these conditions, the system of rules and norms that had been created over thousands of years, aimed at maintaining high birth rate, became meaningless (if not harmful) - and humanity inevitably began to move away from it.’


‘According to the first all-Russian census of 1897, the population of the Russian Empire (without Finland) was125,680,682 people – about 8 percent of the world's population at the time. The population of the territories within the present-day borders of Russia was 67.5 million people. The average age of the population was just over 21 years old; 39.5% were married. Only 13% of the population lived in cities; only 21% were literate.’


‘The drop in Russia's birth rate, accompanying the demographic transition, was also rapid: in just three or four decades, the country traveled the path it took Western Europe centuries to travel. The figures speak for themselves: the birth rate was 7.1 in 1900, 3.66 in 1940, 2.2 in 1960, 2.01 in 1970, and 1.85 in 1980.’


‘Since 2017, however, fertility has been in decline again. For the last four years, fertility rates have remained the same, about 1.5, and in the first half of 2022, birth rates have fallen even compared to previous years. Moreover, the birth rate did not increase even after the maternity capital program was extended to families with first child in 2020. Moreover, many call the re-orientation of the maternity capital to first child rather counterproductive: now the size of the second-child maternity capital is so small that it is not able to stimulate anyone. Moreover, financial incentives have much less influence on the decision to have a first child than on the one to have a second child, so the re-orientation is harmful, experts say.
The decline in birth rates and the rise in mortality have led to a natural decline in Russia's population over the past four years. The worst was in 2021, when, according to Rosstat, the loss exceeded 1 million people, primarily because of the coronavirus pandemic and its direct and indirect consequences.’


‘And the factors added in 2022 will not improve the situation. Demographer Alexei Raksha believes that the war, mobilization, the associated exodus of Russians, and lower incomes, combined with the demographic hole, could lead to a 12-15% drop in birth rates a year and a half down the line. Some demographers predict that as early as next year we will hit the “birthrate bottom,” comparable to the late 1990s.’

Read the article here.

The TFR (total fertility rate) in Italy is 1.24, in the Netherlands it is 1.55, in the US it id 1.64, in Israel it is 2.9, in Afghanistan it is 4.75, in Peru it is 2.22, in Bolivia 2.65, in Nigeria 5.31, in Iraq 3.55 and in Russa it is 1.5, but according to this article because of the war and of other reasons it will fall rapidly.

In order to wage war successfully you need enough young men. Demography can make war difficult, even modern war fare. It’s for good reasons that Wagner tried to empty Russian’s prisons to find some cannon fodder.

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