Russia Moves to Third Place in World for Migration Flows

Russia, according to the UN, is now ranked third in the world for a migration inflow, Russia's State Statistics Committee (Goskomstat) chairman Vladimir Sokolin told reporters.

According to him, the largest number of migrants come to Russia from former Soviet republics.

The Cabinet on Thursday met to discuss the first preliminary results of the 2002 all-Russia population census.

Sokolin said that over the 13 years since the previous census of 1989 the process of urbanisation had stopped in Russia. The urban-to-rural population ratio in 2002 stood at the 1989 level.

The committee chairman noted that one of the problems revealed by the census was a discrepancy between the number of people registered in rural areas and the actual population living there. According to his data, there are 160,000 rural centres in Russia. Of them 17,000 are actually depopulated, although according to statistics people live there.

Sokolin thinks the problem will be closely scrutinised by all federal and regional authorities.

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