Russia's population tops 145 million

The Russian Statistics Committee has summed up the results of the 2002 all-Russia census.

As of October 2002, the number of permanent residents in the Russian Federation made 145.2 million people, Statistics Committee head Vladimir Sokolin reported Friday at a round-table conference on the all-Russia census.

Russia is the world's seventh biggest country as to the number of the population, after China (1,285 million people), India (1,025 m), the USA (286m), Indonesia (215m), Brazil (173m) and Pakistan (146m).

In comparison with the 1989 census, continued Sokolin, the population has diminished by 1.8 million people. This reduction is caused primarily by the natural death toll, with the number of the dead having exceeded the number of the new-born, as well as by Russians' emigration to other countries.

At the same time, three fourths of the natural losses in 1989-2002 were replaced by migration flows from abroad overwhelmingly prevailed by immigrants from the CIS and Baltic countries.

The figures of the 2002 census retain Russia's intrinsic notable surplus of females over males, which amounts to 10 million people as against 9.6 million in 1989. "This discrepancy occurred due to a high premature superdeath rate of men", said Sokolin.

Tangible changes can be noted in the age composition of the population. In comparison with the 1989 census, the average age of the country has gone up by three years to stand at 37.7 years.

The participants in the round-table discussion were particularly alarmed by the fact that the number of children and adolescents decreased by 9.7 million people over the period between the two censuses.

In 2002, the death rate made 16.3 deceased per 1,000 people against 15.7 in 1994, being now the highest in Europe.

The 2002 census has also shown that the number of married couples is 34 million, including 3 million whose marriage is not registered.

The number of people who have never been in the wedlock has soared over the period under review by 40 percent. About 800,000 couples have been separating annually in this country (there were 583 divorces in 1989).

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