Russia Population Shrinks by 113,000 in January

Moscow, March 5 (AFP/APP): Russia’s population shrank by over 113,000 in January, official data showed Friday, more than double its rate of decline over the same month last year, as the country is battered by the pandemic.

The Rosstat statistics agency released figures showing that in January Russia saw 219,769 deaths and 106,603 births, meaning its population shrunk by 113,116. The decline was 2.5 times as much as the decrease of 45,255 people in January 2020. The new figures came as Rosstat on Friday also reported that Russia saw 28,680 virus-related deaths in January this year. Rosstat said that Russia this January saw slightly fewer births at 12,217 than in 2020, but 55,694 more deaths.

The statistics agency did not explain the reason for the other extra deaths. The Russian population has been in constant decline since the collapse of Soviet Union in 1991, for reasons including a low birth rate, an unequal healthcare system and emigration. The January population change figures did not take into emigration statistics, though borders have been mostly closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

At the beginning of this year, the Russian population numbered 146.2 million, 510,000 fewer than the previous year, Rosstat said.

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