Russian population dropped this year

Dec. 29, 2007 at 5:54 PM
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MOSCOW, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Russia lost more than 200,000 people this year, the statistics service said Saturday.

The population decline of 0.15 percent was slightly smaller than in 2006, RIA Novosti reported. The country's population was estimated at 142 million as of Nov. 1, the Russian news agency said.

While the death rate continued to exceed the birth rate, the number of immigrants was up 87 percent. Most newcomers were from former Soviet republics.

The working age population was 75.1 million in November, or about 53 percent of the total population.

United Nations demographers say if current trends continue, Russia's population will be one-third smaller than it is now in 2050. President Vladimir Putin has pushed for policies to push the birth rate up, including increased maternity benefits and additional benefits for families with children, especially for those with a second child.

Real income grew by 10.1 percent in the first 11 months of 2007, with the top 10 percent of the population receiving more than 30 percent of all income. More than 15 percent of the population had incomes below the subsistence level.

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