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Geography of Demography

Reducing the population of the Far East will be opposed by a new national project

The government's plans for stabilization and, especially, for the increase in the population of the eastern outskirts of Russia are unrealizable even in the most optimistic scenario. This was said by experts on the venues and on the sidelines of the All-Russian conference "Demographic Development of the Far East", held 25-26 May in Khabarovsk under the aegis of the Ministry of Color Industry. The Ministry itself experts often reproached for the non-systematic approach and the absence of a full-fledged Eastern policy. In Minvostokrazvitiya promised to take into account the comments of the expert community and involve it in the development of the national project "Far East". EastRussia tried to understand the situation

Geography of Demography

In Stolypin's spirit

The new demographic policy of Russia in the Far East has to do what the tsarist will and the Soviet government could not do before. The concept of this policy for the period up to 2030 of the year, which is being prepared by the Ministry of Eastern Development, was expertly run-in during the All-Russian conference "The demographic development of the Far East", which was held on 25-26 in May in Khabarovsk.

In an address to the participants of the plenipotentiary representative of the President, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev, it was noted that in 2013, the development of the Far East was announced by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin for the whole XXI century. At the same time, as more than a hundred years ago, in the time of Peter Stolypin, demographic development is the key task of advancing socio-economic development of the Far Eastern regions, the plenipotentiary believes. Today, the Russian Far East coexists with the largest economies of the world, and “leaving this region unattended would be a manifestation of tremendous state extravagance,” it was noted in the address of Yuri Trutnev.

The main direction of state policy in the macroregion is called "the formation of an attractive image of the Far East for families with children, youth and the older generation, for those who make a career, conducts business, invests in the future of the region." To live and work in the Far East should become prestigious - such is the general outline of the message addressed to the conference participants by the Deputy Prime Minister.

The Minister for the Development of the Far East Alexander Galushka is also very optimistic, according to which 2014 was the year of natural population growth in the Far East. The birth rate here exceeded the death rate for 9334 people, and in just one year the outflow of population decreased by more than a quarter. "The growth of industrial production, the creation of new, modern, well-paid jobs attract people. The Chukotka Autonomous District last year showed the highest industrial growth in the country - 134%. More than 1 thousand people came to new jobs, "such figures are quoted in the minister's welcome address.

However, in the course of the plenary session, the experts questioned a number of postulates put forward by the officials, and in some sections even came down with harsh criticism. Director of the Institute for Scientific and Public Expertise Sergey Rybalchenko said that the measures being taken today can only save the current demographic situation, but to improve it, we need a “breakthrough solution”. The peak of the birth rate, which, according to the speaker, was stimulated by state support measures, including maternal capital, is dying out, and new measures are needed. Moreover, there is a demographic hole ahead of us, which is associated with the low population born in the 90s.

To fulfill the President's task of increasing the population of Russia by the year of 2030, it is necessary both to stimulate birth rate and to reduce mortality. As for the first task, here, from the point of Rybalchenko, the main task is to keep the current indicators. They can be improved - the expert cited the experience of France, where in 1996 there was an average of 1,6 children per woman, and in 2010 - already 2,07, that is, the country reached the level of simple reproduction of the population.

"What is needed for this? We asked our French colleagues, and they believe that, first of all, it is necessary to create conditions for women to combine work and education of a child. In France, 50% of children under three years of age are provided with nannies or nurseries, and 37% of children are raised at home, without the costs of building infrastructure, "he said.

In reducing mortality, too, lies a huge reserve. So, today 30% of all deaths are in the working-age population, and of them 80% in the male population. "By reducing the mortality rate in this segment, we will additionally get an order of 300-350 lives," Sergei Rybalchenko said.

Leonid Rybakovsky, chief researcher at the Institute of Socio-Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, noted that at the moment the processes of population outflow from the Far East have stabilized, because in the first years after the collapse of the USSR, people were leaving “actually overpopulated regions where there was less work than the working-age population. These are the north-eastern outskirts of the country, where large industrial capacities were created in the Soviet years, and then they were not needed.

Now the potential for settling the Far East is much lower than in the Soviet years, "after all, the country has become half as large". At the same time, overcoming the consequences of the demographic hole and bringing the process of population reproduction into a plus will be the most difficult task.

According to his estimates, in Russia, the number of working-age population by the 2050 year from the current 85 million people will decrease by 12 million people. It is becoming more and more difficult to attract resources to the Far East, “these are not Stolypin’s times, when there was a labor surplus, people went to find land, to find work.”

"We know that the Ministry refers to the figures for the increase of 1 million to 2025, but this will require not only the preservation of the fertility trend and the achievement of zero migration outflow, but also the migration inflow in the region of 70 thousand people per year, and this corresponds to the dynamics Metropolitan regions, "he said.

The Concept of Demographic Policy, developed by the Ministry of the Interior, Leonid Rybakovsky, was called a tactical decision, but in his opinion a strategy is needed that takes into account long-term factors. According to him, this strategy requires three components: a migration program, a program to improve health and quality of life, and a family support program.

Ekaterina Motrich, chief researcher at the Economic Research Institute of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, noted that over the 1991-2000 years, the region has lost about 2 million people. The migration accounted for 84% of the population losses in the region, that is, the migration pendulum, which at first ensured the settlement of the Far East, now turned into its outflow. This trend is caused by the inequality of the socio-economic development of the regions of Russia and it is impossible to rely on the situation to improve soon, she said. By 2030, the population can be 5,9 million people is the level of 1970 of the year, and by 2050 of the year even to 4 million is the level of 1939 of the year. “It turns out that all the money spent on settling the Far East was wasted!” She concluded.

We put on descendants

Assistant to the Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Tatyana Klimenko noted that the demographic problems associated with population decline are relevant for most developed countries. And the solution of these problems is possible in three ways - through increasing the birth rate, increasing life expectancy, and regulating migration flows.

She added that since the Soviet era, there has been a practice of supporting fertility through economic incentives. But this is in fact support for fertility in low-income families, and in our time support of socially oriented families is much more actual. "No matter how cynical it sounds, the birth of children should not only be financially beneficial for low-income women, but also for those who are engaged in business," she said.

As for the increase in life expectancy, here the first place belongs to measures to limit the consumption of alcohol, says Assistant Minister of Health. “Experience has shown that even a time limit on the sale of alcohol leads to a reduction in night crime and a decrease in violent death and death from accidents,” she said. Sport, healthy eating, an active lifestyle, high quality of medical care, the creation of comfortable conditions for both the elderly and the younger generation can also have a positive effect on the dynamics of demographic growth, the official of the Ministry of Health believes.

However, the head of the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies of the Pacific State University, Leonid Blyakher, believes that before you strike the bells and talk about the depopulation of the Far East, you need to figure out how many people are needed and, most importantly, for what tasks. Doubts from the expert cause and measures to increase the population of the region. According to him, childbearing behavior is a rather conservative sphere, and it is extremely difficult to regulate it with administrative measures. As for migration, in the Soviet years, a significant proportion of the Far Eastern population was supported by artificial feeding - these were military, civil servants and workers of the military industrial complex, "when the state customer left, these residents also left."

The deputy chairman of the board of the Fund for Support of Children in a difficult life situation, Elena Kupriyanova, doubted the effectiveness of measures to increase the birth rate. According to her, the statement that payments of the maternity capital had a serious impact on the growth of the birth rate observed in recent years in Russia has not been proved: "This can facilitate the decision to give birth to a second child, or to approximate the terms of birth, but will not prompt the woman to decide on this step. And even more so this measure does not concern the birth of the first child. " An exception can only be unfavorable families, where this measure is directly linked with some increase in material well-being, but here the effect is rather psychological.

Elena Kupriyanova believes that the state makes a mistake, allocating considerable funds to subsidize the "mercantile attitude to the birth of children," instead of strengthening the main public institution - the family. "If a person does not have a need for children, if the values ​​of family, family education are not formed in the society, we will never force women to give birth, families will still disintegrate, and we will get a huge number of abandoned children," she noted.

Olga Pegina, President of the Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization Accreditation Center for Business Education (Khabarovsk), agreed with her. “At present, there is no family institution in the Far East, there is no family support service at different periods of its development. In Russia as a whole, the family institution is experiencing a deep crisis. The state has been supporting and paying attention to families with many children in need, families with disabled children, and single-parent families for years. It is necessary to change the vector in the public consciousness in the direction of helping prosperous families, increase the prestige of a prosperous family, and most importantly traditional family values, ”she believes.

Pegina refers to Rosstat data, according to which almost 86% of marriages break down in Russia every year. “If we turn to the figures of other states, we see that in the US - 50%, in the UK 51,9% of divorces, in Belgium - 59,7%, in France and Germany - 40,9%, in Finland - 57, 6%. Why are European numbers better than Russian? In France and Germany, there are state programs of compulsory psychological counseling before marriage, in which the future spouses together form the rules of interaction in each specific family. There will be no help from a psychologist about the willingness of spouses to interact - they will not register a couple, ”she noted.

According to Pegina, if across Russia the level of marriage in 2013 was 126% to 2000, then in Khabarovsk territory only 97%. Divorce rate 2013 year to 2000 year in Russia gives 103%, and in the Khabarovsk Territory shows at 108%. The same trend persists for 2014 year. In Khabarovsk Territory in 2013, for the first half of the year, the share of divorces from the number of newly concluded marriages was 88,5%, and for the first half of the year 2014 is already 91,4%, in the Amur and Kamchatka Territories these figures are slightly lower, but they also constitute the marginal level. Over the past 10 years, the negative ratio of the number of divorces to the number of marriages in the Kamchatka Territory has increased by 14,9%, in the Amur Region by 10,4%, in the Khabarovsk Territory by 6,2%.

"If you consider the age of marriage, then again in Russia, the figures are better than in the Khabarovsk Territory. For example, according to the best childbearing age of the bride, Russia holds 38% of all marriages, while the Khabarovsk Territory is only 31,6%. If you look at the age of the bride 25-34, then we see the opposite picture. In Russia, 42,5%, and in Khabarovsk Krai 45,2%, the same trend and age of the bride from 35 years: Russia-18,7%, and Khabarovsk Krai - 22,4%. What says that women do not marry until they stand up, professionally, psychologically, and most importantly - financially, "the expert notes.

In the report of the group of researchers presented by the professor of the Higher School of Economics Andrey Korotaev, several scenarios of the demographic development of the macroregion were presented, none of which contained encouraging figures. For example, according to the inertial scenario, by the 2030 year the Far East population will remain to 5,5 million people, and this is "what will happen if nothing is done." However, according to the speaker, under the present conditions this scenario can be interpreted as optimistic, today it is necessary to make a lot of efforts "to even draw this trajectory".

The reason for this pessimism is the second wave of alcoholization of the population. The fact is that in Russia the ethanol production curve clearly correlates with the mortality curve of the population, and the life expectancy graph is a mirror image of the dynamics of alcohol production, said Andrei Korotaev: "We see a decrease in mortality in the dysfunctional 1995-1998 years and growth in the quite prosperous first Half 2000-ies. But these data on 80% correlate with the dynamics of alcohol production! ".

After 2005, Russia achieved tremendous success in reducing mortality, it decreased by almost 450 thousand deaths per year, the report of the expert group says. The death rate from alcohol poisonings has decreased especially - from 36 thousand almost in 6 times. The overall death rate fell from 16 to 1 thousand to 13 by 1 thousand. But this was achieved primarily due to the increase in life expectancy, after 2005, it grew by 6 years. In this case, especially strongly, more than 6 years she grew up among men. This was achieved mainly by reducing alcohol-related deaths.

"But with 1 January excises on vodka should have increased from 500 rub. Up to 600 руб. Per liter of alcohol, and in the new version of the tax code, excises did not rise at all. This is against the backdrop of galloping inflation. In fact, the increase in the availability of vodka. Plus 29 December approved the decision of the Rosalkogolregulirovaniya on the relative decrease in the minimum price for vodka. This is a small part of a large package of measures that facilitate the availability of alcohol. This applies to the Far East to a special extent, in Russia alcohol problems are increasing from the south to the north and from the west to the east, "- believes Andrei Korotaev. In case of victory of the "alcohol lobby", in his opinion, in the coming years, the death of 300 thousand inhabitants of the Far East is possible, in Russia it is about 2,5-3 million people, which repeats the statistics of the beginning of the 2000-ies.

Even in the optimistic scenario considered by the experts, where the liquidation of alcoholic mortality is laid down, all the health measures recommended by WHO, the growth of spending on health, the support of fertility - the difference between the upper and lower scenario will be about 1 million people. "But to achieve tangible growth by these measures is impossible, to increase the Far East's population to 7 million to 2025 year - without migration is absolutely unrealistic," he concluded.

Migrants on pick-up

However, with migration to the Far East, too, a lot of problems, noted the participants of the profile section of the conference. Alexey Firsov, head of consulting projects at VCIOM, in his speech referred to the data of the survey conducted by the center. It was attended by representatives of 30 companies in the region, as well as experts working in the labor market. "According to the employers themselves, this market is characterized by extreme shortage, all respondents indicate the migration of the best employees to other regions of Russia. Regardless of whether people come to the Far East or are recruited here, after working for some time in the region, they are eager to leave it to continue their career growth. Also employers state the inadequacy of local human resources and complain about their low professional preparedness. If we talk about the management team - then local staff can not close vacancies. There is a shortage of working specialties - the population does not have any interest in them, it is difficult for people to motivate the local population for hard work. In addition, and this is the position of all employers - the level of education offered by universities does not fit into the modern paradigm, "Mr. Firsov said.

According to him, it is too early to say that the territories for advanced development will become a mechanism for attracting labor resources and regulating the labor market, as it would be desirable for the Minsk region, "no one knows yet". The idea of ​​distributing a hectare of land to the Far East still causes skepticism in the expert. "To say that this will somehow affect the influx of people, the labor market, the development of the agricultural sector ... At best, this is a possibility of retaining the population, and even then - an opportunity with a very limited scope of impact," he said. - Central Russia lives in the paradigm of the "Chinese threat", but local employers say they are leaving. Russians do not go to work specialties, the Chinese leave, there is hope for North Koreans, but it still remains in the theoretical plane. Ukraine is theoretically a good resource, but in reality people come, face a lot of systemic problems and leave. "

The leading researcher at the Pacific Institute of Geography, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Yuri Avdeev, believes that the measures taken by the embassy and the Ministry for the Development of the Far East "are chaotic and non-systemic." According to him, Russia needs a full-fledged Eastern policy, and not point solutions in the form of TOP. “It's all copied from the Chinese special economic zones, but in China it works, because there is an excess of population there. In the Far East, every person is on the account, and the territory of priority development should be here for everyone who is engaged in business. According to the message of Vladimir Putin to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the Far East is recognized as a priority region for the whole XXI century. And what does the ministry offer as a priority? Exports of raw materials? What did we do before then? We essentially did the same, ”he said.

The main task of the state in the region is the development of social infrastructure, only this could deter a declining population.

According to Mr. Avdeev, one of the most important indicators that explains the outflow of population is the ratio between the cost of human capital (this indicator includes average life expectancy, age characteristics, wages, incomes and other characteristics) and the infrastructure built. A similar calculation was made on the example of Vladivostok after the construction of APEC-2012. "When preparing for the summit, the initial amount of costs was 114 billion rubles, and then it grew, and grew to 680 billion, taking into account the investment of state companies. But even these amounts are not enough for us. So, for today the share of infrastructure is only 2,2% of the cost of human capital of Vladivostok. If you take Moscow - this is 9%, in London 25%. We figured - how much should I invest in the infrastructure to reach at least the level of 8%? It turned out that another 900 billion rubles. But the question is who will master this all? ", The expert asks the question.

He sees the way out alone - attracting foreign labor. "When preparations were being made for the APEC-2012 summit, the cadres were using God knows from where - Mexico, Turkey, and only after a while guessed that there was China nearby. Today the Chinese will not come to us. If in 1960 the average salary level in the PRC was $ 10-12, today it transits for $ 600, and this figure began to grow rapidly after 2000-th year. In construction, where today the Chinese worker receives from $ 1-1,5 thousand, which Russian employer will provide this level of income? We lost this labor force. At the same time, 1 million people live in the radius of 300 thousand km from Vladivostok, and only the northeast provinces of China have at least 8 million unemployed. Not to mention the North Korean labor force. But now the main problem for attracting Chinese people is wages, "says Alexander Avdeev.

But there are no other options, from Siberia you can attract only a small fraction of the necessary resources, and this is the flow that will then return back. "Only in case of full infrastructure development, which can be done only by the hands of foreigners, we will be able to create attractive living conditions in the Far East, and substantially change the current situation. And the most important is the sector associated with individual housing for young families. This is perhaps the most important measure for changing the demographic situation, "said the representative of the Pacific Institute of Geography FEB RAS.

On the sidelines most of the guests of the conference noted that from this conference they had a feeling of deja vu - somewhere and sometime it already was. However, the Minsk region was assured that not only will they listen to all the comments, but also invite the expert community to work on the strategy - that is, they will do what the experts themselves have long and almost unsuccessfully asked for. Thus, the final resolution announced the forthcoming preparation of the national project "Demographic Development of the Far East" and the concept of demographic development until 2030. The outlines of this strategy can be presented already at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in the autumn of this year.

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