• W. H. Parker


The population of the Soviet Union in 1970 was 242 million, eighteen per cent greater than that of the USA (203 million). In 1960, when the figures were 212 and 179 million respectively, the Soviet lead was also eighteen per cent, but in 1940 the population of the USSR, within the present boundaries, was — at 194 million — forty-seven per cent greater than the 132 million of the United States. The large reduction in the gap between the two countries was mainly a result of the 1941–5 war in which some twenty million Soviet citizens died, compared with 292,000 from the United States. Further, because the large Soviet armies serving away from home separated the sexes to a high degree, the Soviet birth rate was then much lower than it would normally have been, and the infantile mortality rate was much higher because of the unfavourable conditions prevailing. The seventy thousand and more American deaths in the Korean and Vietnamese wars have had no significant impact on the population total, and statistically their effect is much less than that of motor vehicles: these have caused well over a million deaths in America since 1945.


Central Business District American City Soviet Citizen Live BIRTHS4 Large Absolute Increase 
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  1. 1.
    J. M. Stewart, Across the Russias (London, 1969) p. 215;Google Scholar
  2. The Times (London, 12 June 1967).Google Scholar
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    L. H. Day, ‘The American fertility cult’ in The Population Crisis and the Use of World Resources, ed. S. Mudd (Bloomington, Ind., 1964) pp. 231–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 12.
    C. D. Harris, The Cities of the Soviet Union (Chicago, 1970) pp. 69–78.Google Scholar

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© W. H. Parker 1972

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  • W. H. Parker

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