Russia’s Aging Population

  • Victoria A. Velkoff
  • Kevin Kinsella


As countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union make the transition from planned to market economies, issues of employment, labor productivity, and financial restructuring tend to dominate social discourse. With immediate, sometimes day-to-day crises commanding the public spotlight, attention fades from less obvious, longer-term processes involving demographic evolution and changing national health profiles. The effects of these processes, however, will have a substantial, tangible impact on how countries define and develop their new socioeconomic agendas.


Census Bureau Labor Force Participation Rate Kursk Oblast Male Life Expectancy Western European Nation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    Sergei A. Vassin, “The Determinants and Implications of an Aging Population in Russia,” in Russia’s Demographic Crisis, eds. Julie Da Vanzo and Gwendolyn Farnsworth (Santa Monica: The RAND Corporation: 1996), 175–200.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Some analyses predict extremely low fertility rates in the early part of the twenty-first century that, if realized, would elevate the median age even faster (see, for example, Charles M. Becker and David D. Hemley, “Demographic Change in the Former Soviet Union During the Transition Period,” World Development 26, no. 11 (1998): 1957–1975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 4.
    Barbara A. Anderson and Brian D. Silver, “Demographic Consequences of World War II on the non-Russian Nationalities of the USSR,” in The Impact of World War II on the Soviet Union, ed. Susan J. Linz (Totowa, NJ: 1985), 207–242; Alain Blum, “Uncovering the Hidden Demographic History of the USSR,” Population Today 19, no. 7/8 (1991): 6–8.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    Kevin Kinsella, “Changes in Life Expectancy 1900–1990,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 55, Supplement, no. 6 (1992): 1196S–1202S.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    One factor that may have affected the decrease in life expectancy in Russia is a change in the definition of infant mortality. In 1993, the World Health Organization’s definition was introduced into the Russian health system. This definition is broader than the one previously used in Russia, and as a result, some infant deaths that previously were recorded as stillbirths are now considered to have occurred as live births. Applying this new definition would increase the reported infant mortality rate and thus lower life expectancy at birth, since the latter is a summary measure of mortality that includes infant deaths. Thus, even if the actual mortality level remained the same, such a statistical revision would create the impression of worsening mortality. However, the estimated decrease in life expectancy from this revision would be less than half a year (see Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, France Meslé, and Jacques Vallin, “Recent Trends in Life Expectancy and Cause of Death in Russia, 1970–1993,” in Premature Death in the New Independent States, eds. José Luis Bobadilla, Christine A. Costello, and Faith Mitchell [Washington, D.C: 1997], 34–65). A confounding factor in the analysis of mortality is that the dissemination of the new definition of a live birth has not necessarily been uniform across all areas of the country. It likely would take months or years for the new definition to be widely and successfully implemented.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    W. Ward Kingkade and Eduardo E. Arriaga, “Mortality in the New Independent States: Patterns and Impacts,” in Bobadilla, et al., Premature Death in the New Independent States, 156–183.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    Neil G. Bennett, David E. Bloom, and Sergey E Ivanov, “Demographic Implications of the Russian Mortality Crisis,” World Development 26, no. 11 (1998): 1921–1937.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 12.
    U.S. Census Bureau, “International Data Base” (Washington, D.C.: International Programs Center, 1998).Google Scholar
  9. 18.
    Goskomstat Russia, Russian Statistical Yearbook (Moscow, 1997).Google Scholar
  10. 19.
    Timothy Heleniak, “Internal Migration in Russia During the Economic Transition,” Post-Soviet Geography and Economics 38, no. 2 (1997): 81–104.Google Scholar
  11. 21.
    Lee A. Lillard and Linda J. Waite, “Til Death Do Us Part: Marital Disruption and Mortality,” American Journal of Sociology 100 (1995): 1131–1156; Barbara Steinberg Schone and Robin M. Weinick, “Health-Related Behaviors and the Benefits of Marriage for Elderly Persons,” The Gerontologist 38, no. 5 (1998): 618–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 22.
    Goskomstat Russia, Type and Composition of Households in Russia: Data from the Microcensus of the Population, 1994 (Moscow, 1995).Google Scholar
  13. 23.
    Tracy Armstrong, Access to Health Care Among the Elderly in Russia, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Maryland, 1998; Jeanine D. Braithwaite, “The Old and New Poor in Russia,” in Poverty in Russia: Public Policy and Private Responses, ed. Jeni Klugman (Washington, D.C.: 1997), 29–64.Google Scholar
  14. 24.
    David E. Powell, “Aging and the Elderly,” in Soviet Social Problems, eds. Anthony Jones, Walter D. Connor, and David E. Powell (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1991), 172–193.Google Scholar
  15. 26.
    Rustam R. Muzafarov and Ernest M. Kurleutov, “The Provision of Primary Health Care to the Elderly in the USSR: Problems and Their Solutions,” in Eldercare, Distributive Justice, and the Welfare State, eds. Derek G. Gill and Stanley R. Ingman (Albany, NY: 1994), 175–202.Google Scholar
  16. 27.
    Vladislav V. Bezrukov, “Self-Care Ability and Institutional/Non-Institutional Care of the Elderly,” Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 8 (1993): 349–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 31.
    Goskomstat Russia, Education of the Population of Russia: Data from the Microcensus of the Population, 1994 (Moscow: 1995).Google Scholar
  18. 32.
    Monica S. Fong, The Role of Women in Rebuilding the Russian Economy, Studies of Economies in Transformation 10 (Washington, D.C: The World Bank, 1993); Nataliya Rimashevskaya, “Poverty Trends in Russia: A Russian Perspective,” in Poverty in Russia, 119–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 34.
    Armstrong, Access to Health Care; and Barry M. Popkin, Namvar Zohoori, and Alexander Baturin, “The Nutritional Status of the Elderly in Russia, 1992 through 1994,” American Journal of Public Health 86, no. 3 (1996): 355–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 38.
    Evgenii Andreev, Sergei Scherbov, and Frans Willekens, “Population of Russia: What Can We Expect in the Future,” World Development 26, no. 11 (1998): 1939–1955.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Mark G. Field and Judyth L. Twigg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria A. Velkoff
  • Kevin Kinsella

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations