I wanted to comment on this item before it slipped away.
Russia’s population is declining rapidly, with almost half of Russian families childless, a senior member of Russia’s lower house of parliament has said.
Yekaterina Lakhova, chairwoman of the parliamentary committee on women’s affairs, said Thursday, “Today, almost half of the country’s 41 million families have no children at all,” RIA Novosti reported.
Any number of people have commented on this but I haven’t seen much analysis. I’d like to offer some speculation.
First, Russian society has been pathological in a way that we can’t even imagine for generations. Their losses—mostly of young men—during the “Great Patriotic War” (how Russians refer to World War II) were enormous. They’re unknown, unknowable, and unimaginable. At the end of the war, Russia was a country of old men and women. That very situation causes distortions we can’t even guess at.
The Russian system—like most socialized systems in the developed world—makes it easy, inexpensive, and acceptable for women to secure abortions. Repeated abortions have implications for a woman’s fertility. And the compensations other than those that nature provides for children do not make up for the loss of income.
70 years of Soviet Russia produced environmental problems in today’s Russia greater than anything we can imagine, either. That, too, has an impact on fertility.
Alcoholism, particularly among men, is prevalent at a level in Russia that’s hard to imagine, too. There are deep social reasons for this that include the loss of civilizational confidence that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union.
In addition to the biological issues mentioned above in bringing children into the world there are also social issues. Children are a statement about the past, present, and future. If none of those look too good to you, given a choice are you likely to have a large brood?
No nation has ever birth-controlled its way to greatness.
Here’s a quick prediction: China will have some of the same problems over the coming years for many of the same reasons.