Demography is one of the factors influencing potential economic growth. Potential growth increases in tandem with the birth rate, which is closely linked to the increase in household income.
  |   Elena Akhmedova, Rodion Latypov, Egor Postolit

The total fertility rate (TFR) is (link in Russian) the number of children born per woman of childbearing age on average. In Russia, TFR fell from 1.8 in 2015 to 1.5 in 2020, while globally, TFR averages 2.3.

  • The birth rate in Russia is highly correlated (link in Russian) with the population’s income. In the 1990s, the decline in the TFR and the growing gap between the actual and the desired (link in Russian) number of children, which is always just over two, coincided with falling incomes and rising poverty: after peaking at 2.5 in the 1960s, TFR fell to a low of 1.16 in 1999.
  • In the early 2000s, this trend was reversed by the increase in income and the maternity capital programme, and in 2014-2015, TFR rose to 1.8. However, the recessions of 2014-2015 and 2020 interrupted the growth of TFR and brought it down to 1.5.
  • TFR is higher than 2 only in four Russian regions: in the Chechen Republic, the Nenets Autonomous Area, the Altai Republic, and the Republic of Tuva, thus allowing for mere reproduction of the population.

The Russian constituent entities with a higher birth rate have a higher proportion of men in their population.

  • Men make up (link in Russian) 46.5% of the Russian population, compared to a global average of 50.4%. In only six countries – Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Curacao, Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China) and Nepal – the proportion of men is comparable to or lower than in Russia.
  • In only two constituent entities of Russia – the Chukotka Autonomous Area and the Kamchatka Territory – the male population exceeds the female one.
  • We assume that, without additional support measures, such as the abolition of personal income tax for incomes amounting to 1-1.5 of the Minimum Monthly Wage, the reduction of the social security contribution rate, the tax exemption for labour income depending on the household structure, the fall in disposable income will reduce TFR down to 1.3–1.4 in 2024, which means a return to the level before the maternity capital programme introduction and a level below the target of 1.7, stipulated by the Demography National Project (link in Russian).  
  • In their consensus forecast (September 2022), analysts say Russia’s long-term GDP growth is estimated at 1.5%, down from 2% in 2021. The potential growth rate will increase together with the birth rate, which, in turn, will grow in line with the population’s income, and the birth rate is higher where the male population is larger.