Russian demographics

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Mon Jul 13 13:11:37 PDT 1998

>From RIA Novosti
>July 13, 1998
> The World Population Day was marked all over the globe
>July 11. The United Nations had proclaimed July 11 as an
>official holiday in 1987, when the global population had
>reached the 5-billion mark. Russia has marked this holiday by
>an unprecedented demographic crisis. The average life
>expectancy in this country has declined by six years over the
>1990-1996 period, currently totalling 59.6 years for men and
>72.7 years for women. In fact, Russia now ranks somewhere
>between Egypt and Brazil in terms of its average life
>expectancy. Nationwide infant mortality has started
>diminishing (albeit by a very small margin) over the last few
>years. However, experts are now concerned over rising teenage
>mortality. For example, 1,500 out of 15,000 teen-agers, who
>annually graduate from local orphanages, commit suicide.
>Children's lives were threatened on 17,000 occasions last
>year, what with 200 teen-agers falling prey to their parents;
>and another 2,000 had committed suicide. According to the
>State Committee for Statistics, the number of mentally
>retarded Russian children has soared 20-fold over the last
>decade. About 1 million children are either crippled or
>registered at all kinds of specialised outpatient clinics. 25
>percent of all teen-agers being registered by
>juvenile-delinquency boards, have been selected for drinking
>alcohol. Besides, the number of teen-age drug addicts has
>soared by 300 percent in 1997 compared with the 1993 level.

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