In a speech late last week, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pledged to raise the nation’s birthrate by up to 30% in just three years.
Due to a rapidly falling fertility, Russia has experienced a dramatic population decline, going from 148.5 million people in 1995 to 143 million today. Unofficial estimates indicate that there are nearly 4 million abortions per year in Russia yet only 1.7 million live births.
Putin’s plan calls for spending the equivalent of 33 billion pounds to encourage Russian families to have more children. Click here for coverage of the prime minister’s remarks.
WCF Managing Director Larry Jacobs says that more than cash incentives and government benefits will be needed to raise Russia’s well-below-replacement birth rate.
Against this backdrop, the World Congress of Families will hold the world’s first demographic summit — “Moscow Demographic Summit: Family and the Future of Humankind” — at the Russian State Social University (RSSU), June
RSSU is one of Russia’s largest public universities, with over 100,000 students, and the nation’s leading institution for educating social workers.
“The Summit will include discussions of The Demographic Potential of Russia — The Importance of Pro-Family Public Policy in Russia and the West — Demographic Indicators of Developed and Developing Nations — The Crisis of Family: Marriage, Abortion, Contraception — Population Control — Influence of Demographics on Economic Processes — Human Capital and Family-Friendly Business Practices — Population Aging and Ways to Overcome Demographic Challenges.”
An array of prominent Russian speakers will include:
International Speakers confirmed include:
Invited speakers include demographers, sociologists, economists, scholars, elected officials and leaders from around the world.
Jacobs noted the Summit comes at a crucial time.
“It’s not Russia alone that’s experiencing demographic winter,” Jacobs observed. “Worldwide, birthrates have declined by more than 50% since the late 1960s. By the year 2050, there will be 248 million fewer children under 5 years-old in the world than there are today. This birth dearth will be one of the greatest challenges confronting humanity in the 21st century.”
Jacobs said special thanks go to Alexey Komov — head of the WCF Representative Office in Russia and the CIS, and organizer of the Demographic Summit — and Russian State Social University Rector Vasily I. Zhukov.