In October 2010, the 11th All-Russian Census took place. Its final results were released one year later. In the most general terms, these results are as follows: Russia’s population over the 8 years that had lapsed since the previous census (2002–2010) declined by 2.31 m (or 1.6%), thus amounting to 142.9 m. It should be reminded that, on the basis of current population statistics, the expected decline was to be greater by 980 thousand. However, the real situation is by no means as bright in all its aspects as it actually seems to be: the population decline as displayed by the last census – if we exclude the most ‘problematic’ RF subjects (from the point of view of quality of the 2010 ‘census campaign’), the city of Moscow and the North Caucasus republics constituting the North Caucasus Federal District,1 – will nearly double The most obvious errors in counting the population occurred in the city of Moscow, in Dagestan, in the Republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia, and probably also in those cities whose population ‘hovers’ around the 1 m mark. Besides, during the 2010 census it became nearly impossible to revise the errors of the 2002 census. In addition to the standard problems typical of any census, the reason for the inadequate counting of the population is the desire of regional and local authorities to increase the number of residents in the territories under their auspices in order to obtain some additional interbudgetary transfers. For more detailed information on that issue, see Mkrtchian N. V. Migratsia kak komponent dinamiki naseleniia regionov Rossii: otsenka na osnove dannykh perepisi naseleniia 2010 goda. [Migration As a Component of the Population Movement in the Regions of Russia: An Estimation Based on the Data Provided by the 2010 Census] // Vestnik RAN [The Herald of the RAS (Russian Academy of Sciences)]. Geography Series, 2011. No. 5. P. 28– RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks (3.875 m, or 3.0%). The able-bodied cohorts shrunk by 959 thousand for Russia as a whole and by 1.950 m for Russia less the ‘problematic regions’. Thus, the basic demographic characteristics of the Russian population are pointing to the existence of some problems (resulting from the demographic phenomena and events that happened much earlier) that are at present aggravating even further, threatening in the future with a historically unprecedented drop in the number of the able-bodied population 1. These demographic parameters, in terms of tactics, make possible only two scenarios for further development: one, to learn to ‘live by means’ (that is, in a situation of a shrinking able-bodied population2); and the other, to compensate for the population depletion with an inflow of migrants.
Both these scenarios, in their turn, are fraught with some problems. The first one implies, first of all, the necessity to ensure a constant labor productivity growth (something that has never been successfully achieved before), and then to find solutions to the current issues of providing adequate financing to the Pension Fund and funding all the other social welfare expenditures. The second scenario – which is directly linked to the issues discussed here – will make it necessary to deal with the challenges and threats associated with mass immigration, as well as to take measures designed to increase the attractiveness of this country in the eyes of migrants in general, and in the eyes of migrants who possess certain (required) social and professional traits and qualifications in particular.
5.2.1. Permanent Migration In terms of demographic indices, the year 2011 has brought in no news: this country is experiencing a natural population decline. The rate of that decline has dropped on the previous year, and it amounts, according to preliminary data, to 131 thousand. The migration-linked growth, as estimated on the basis of residence registration data (comparable with the data for 2010), amounted, according to ‘operative’ records, to slightly more than 100 thousand, and when estimated according to the newly introduced rules – to nearly 300 thousand. From 2011, the statistical records of long-term population migration (which is a component of ‘replacement’ of natural population decline) include those migrants who are registered at their place of residence, as well as those persons who are registered at the place of their stay for a period of 9 months or longer. In the preceding years, only migrants registered at their place of residence or those registered at the place of their stay records for periods of more than months were entered in statistical records. The methodology-linked differences can probably be explained by the fact that migrants have the right to live without registration for a period of 90 days (or those 3 months that constitute the ‘time lapse’ to the one-year period), and as a result their stay will be extended to a full calendar year, which corresponds to the international recommendations for keeping records of long-term migrants. The alteration of the recording parameters could at least slightly increase the recorded migration-linked growth of Russia’s population participating in compensation for natural population decline. On the Karachurina L. B. Migratsionnye protsessy. [Migration processes.] //Rossiiskaia ekonomika v 2010 godu. Tendentsii i perspektivy. [Russian Economy in 2010. Trends and Outlooks] (Issue 32). M.: IEP, 2011. Section 5.3.
In this connection it should be understood that the number of employees differs significantly from the number of the able-bodied population. Thus, for example, the number of people employed in Russia’s economy in amounted to 69,804 thousand, or by 519 thousand more than 2009. At the same time, the number of able-bodied persons in 2010 (69,846 thousand) was by 124 thousand less than in 2009. /Source: Trud i zaniatost’ v Rossii, 2011. [Labor and Employment in Russia.] 2011. Rosstat, 2011.
Section Social Sphere whole, migration-linked growth in Russia has become much greater than in 2009 (247.4 thousand), and even more so than in 2010 (158.1 thousand). It may be assumed that the current situation has resulted from the introduction of the aforesaid alterations in the procedure for keeping statistical records of migration. The annual volume of 300 thousand migrants evidently corresponds to the actual inflow of long-term migrants, which was previously significantly downplayed due to the exclusion of foreign students enrolled in Russian educational establishments and other categories of migrants. In this connection it is difficult to definitely state that the increasing rate of migration growth is associated with Russia’s increasing migration attractiveness. In reality it is unlikely that it has significantly increased in the absence of any serious progress in reforming the migration processes, coupled with some very real economic and political problems. Migration-linked population growth in Russia (per 1,000 people, mean value for 2005–2009) is four times lower than in Norway, three times lower than in the Czech Republic and Sweden (Fig. 6), and twice as low as in the USA. Of course, some European countries make do with much lower, and in some years even negative, migration parameters. However, they are attempting to change the existing situation. For example, Latvia, which for many years has been experiencing an outflow of the native population, from 1 July 2010 introduced amendments to the Law ‘On Immigration’ whereby foreign citizens (Russians including) to legally obtain a permit for residence in Latvia, at the same enjoying the possibility to stay in the countries of the Shengen Area for an unlimited period of time. To achieve that status, a foreigner must acquire immovable property of a certain minimum value (no less than 100 thousand lats in Riga, the Riga region, or another big city, or from 50 thousand lats in other regions of Latvia1. By 1 October 2011 this right had been taken advantage of by approximately 1700 persons, who were in the main citizens of Russia or Kazakhstan.
From March 2008, Poland introduced a Pole’s Card as one of the components of a soft migration system2.
In Russia, a similar idea was to certain degree reflected in the Government Program Compatriots3. However, it was never actually implemented due to numerous discrepancies in the corresponding law enforcement procedures, as well as its belated character and the excessive regulation that it implied4. Over the 5 years while it was in force, only 57.5 thousand persons were resettled in Russia (including 29.5 thousand persons in 2011 (with families)) instead of the 300 thousand that were planned just for the first three years of its implementation.
It should be reminded that the voluntary resettlement program was announced to be one of the two major directions of Russia’s migration policy in the latter half of the 2000s (the second being liberalization of temporary labor migration). In accordance with the Program, depending on the socio-economic and demographic situation in a given recipient region (the regions were divided into three categories), the repatriates are to be granted a certain (differing http://www.latvio.ru/index.phpoption=com_content&view=article&id=105:nedvizhimost-v-latvii-i-vid-nazhitelstvo&catid=4:info&Itemid= http://svoi.pl/web/index.phpoption=com_content&view=article&id=78:polishcard&catid=3:legal&Itemid= Edict of the RF President ‘On Measures Designed to Assist in Voluntary Resettlement in the RF to Compatriots Residing Abroad’ of 22 June 2006, No. 637 (published as of 28 June 2006); ‘The Government Program for Providing Assistance in Voluntary Resettlement in the RF to Compatriots Residing Abroad’; and the “Plan of Measures Designed to Implement ‘The Government Program for Providing Assistance in Voluntary Resettlement in the RF to Compatriots Residing Abroad’ (approved by Edict of the RF President of 22 June 2006, No. 637).
For more details concerning the issues involved in the implementation of the Compatriots program, see Karachurina L. B. Migratsionnye protsessy. [Migration processes.] //Rossiiskaia ekonomika v 2009 godu. Tendentsii i perspektivy. [Russian Economy in 2009. Trends and Outlooks] (Issue 31). M.: IEP, 2010. P. 376–392.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks between regions) set of privileges (for example, the relocation allowance and the monthly allowance to compensate for the absence of income for the first six months), the compensation for their transportation costs connected with resettlement, the State duty for the preparation of the necessary documents, the compensation package for a participant in the Program (the services of pre-school, school and vocational training, social services, health care and the employment service) and the acquisition of Russian citizenship. The principal targets and ‘donors’ of the Program are the CIS countries, although the relevant documents are not limited only to those territories.
Luxembourg 13,Sweden 6,Italy 6,Belgium 5,Slovenia 5,Spain 3,The Netherlands 3,UK 3,Finland 2,Cyprus 2,Portugal 2,Denmark 2,Slovakia 2,Austria 2,Malta 1,Russia 1,Hungary 1,Czech Republic 1,Germany 0,Romania 0,Poland 0,Latvia -2,Lithuania -4,Ireland -6,-10,0 -5,0 0,0 5,0 10,0 15,Source: Russia and the Member Countries of the European Union, 2011. Rosstat, 2011.
Fig. 6. Migration Growth Coefficients in Russia and Some Other European Countries (per 1,000 people), As the procedure for obtaining RF citizenship under a simplified regime was made much more complicated from October 2011, this circumstance may actually revive the Program Previously, the procedure for obtaining RF citizenship was relatively liberal (within the framework of bilateral agreements or a simplified procedure for obtaining RF), and so little interest was observed with regard to obtainSection Social Sphere which will then serve as a means for a quick acquisition of Russian citizenship. In accordance with the RF President’s Edict,1 the citizens of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Belarus – who until recently, under bilateral agreements, could get Russian citizenship in a simplified procedure within a very short period of time (three months) – from now on will have to apply for Russian citizenship in the same way as all other foreigners. The citizens of Belarus – via a residence permit (that is, they will have to wait for at least one additional year), those of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – after they obtain a temporary residence permit (which means a further delay for yet another year), then a residence permit, and only after that, if they are able to provide proper substantiation,2 they may apply for citizenship. On the whole, this can still be regarded as a comparatively preferential procedure for granting RF citizenship, although a more lengthy and laborious than the one existing in the previous year. The reasons for toughening Russia’s migration legislation are not easily understandable, and this refers to all its aspects – humanitarian, economic, political. It is a well-known fact that in a majority of cases those developed countries that experience demographic problems deliberately simplify the naturalization procedures for those applicants who have close relatives in the recipient country. As a rule, the ‘family channel’ is regarded as the most desirable source of immigration, and so it is encouraged.
It should be reminded that at an earlier point in time – in July 2010 – the simplified procedure of obtaining RF citizenship was abolished with regard to the citizens of those republics of the former USSR that had not signed any relevant bilateral agreements with Russia.
The toughening of the naturalization procedures was reflected by the sharp decline, in 2010–2011, of the number of immigrants who were granted Russian citizenship (Fig. 7). The expected result will be accumulation in this country’s territory of people with unspecified status. In 2011, approximately 133 thousand persons lived in Russia on the basis of a residence permit; another 380 thousand persons had temporary residence permits (TRP). Thus, no more than 513 thousand people were actually able to confirm their legal migration status in Russia3. In 2010 that number declined still further – to approximately 390 thousand. In this connection, on the basis of surveys, it can be said that a considerable portion of temporary migrants (up to 25%4) do want to remain in Russia (for good, or for a long period of time), but they do not know how this goal can be achieved in a legal way.