Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Long Winter Of Their Discontent

Russia is failing the most basic Darwinian test. There evidently was much learned under scientific socialism. Some highlights:
Russia's population fell by more than half a million, or 0.3%, in the first eight months of the year, new statistics show.

Figures from the State Statistics Committee predict a further population decline of 11 million, to about 134 million, in the world's largest country by 2015.
. . . . .
Drug use, alcoholism and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are leading reasons for the decline, said Murray Feshbach, a senior scholar at the Smithsonian Institution's Woodrow Wilson Center.
. . . . .
"Most people are very pessimistic. They don't believe children will have a future", he said.

While there was a slight increase in the birth rate this year as compared to last year, the death rate increased markedly.

The Russian death rate is now 1.7 times higher than the birth rate.

Male life expectancy in Russia is 59 years,considerably lower than it was in the Soviet Union.

For women, it is 72 years.
An interesting aside: My son is off to Japan in a few days to explore the possibility of a relationship with a Russian woman he became acquainted with on the internet. She left Russia to work for a high tech firm in Japan. Much of what she has told my son about Russian life in general, and Russian men in particular, mirrors information in this article. She is highly educated (speaks Russian, Japanese and English) and very attractive. She also does not see much of a future in Russia. (Hat tip to Orthodoxy Today.)