Getting older. Working age cohort declines.
Declining fertility rates and increasing mortality rates,
especially among working-age males, have steadily
reduced the size of Russia’s population from 148.7
million people in 1992 to just 144.9 million in 2000.
According to US Census projections, Russia is expected
to further contract in the next five decades to 118
million people, the level it achieved in 1960.
Needs migration. Chinese? Central Asians?
America thrives with enough people of the
Russia is one of the world's largest oil producers, and
its dramatic interest rate hike to 17% in support of its
troubled rouble underscores how heavily its
economy depends on energy revenues, with oil and
gas accounting for 70% of export incomes or about
Russia loses about $2bn in revenues for every dollar
fall in the oil price, and the World Bank has warned
that Russia's economy would shrink by at least 0.7%
in 2015 if oil prices do not recover.
Oil prices have fallen below $60 a barrel, a huge
problem for Russia, where oil and gas revenues finance
more than half of the state budget of about $338
Russian authorities were banking on oil prices of $100
per barrel in 2015 to balance the books and are
forecasting a sharp recession if prices remain at current
Russia’s central bank has taken the drastic step of
raising its main interest rate to 17%, a rise of 6.5
percentage points. It is a desperate attempt to restore
confidence in the rouble, which has almost halved in
value against the dollar in six months..