Last Update: 12 December, 2001
NEWS - Demographic Crisis
goes into freefall as plummeting birthrate and excessive consumption of
cigarettes and alcohol threaten the country's future.
The country's life expectancy is one of the lowest in the world as a result of stress, cigarettes, alcohol, diet and pollution, and is a major factor in the declining population.
The overall population has fallen by 6 million in ten years and could fall by another 39 million by 2025 (based on current trends).
The plunging birthrate has been brought about largely by illness among pregnant mothers due to the virtual collapse of paediatric and pre-natal healthcare.
The central statistical agency, Goskomstat, has published figures that indicate that the poor state of pre-natal health care means that one in ten pregnancies results in a normal birth and less than a third of recorded pregnancies produced a live birth last year.
Average male life expectancy crept up to 59 last year, which is still more than 10 years below that of Western Europe.
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