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Russia: Research Group Says Russia Facing Demographic Crisis

Washington, 17 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- A respected private research foundation in the United States concludes that Russia is facing a population crisis caused by rising death rates and decreasing birth rates.

The RAND Corporation, based in the Pacific Coast state of California, published the conclusions in a recently released study based on a June 1995 conference attended by both Russian and American demographic specialists.

Among its findings, the report says that because of rising mortality and declining fertility rates, Russia now has a negative population growth rate, and that Russia has the highest incidence of abortion in the world. The report also says that at 59 years, Russian men have the lowest life expectancy in a developed country in the world.