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Russia: Demographic Crisis Looms, Says Research Group

Washington, 18 September 1996 (RFE/RL) - Russia is facing a population crisis caused by rising death rates and decreasing birth rates, according to a respected private research foundation in the United States.

The RAND Corporation, headquartered in California, published the conclusions in a recently released study based on a June 1995 conference attended by 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.