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Russia's Birthrate Drops By 10.7 Percent In 2017

It is the third consecutive year that Rosstat has registered a decline in Russia's birthrate.

Russia's state statistics service says the country's birthrate dropped 10.7 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year.

Although Russia's death rate in 2017 was down by 3.9 percent compared to 2016, the country's birthrate did not add to the population's growth, according to data made public on January 29 by the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat).

The agency said that 1.69 million children were born in Russia last year, down by 203,000 compared to 2016 and equal to the number of births in Russia in 2007.

It is the third consecutive year that Rosstat has registered a decline in Russia's birthrate.

The number of children born in Russia in 2014 was officially reported as 1.9 million, but that figure included children born in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula that Moscow seized that year.

In November, Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced concern over the "acute demographic situation in Russia," and announced that the government would "reset Russia's national demographic program."

He also said the state will pay parents allowances for 18 months after they have their first child, and that families will start receiving the handouts -- the equivalent of about $180 per month -- as of January 1, 2018.

Russia's population has declined since peaking at more than 148 million in 1992, the year after the Soviet Union collapsed. Putin has made efforts to reverse that trend a priority during his 18 years in power as president or prime minister.

Russia's population was 144.3 million in 2016, according to the World Bank.

With reporting by Kommersant
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