Peculiarities of the demographic transition in Russia and China

Мозиас П.М., Мазерская Э.А.

Abstract

In China, the most populous country in the world, the beginning of the demographic transition and modern economic growth occurred much later than in developed European countries, and it was modified by the existence of the command-and-control system that emerged in the middle of the 20th century. The main phases of the demographic transition in China are the same as in other countries, but its mechanisms are specific. In particular, it was not the accumulation of human capital that played a large role in the decline in the birth rate, but the state policy of «planned childbearing». Today, the problem of the surplus population is no longer at the forefront, but the possible lack of labor resources and the aging of the population are the most serious issues. Russia is also a large country with its economy in transition, and it also had a late start in the demographic transition. Demographic trends were directly affected by the cataclysms that our country experienced in the 20th century (war, collectivization, repression). Today, Russia is characterized not only by the aging of the population, but also by its absolute decrease. The study of the reasons for such negative changes remains relevant: either these are general patterns inherent in developed countries and manifested in Russ.ia, or such changes are influenced by the legacy of the Soviet past and negative trends inherent in the transitional economy. The study of this issue is necessary to determine an adequate government policy in order to improve the situation. Despite the differences in the scale of the population, the demographic trends of the PRC and the Russian Federation have much in common, so it is necessary to study the possibilities for mutual exchange of experience in demographic policy between China and Russia.

Keywords

demographic transition; human capital; birth rate; command-and-control system; mortality; modern economic growth; life expectancy.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2023.03.01

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