L. N. Lipatova. COVID-19 Pandemic in Russia: Statistical Assessment of Direct and Indirect Demographic Losses

UDК 314.145:616-036.12

doi: 10.15507/2413-1407.122.031.202301.107-122


Introduction. The whole world is concerned about the severe socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, the most threatening of which should be considered the death of a large number of people, the general economic downturn, inflation reducing living standards, the threat of increasing hunger, the aggravation of humanitarian problems in poorly developed countries due to a reduction in foreign aid, etc. But if the negative economic consequences are compensated over time (many countries of the world, and Russia is one of the first on this list, have already returned to the pre-pandemic level in 2021), then the human losses suffered by many countries are irreplaceable. Doctors talk about the need to combat post-COVID syndrome, which can also worsen the health and quality of life of citizens. As demographic history shows, such events affect the development of the population for quite a long time. States have struggled with the new dangerous infection in different ways. The set of measures to counter COVID-19 in some countries was based on a policy of “zero tolerance”, others limited themselves to the introduction of only some temporary and not very strict prohibitions. The results of the measures taken also differ dramatically: some countries have been pushed back many years in terms of life expectancy, while in others this indicator has increased. The purpose of this article is to study the demographic consequences of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic for Russia, which will assess the effectiveness of the anti-epidemic measures taken and better prepare for the occurrence of a similar situation in the future.

Materials and Methods. The study was based on data from Rosstat, materials from reputable international organizations, publications of scientists engaged in the study of population problems. The analysis of the demographic situation was carried out on the basis of the systematic approach and specific methods of demographic analysis, content analysis was used to summarize the materials of published scientific research, a tabular method was used to visualize the results.

Results. The study has revealed that in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the life expectancy of the urban population decreased to a greater extent than that of the rural population. The increase in mortality did not affect children, adolescents and young people under 25 years of age. Mortality among women in the Russian Federation has increased to a greater extent than among men, and this is typical for most age groups. Women aged 6569 were the most vulnerable to the virus – the increase in mortality in this age group was the largest.

Discussion and Conclusion. In addition to direct demographic losses from COVID-19 (144.7 thousand people in 2020), an increase in mortality from other causes – respiratory diseases, coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular diseases, as well as digestive diseases and accidental alcohol poisoning, which violated the long-term trend, has been recorded. Indirect demographic losses from COVID-19 in 2020, calculated by estimating the increase in mortality from these causes, amounted to 143.7 thousand people. Migration growth in the Russian Federation in the first year of the pandemic decreased by 2 times, but remained at the level of 2018. Due to the strict restrictions imposed on the movement of the population, the process of urbanization in the country has slowed down, the migration decline of the rural population has decreased. The results of the study can be useful for scientists dealing with demographic development, as well as used to assess the effectiveness of measures taken to combat the spread of coronavirus infection in 2020. Research in this direction should be continued after the publication of data for 2021 and the results of the All-Russian Population Census.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, post-COVID syndrome, features of demographic development, natural population decline, changes in the structure of mortality due to causes, excess mortality, life expectancy, number of unlived years of life, international migration

Conflict of interests. The author declares that there is not conflict of interest.

For citation: Lipatova L.N. COVID-19 Pandemic in Russia: Statistical Assessment of Direct and Indirect Demographic Losses. Russian Journal of Regional Studies. 2023;31(1):107–122. doi: https://doi.org/10.15507/2413-1407.122.031.202301.107-122


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Submitted 27.06.2022; revised 16.09.2022; accepted 26.09.2022.

About the authors:

Lyudmila N. Lipatova, Dr. Sci. (Sociology), Cand. Sci. (Economics), Associate Professor, Professor, Department of Economics, North-West Institute of Management, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (57/43 Sredny Ave., Vasilyevsky Island, St. Petersburg 199178, Russian Federation), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9357-6708, ln.lipatova@yandex.ru

The author has read and approved the final version of the manuscript.


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