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Russia's Birth, Mortality Rates Improve - Medvedev

MOSCOW. March 7 (Interfax) - Russia ranks 100th in terms of human mortality in the world and 134th in terms of male mortality. Such figures were announced by First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who spoke at the session of the Council for national projects on Wednesday.

At the same time, he said that despite the high level of mortality in the country in general, there have been some positive trends in recent years. For instance, last year the birth rate increased by 1.3 % compared to 2005, while mortality decreased by six per cent.

As for 2007, Medvedev said that 16,000 babies were born in January, which is 14.7 % more compared to January 2006. In some regions this indicator is substantially higher than elsewhere in Russia. Mortality in January 2007 decreased by nine per cent compared to January 2006.

"Next year we must change the dynamics of the demographic development," Medvedev said.