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Russia's Population drops 4.8% since fall of Soviet Union

Crowd with Russian Flag

Russia's population could have fallen by 4.8% since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, according to the first national census in eight years, Bloomberg reports.

Shrinking demographics of those of working age will put downward pressure on Russia's growth and prompted the Kremlin to simplify rules for internal migration to make it easier for those who can work to move nearer to places with jobs.

Preliminary data of the survey puts the population at 141.2 million people, the government's official Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper reported Novemer 8, citing Alexander Surinov, head of the Federal Statistics Service. That figure may rise after polling is completed in remote areas and Russians temporarily living abroad are included, Surinov said.

Russia's population peaked at 148.3 million in 1991 and reached 145.2 million in 2002, when the country last conducted a census.

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