The Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) in Nizhny Novgorod, a major industrial city lying at the confluence of the Volga and Oka rivers some 440 km east of Moscow, reports that the birth rate is declining and mortality rate is rising in the city and in the Nizhny Novgorod region. Nizhny Novgorod is almost the only Russian million-strong city where the number of residents is decreasing.
Thus, there are currently 1.25 mln people in Nizhny Novgorod. In 2018, their number decreased by more than 20,000. Meanwhile, the number of residents of Kazan, capital of the constituent Republic of Tatarstan, Yekaterinburg, the fourth-largest city in Russia, and Novosibirsk, the country’s third-most populous city is actively growing. There are 1.61 mln people living in Novosibirsk, 1.48 mln in Yekaterinburg and 1.22 mln in Kazan. Last year the birth rate in Tatarstan exceeded the mortality rate. Kazan also has positive dynamics, where about 1.5 mln people are expected to live in a few years’ time.
Meanwhile, the birth rate in Nizhny Novgorod region is falling. Last year, with 9.5% fewer children born in 2019 than in 2018. The mortality rate exceeded the birth rate by 1.6 times. The most common mortality factors in Nizhny Novgorod are cardiovascular, cancer and nervous system diseases.
At the end of 2019, the Ministry of Health of Nizhny Novgorod region announced that maternity hospital № 6 in the Sormovo district of Nizhny Novgorod will not resume its operation. The hospital was closed in October 2017 due to the insufficient number of obstetric patients in Nizhny Novgorod. There are enough remaining maternity hospitals for them. Formally, the closure before a special order was caused by another order of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources (Rospritodnadzor), Fire Supervision and Technical Supervisory Inspection of the Nizhny Novgorod region dating to the years 2015 through 2017. Another reason for that was the impossibility to eliminate violations in the ongoing work, as well as poor conditions of the hospital’s facilities. According to the estimates of the regional Ministry of Health, the number of births in Nizhny Novgorod is constantly decreasing, and the patient load per bed is, too. Available maternity hospitals are coping with the current cases. They have spare beds, and there is no need to renew the operations of Sormovo maternity hospital № 6.
The influx of migrants to the Nizhny Novgorod region is not likely to change the situation for the better, although last year there was a positive migration balance of 6,790 people. From January through November 2019, a total of 34,600 people arrived in the region and 27,810 people left it. According to statistics, the migration growth of 85.5% was formed by international migration. Particularly, most migrants came from Armenia (1,240), Ukraine (972), Tajikistan (535), Azerbaijan (459), Kyrgyzstan (352), Kazakhstan (316), Uzbekistan (307), Serbia (271), China (231), India (178), Turkmenistan (117) and Belarus (112). However, almost all of these people are expected to return to their home countries sooner or later. Therefore, their presence or absence does not strategically affect the number of residents.