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Demography Gave Evaluation to the Quality of Reforms in the Post-Soviet States

Demography Gave Evaluation to the Quality of Reforms in the Post-Soviet States
07.11.2013

Source: Andrey Illarionov

One kind man drew my attention to the forecast of population growth in the federal republics of the USSR, made by Goskomstat of the USSR before dissolution of the Soviet Union and published in the edition "Collection of Statistical Materials. 1990 / Goskomstat of the USSR. — M: Finance and Statistics, 1991". On pages 65-66 of this edition one can find actual data about population of the republics for the end of 1990 and their expected number in 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015.

Table below provides data about number of the population in 1990 and expected for 2010 values from specified edition, it also contains actual data about population of the Post-Soviet states in 2010 from IMF database. The states are ranged according to the size of the actual change of population (in percents) for last two decades (column 5). Degree of compliance of forecasts of Goskomstat of the USSR about number of the population in 2010 to their actual values in 2010 (column 6) represents special interest. Quality of the forecast made broken down by republics is possible to see looking at the values included into the seventh column, judging from the size of difference between actual and expected growth of the population.

Actual and forecast number of population in 1990 and 2010.
 

 

States

Year

1990, people (thousands)

Forecast of 1991 for 2010, people (thousands)

Year

2010, people (thousands)

Difference b/w actual data and forecast for 2010, people (thousands)

Actual growth during the period 1990-2010 in % to actual data 1990

Actual growth during the period 1990-2010 in % to the forecast for 2010

Difference b/w actual and forecast growth in % to forecast growth

 

Columns

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

1

Turkmenia

3701

5538

5439

-99

47,0

-1,8

-5,4

2

Тadjikistan

5379

9053

7616

-1437

41,6

-15,9

-39,1

3

Uzbekistan

20674

32804

28500

-4304

37,9

-13,1

-35,5

4

Аzerbaijian

7208

9504

8998

-506

24,8

-5,3

-22,0

5

Кyrgyzstan

4425

6607

5478

-1129

23,8

-17,1

-51,7

6

Каzakhstan

16828

21898

16434

-5464

-2,3

-25,0

-107,8

7

Russia

148341

162339

142900

-19439

-3,7

-12,0

-138,9

8

Аrmenia

3498

4471

3263

-1208

-6,7

-27,0

-124,2

9

Belarus

10266

11131

9481

-1650

-7,6

-14,8

-190,8

10

 Ukraine

51680

53277

45783

-7494

-11,4

-14,1

-469,3

11

 Lithuania

3735

4119

3287

-832

-12,0

-20,2

-216,7

12

 Estonia

1584

1701

1340

-361

-15,4

-21,2

-308,5

13

 Georgia

5434

6117

4436

-1681

-18,4

-27,5

-246,1

14

 Мoldavia

4381

5171

3564

-1607

-18,6

-31,1

-203,4

15

 Latvia

2683

2858

2121

-737

-20,9

-25,8

-421,1

 

The USSR

Number in post-Soviet states

289817

336558

288640

-47918

-0,4

-14,2

-102,5

 

From all forecasts of socio-economic indexes demographic forecasts are considered as one of the most exact as they deal with phenomena which have been studied rather well and at the same time are rather inertial. However comparisons of actual data to the forecasts made only two decades ago show scales of deviations which have occurred because of impossibility either to forecast scales of social, economic, political, military cataclysms many Post-Soviet republics (Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Tajikistan) suffer or to take into account strengthening of former and appearance of new migratory streams (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan). The greatest deviations of the actual increase in population from their expected values are found in Ukraine and Latvia (column 7).

Actual population size of Russia in 2010 appeared almost 20 million people less, than it was predicted by Goskomstat of the USSR in the beginning of the year 1991. Nevertheless percentagewise this deviation doesn't look so catastrophic, as, for example, in Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Latvia, Kazakhstan. Forecasts of Goskomstat of the USSR for 2010 made in the beginning of the year 1991 appeared to be most exact for Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.

The total number of the population of the Post-Soviet states in 2010 appeared almost 48 million people less, than it was predicted in 1991 and still remained approximately one million people lower, than the number of the population of the USSR at the end of 1990.

________________________________________

From editorial board: Andrey Illarionov drew attention of the society to enormous crime, at that the crime is 100-percent proved, for last 20 years former USSR lost 48 million people!

At that it is necessary to understand that demographic forecast which hasn’t come true is not "missed benefit" which could not be, those 48 million people surely would have lived among us, if it wasn’t for catastrophic events of the last quarter of the century. It is twice more, than losses of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War. It’s 8 times more, than appreciation of losses of the Jewish people in the period of Holocaust. In due time Mikhail Delyagin suggested to call events of the last quarter of the century Catastrophe, there’s no exaggeration in it against given statistics.

What do 48 million people mean? It is more than the number of people living today in Ukraine! Let's imagine that all population of Ukraine, including chest babies would have been completely killed during war. If it would be possible to call it Catastrophe?

At that if in statistics of certain republic, say, Georgia, loss of 18 percent of the population could be explained by migration, it become clear in all-union scale that in the majority those 48 million either died ahead of time, or weren't born. The very few left.

There is one more regularity - the most acceptable demographic indicators of the most totalitarian modes, the more totalitarian it is, the better is demography. Turkmenistan which became nominal example of post-Soviet idiocy nevertheless on demography almost didn't suffer losses in comparison with the Soviet forecast. Tajikistan is on the second place on relative demographic wellbeing, it endured the most bloody in the former USSR civil war, Karimov’s Uzbekistan is on the third place, Azerbaijan - the only hereditary "sultanate" in the former Union - is on the fourth. Samples of democratic changes: Latvia, Moldova, Georgia, Estonia, Lithuania are the most unsuccessful. Situation in authoritative Belarus is almost twice better, than in semi-democratic Ukraine, things in bai’s Kazakhstan is 3 times better, than in rather free Armenia.

What's the matter? If a person feels better in a yoke, than on freedom? I think that the reason is different - all authoritative modes in the former USSR are the most conservative, while those which are more free are most of all subjected to various liberal reforms. Thus demography gives qualitative evaluation of these reforms. After all even "champion" on demography - Turkmenistan - doesn't hold out to expected indicators of the USSR, which means that if there wouldn't be reform at all, Turkmenistan would meet expected figures. Baltic is the "champion" on reforms and we see the most catastrophic consequences of reforming there, though, apparently, "successes" are enviable – they are members of EU and NATO...

What is better? As they say, both variants are bad. The USSR with all its shortcomings remains inaccessible to all Post-Soviet modes level.

А.B.

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