Military jets fly in formation during the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2016. (Xinhua/Bai Xueqi) (zw)
Military jets fly in formation during the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2016. (Xinhua/Bai Xueqi) (zw)

dpa/GNA – Russia’s population shrank by around half a million-last year, its first contraction in 15 years, the country’s statistics agency said on Friday.

Russia has a population of 146.2 million, according to newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, citing the agency.

Experts attributed the decline mainly to the pandemic.

There were 229,700 more deaths between January and November 2020 than in the same period the previous year, an excess mortality rate of more than 13 per cent, the agency said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has long called for greater efforts towards population growth. Last year he blamed the trend on low incomes.

Experts say further causes are the migration of younger, well-educated people abroad and the low birth rate.

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