Role of ethnically mixed families in formation of ethnic structure of Russia’s population

Eugeny Soroko, State University Higher School of Economics

Analysis of changes in the recent formation of ethnic structure displays that they are the results of significant decline of fertility and its ethnic differentiation, scale-down of selected ethnic emigration, growing immigration of other peoples, as well as changes in migration legislation. These multiple factors give the basis for understanding the recent features of ethnic composition of Russia in the 21 century. However the role of some other factors remains unclear. They include the processes of mixed marriage formation and associated ethnic assimilation. Another open questions deal with the features of so-called third demographic transition in the conditions of Russia. One of examples: is it possible to expect the projected trends in the population structure in the middle of the 21 century in Russia similar to these for some developed countries such as the UK or the USA? In the study the following sources were used: USSR and Russia population censuses, 1994 microcensus, annual and monthly statistics of Rosstat. Russia is a multiethnic country the majority of which are the Russians. They are currently about 80 per cent, but gradually depopulating. The total number of ethnicities accounted in the 2002 population census exceeds 190. At least 5 parts may be distinguished: peoples of Russia, peoples of the ex-USSR republics, Asian peoples, Germans and Jews, European ethnicities. The relations between these groups in ethnically mixed marriage differ significantly. Some ethnic mixtures display “ethnically-dominated” inheritance, some marriages are “father-oriented”, many ethnic combinations are rather different for males and females.

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Presented in Session 24: Social and ethnic intermarriage