The Baltic Region

2018 Vol. 10 № 3

Current Scenarios for the Demographic Future of the World: The Cases of Russia and Germany

Abstract

In this article, we explore the demographic future of the world with a focus on scenarios for Russia and Germany. We seek an alternative to the Western standards of scenarios for global demographic development. We consider demographic development both in a positive and negative sense. Our analysis rests on such theoretical structures as the general theory of population, the classical theory of demographic transition, the concepts of the ‘second’, ‘third’, and ‘fourth’ demographic transitions, and scenarios for the ‘Eurasian demographic development path’. We employ a range of methods from comparative demography as well as historical analogies, expert evaluations and demographic forecasts. We analyse the patterns of current demographic development in Russia and Germany to explore various demographic scenarios. In the conclusion, we stress the need for Russia and other countries, including Germany, to embark on the ‘Eurasian demographic development path’ in view of the countries’ geographical positions and demographic values, with children being a dominant one. Otherwise, both Germany and Russia may disappear as national states as early as this century. The findings of this study can be used to improve the demographic policies of Russia and Germany.

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Geodemography of the Saint Petersburg Suburbs

Abstract

In this article, we analyse the structure and the development dynamics of the Saint Petersburg suburbs — home to over 1.6 million people. To this end, we employ statistical, historical, and empirical research methods and carry out a comparative analysis. Geodemographic studies should take into account not only demographic data but also the characteristics of the settlement system. Such studies are particularly important for suburbs. Russian social geography pays little attention to suburban studies, although such territories have become an independent object of research in international geographical science. The Saint Petersburg suburbs are of special interest from the perspective of geodemography, which is explained by the significant size of the area — a result of the territory’s historical development. The formation of the settlement system of the Saint Petersburg suburbs started with the foundation of the city, and continues to this day. Today, their spatial structure is shaped by the current administrative border between Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region — a product of the territory’s development in the Soviet period of Russia’s history. The lengthy process of border formation has given it a peculiar character. The most vibrant and attractive areas of the suburbs are located at a distance of 14—32 km from the centre of Saint Petersburg, between the isochrones of forty- and ninety-minute transport accessibility. Lying at a distance of approximately 60 km from the city centre, the two-hour travel time band marks the border of both the commuter zone and the Saint Petersburg agglomeration. A new settlement system is emerging within the suburban area of Saint Petersburg — the most economically, demographically, and socially vibrant territory of Russia’s North-West.

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Population Change in the Neighbouring Regions of Russia and the European Union States

Abstract

In this article, I carry out a comparative analysis of population change in the bordering regions of Russia and the European Union. Peripheries of their countries, most of these regions enjoy a more or less favourable demographic situation, which, however, differs from place to place. To attain the aims of the study, I analyse official data from Russian and EU statistical offices and map the results obtained. I identify significant differences between border regions and cities. The most adverse demographic situation is observed in the borderlands of the Baltics, a slightly better one in Poland and Finland. As to Russia’s border regions, a population increase is characteristic of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad and Kaliningrad regions. Yet, a number of cities in the immediate vicinity of the border face a population decline. The demographic situation could be improved by more active transboundary collaborations and by the border serving increasingly as a contact area rather than a barrier.

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