The Baltic Region

2022 Vol. 14 №3

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Demographic development processes in the history of the Kaliningrad region: national trends and regional specifics



This article aims to identify the main demographic development trends and features observed in the Kaliningrad region from a historical perspective and assess the extent to which the region’s demographic development corresponds to the national model accepted in contemporary historiography. The empirical sources used in this study include demographic statistics from published and archival materials; theoretically, it draws on the concepts of demographic and epidemiological transitions. Analysis of statistics and historiography is employed along with the comparative historical method. The migration factor had the leading role in the emergence of the regional specifics of demographic development. Migrants from the regions of the USSR that were deeply involved in demographic modernisation before the war formed the resident population of the Kaliningrad region. The gender and age profile of the migrants ensured the prolonged post-war demographic compensation and secured fertility and marriage rates above the RSFSR average. The regional fertility rates converged towards the national average in the second half of the 1950s; from the late 1970s, the region had a fertility rate below the national average. Overall mortality rates remained significantly lower than the RSFSR average until the mid-1990s. The changes in the regional population replacement model that took place in the region during the Soviet period and at the turn of the 21st century generally corresponded to national trends. Therefore, the concept of Russian demographic development proposed by Russian researchers is directly applicable to the exclave of Kaliningrad.


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