Demographic changes and evolution of family policy in Russia during the last century

Antonina Noskova, MGIMO University

The aim of the paper is to shed light on peculiarities of demographic transformations, which have caused the evolution of the family policy in Russia. The paper has two key issues. The first one explores some factors that have determined the demographic situation in different stages of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia history during last century. The second one analyses the family policy measures as the state reactions to different demographic challenges. The impact of these measures on the family changes and demography transformations in Russia are considered. We have analyzed the five stages of demographic changes and corresponding five main models of the family policy in Russia. They are: the post-revolutionary model (1917-1926), the “Stalin” model (1927-1954), the Soviet “welfare” model (1955-1990), the post-Soviet model (1991-2005), the present model (since 2006). From the late 1930s, one of the main problems became the decline of fertility and necessity of increasing the birth rate. For those stages, the paper explores the state measures aimed to fertility rate supporting. These measures gave various financial and social supports for families with children. We have shown that the Soviet family policy has been an attempt to do the symbiosis of two groups of the measures. The first one was aimed at facilitating the work–family reconciliation; the second one was the supporting of the “traditional” family model. The paper shows that one of the most important measures of the first group has been the creation of the childcare public system. The organizing of this system for babies and pre-school children became one of the social achievements of Soviet Union. The deformation of this system in 1990s led to new social challenges for families and demographic risks for Russian society. The final part of the paper discusses the current demographic situation and policy measures in Russia.

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Presented in Poster Session 1