Journal Article

Svjaz' meždu urovnjami smertnosti i ekonomiceskogo razvitija v Rossii i ee regionach

Andreev, E. M., Shkolnikov, V. M.
The relationship between mortality and economic development in Russia and its regions
Demographic Review, 5:1, 6–24 (2018)
Open Access


Life expectancy in rich countries is usually higher than in poor ones. We checked whether this is true for the regions of Russia.
The object of the study was data for 2010, the year of the last population census. As a measure of longevity we used life expectancy at birth, while as a measure of wellbeing we used per capita GDP in US dollars at purchasing power parity.
The analysis is based on a comparison of regional data with the Preston curve, which describes the relationship between per capita GDP and life expectancy at birth. The curve was also determined for 2010 based on data from 57 countries where population statistics are suitable for the calculation of life tables.
We found that life expectancy in Russia is substantially below the level that the Preston model predicts on the basis of Russia’s per capita GDP. In 2010, the difference between the model and real life expectancy was 8.7 years, the highest among the 57 countries involved in the calculation.
The dependence of life expectancy on the economic situation in the regions is practically nonexistent. The illusion of interdependence exists because Moscow stands out among other regions with its high GDP and high life expectancy. However, life expectancy in 2010 in Moscow was significantly lower than the level predicted by the Preston model. In the authors’ opinion, the lack of a connection is explained by the fact that in regions with high GDP, the level of economic inequality is also high. High incomes of a small part of the population can raise the average level of economic indicators in the region, but lower mortality in a small group has little effect on the life expectancy of the whole population.

Keywords: Russian Federation
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.