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Poverty in Russia

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  1. Introduction.
    1. General statistics about Russia in 2005.
  2. Russia's social and demographic situation: A declining and aging population, with low life expectancy.
    1. Ages pyramid in Russia, 2000.
    2. Mortality rate and birth rate.
    3. The influence of alcohol.
    4. Trends in Life expectancy at birth for Russia, 1980-2002.
  3. Inequalities and poverty.
    1. Wealth inequalities.
    2. Territorial inequalities and poverty.
    3. Poverty line.
    4. Who are the poor in Russia today?
    5. Two vicious cycle of poverty.
    6. How to solve the poverty issue?
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliography.

Russia is the biggest country in the world and is also today one of the 10th most important economy in the world. In fact, Russia is situated at the 14th world rank concerning its total GDP for 2005 with approximately 763 000 million $, and at the 10th world rank concerning its PPP GDP for 2005 with 1 560 000 million $. After the crisis caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia's economy slowly began its recovery, until the financial crisis broke this positive trend in 1998. Russia revived from the financial crisis quite quickly with industry-led growth aided by the depreciated rouble. Then, since the beginning of 1999 the country's economy has experienced a positive trend, which naturally has reflected to its GDP. In fact, the performance of the Russian economy since 1998 has been impressive. Between 1998 and 2006, Russian GDP expanded by an estimated 57.6%, while real incomes of the population grew by 65%.Despite this economic growth, the indicators of life level places Russia among countries with intermediate level of life. The demographic situation is particularly worrying, with a life expectancy of 59 years old for men and 72 for women and a decreasing and aging population. The number of people living below the subsistence level reached 13, 5% in 2005, which is very important even if we observe a decrease these last few years.

[...] As a conclusion, we can observe that the comparison of the consumption structures between poor and rich households confirms the existence of links between revenue and consumption structure, because 10% of poorest households dedicate more than two third of their budget to food expenses including out side meals and beverage), whereas 10% of the richest households dedicate not even the half of their budget in food expenses Consumption structure (source : Goskomstat) Territorial inequalities and poverty It is important to consider that Russia is the largest country in the world, and at the same time the density of population is low people per km2), and its distribution is very uneven. [...]

[...] A unique feature of poverty in Russia is that many people may have low incomes and consumption levels, but live in expensive apartments in the centre of Moscow and can receive benefits. The public sector is in need of restructuring and modernization. Public sector expenditure on health, measured as a share of DGP, have fluctuated between and since 1995, with some drops after the 1998 crisis. Russia's public sector spending for health care, as measured by share of GDP, is low if compared with EU countries, which spend from 6 to of GDP on average, but not significantly low compared to middle-income countries. [...]

[...] Two vicious cycle of poverty As poverty in Russia is a huge topic, I choose to develop only 2 aspects of poverty that we can call vicious cycle because they are both causes and consequences of poverty. 1st vicious cycle : education and poverty Transition has increased inequality in educational access and outcomes. Russia inherited an education system from the Soviet Union that provided broad access to education, regardless of ethnic background, gender or geographical location. An important legacy from the Soviet period is that nearly 100% of Russian children continue to complete compulsory education. [...]

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