Global Workforce Demographics – Part 3 of 4: Russia’s Workforce

This is Part Three of a four part blog on Global Demographics.  Here is the link to:

Part One – Global Wokforce Demographics

Part Two – Japan’s Workdorce Demographics


Russian Federation’s Workforce Demographics

At the other end of the spectrum is the Russian Federation who’s 73 million workforce has just 9.7% of its workers 55 and older.  While in most developed countries, the fastest growing workforce segment is 55 and older, in Russia, their fastest growing segment is the 45 to 54 year olds.  This segment totals 26% of its workforce and is almost 3.5 times the size of the 55 and older segment. 

Russia’s workforce demographics are being shaped by an alarming phenomenon.  Russia is in the midst of a population decline.  Its population, currently 142 million, has been steadily declining since 1992. 

Russia’s population decline is linked to two intertwined trends:

  • Increased mortality rate among young males, due to suicides, alcohol poisoning, murder and traffic accidents
  • Decline in birth rates.  Presently, rates are 1.1 births per female.  2.4 births is the general rule to sustain a population

The influence of these trends on Russia’s workforce makes it susceptible to two different types of risk:  Knowledge Loss and Vacancy.

Knowledge Loss risk is the potential “brain drain” or intellectual capital decline to an organization while Vacancy risk is the potential that an open job will be unstaffed. 

Three reasons support an assessment that Russia has higher levels of Knowledge Loss and Vacancy risks:

·        The 55 and older segment often associated with experiential knowledge makes up less than 10% of the workforce.

·        The average life expectancy for a Russian male is 59 years.

·        25% of Russia’s workforce is between 45 and 54 years.  While this is the fastest growing segment of Russia’s workforce, many are also within 10 years of the average life expectancy.

The conclusion is that the supply of workers who primarily hold supervisory, managerial or seniority positions in an organization is shrinking and directly contributes to higher levels of Knowledge Loss and Vacancy risks.

Foreign workers are aware of Russia’s population decline and job vacancies and view it as an opportunity.  Russia has the second largest number of international migrants but concerns exists that this is only a short term solution

Since Russia’s late 1990’s financial crisis, its economy has been on a growth trajectory.  High oil prices, consumer demand and capital investments have contributed to growth that is averaging 7%, annually.  Like Japan, Russia has a threat to its economic expansions, and while, like Japan, it is demographic related, its root cause is much different. 


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