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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Death Rate Highest Since End of War

Russia's death rate last year reached 15.3 per 1,000 people, the highest in Europe and the highest in Russia since the end of World War II, Interfax reported Monday.

The rate was 14.7 per 1,000 in 1999.

For adults age 20 to 29, the death rate has jumped 60 percent over the past decade, Interfax said, citing the State Statistics Committee.

Also, the death rate from causes other than old age and illness is 2 1/2 times higher in Russia than in advanced countries and 1 1/2 times higher than in developing nations, the State Statistics Committee said.

Last year, 73,000 died from unnatural causes, said Olga Kolesnikova, spokeswoman for the Statistics Committee.

Deaths from unnatural causes include road accidents, industrial and household accidents, poisoning, suicides and deaths in the army.

The death rate for infants was also two to three times higher than in advanced European countries, and the rate of sickness in newborns has more than doubled in the past 10 years, Interfax said.

Kolesnikova said babies under 1 died last year at a rate of 16.5 out of every 1,000.

In 2000, the average age of death for men was 59.8 years and for women 72.2 years, Interfax reported.

Still, the population is considered old, with 12.5 percent older than 65 years. The United Nations defines an old population as being when at least 7 percent of the population is over 65 years.

The State Statistics Committee said birth rates have more than halved since 1987, to 1.17 babies per woman, while a birthrate of 2.15 babies per woman is needed to keep the size of the population stable.

As a result, the population fell by 750,000 to 144.8 million people last year, a decline of 6.6 million since 1992.