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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Death Rate Highest in 60 Years

Despite a post-Soviet record in births, the population decreased by 856,700 last year as the death rate soared to a high not seen since World War II, the State Statistics Committee said.

As of Jan. 1, the population has slumped 0.6 percent to 143.1 million people, the committee said in a preliminary report issued Friday.

According to the report, 1,396,800 babies were born in 2002, an increase of 85,200 from the previous year. But the number of deaths also grew, from 2,254,000 in 2001 to 2,331,400 in 2002.

The State Statistics Committee, without giving numbers, said the birth rate was a decade-long high and the death rate was the highest since World War II.

It said last year's population decrease was about the same as in 2001.

"The changes were not so significant and did not reverse the overall unfavorable demographic situation in the country and in the regions," the committee report said, Interfax reported.

In other statistics, the report said the number of immigrants fell from 193,400 in 2001 to 184,600, while the number of foreign migrants dropped from 121,100 to 106,700. The number of internal migrants fell 5.8 percent to 2,016,700.

According to Federal Migration Service data, the total number of registered refugees in the country was 505,700. Of them, 43 percent came from Kazakhstan, 12.9 percent from Uzbekistan and 8.9 percent from Tajikistan. More than 80,000 refugees, or 16.3 percent, were Russians fleeing unstable regions such as Chechnya.