Moldova Is Ahead of Other Post-Soviet Countries in Population Decline

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The most rapid decline in population after the collapse of the USSR was recorded in Moldova, as well as in the Baltic States and Ukraine. This is confirmed by the data of the State Statistical Services of the countries that were formerly part of the USSR as union republics. According to official statistics, in the period from 1991 to 2023, population decline was recorded in 9 out of 15 former republics, and population growth - in 6 of them. At the same time, the number of people in the predominantly Asian republics increased most in percentage terms over the period: Tajikistan - by 88.9% to 10.2 million people, Turkmenistan - by 67.7% to 6.2 million, Uzbekistan - by 68.4% to 35.2 million, Kyrgyzstan - by 56.8% to 6.9 million, Kazakhstan - by 21.9% to 20 million. The number of residents in Azerbaijan also increased significantly - by 47.2% to 10.6 million. Meanwhile, the most rapid population decline was recorded in Moldova - by 41.4% - from 4.3 million to 2.5 million people. However, we should note that the official data of the National Bureau of Statistics of Moldova do not take into account information on the territories on the left bank of the Dniester River and Bender municipality. According to the NBS data, the preliminary number of the population with usual place of residence as of 1 January 2023 (excluding the Transnistrian region) was 2 million 512.8 thousand people, which is by 52.3 thousand people (2%) less as compared to the beginning of the previous year. Two of the three Baltic republics ranked second and third in terms of percentage population decline in the post-Soviet space. In Lithuania, between 1991 and 2023, the population decreased by 32.4% to 2.5 million people, in Latvia - by 30.8% to 1.8 million. The following countries in terms of percentage decrease in population during the mentioned period: Ukraine - by 29.4% - to 36.7 million, Georgia - by 20.8% - to 3.8 million, Armenia - by 14.3% - to 3 million, Estonia - by 13.3% - to 1.3 million, Belarus - by 6.9% - to 9.4 million, Russia - by 1.62% - to 146.1 million people. Thus, Moldova shares 12th place with Lithuania in terms of population among the countries of the former USSR. The largest population number is in Russia - 146.1 million people, and the smallest in Estonia - 1.3 million.