The Russian government has introduced additional financial incentives to families who have more than two children in terms of a new 12-year plan designed to boost that nation’s population.
The new measures, brought in after the previous set of regulations boosted the Russian birthrate to 1.9 million in 2012, up from 1.2 million in 1992, will give bonuses to families that have more than two children and will provide better healthcare, housing, and education for families.
In addition, the government will institute financial penalties in the form of additional taxes for divorces, and minimum compulsory alimony rates have been set, regardless of income levels. Abortion has been strongly discouraged and is now increasingly difficult to obtain. Minimum levels of child support payments have also been ordered, irrespective of income levels.
Finally, measures have been taken to strictly limit the propagation of homosexuality in Russian. Sergei Ivanov, the Kremlin’s chief of staff, has commissioned a new set of public artworks promoting “traditional moral and spiritual family values” and the Duma has passed a bill banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” by an overwhelming vote of 436-0.
The city of Moscow has officially outlawed all homosexual demonstrations for the next 100 years, provoking a furious reaction from the European Human Rights Court which said that the ban was “illegal.”
Several attempts by homosexual extremists to parade in public in defiance of the ban have ended in arrests and criminal charges under the ruling.
There are also efforts underway to combat alcohol abuse, which is still a serious issue in Russia. In 2010, then President Dmitry Medvedev nearly doubled the minimum price of a bottle of vodka in an effort to combat the problem.
According to the 2010 census, what they call “ethnic Russians” (and what others would call Europeans) people make up 81 percent of the total population of 143,400,000.
Ukrainians make up 1.4 percent of the population.
In addition, the following groups, all of which have a substantial European makeup and a small mixed-racial element, have populations in excess of one million: Tatars (3.9 percent of the total), Bashkirs (1.1 percent), Chuvash (1 percent), Chechens (1 percent), and Armenians (0.9 percent).
The population is most dense in the European part of the country, centered around Moscow and Saint Petersburg. 74% of the population is urban.