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"A noticeable decline in the quality of life of Russians will begin in 2016 year" - EastRussia | Opinions






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"A noticeable decline in the quality of life of Russians will begin in 2016 year"

"A noticeable decline in the quality of life of Russians will begin in 2016 year"

Andrey Akhremenko

Head of the Laboratory of Mathematical Methods of Political Analysis and Forecasting of the Faculty of Political Science of the Moscow State University

Andrei Akhremenko, Head of the Laboratory, Head of the Research Team, Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor at Moscow State University:

- to that recession (economic - Ed.) is inevitable, we are all psychologically ready - and the townsfolk, and analysts, who also nothing human is alien. The fact that growth, in general, stopped, could be concluded already at the end of last year. Even though our report presents data for the 2013 year and they reflect the “average hospital situation”, in which there were completely different realities than now. But we still have no fear of catastrophic, sharp deterioration in the quality of life of people - in contrast to the economy, there is a very large “force of inertia”. Therefore, in 2014-2015, there will be rather steady stagnation, and the real, noticeable decline in the quality of life of Russians will begin around 2016. Unfortunately, not to leave him. Simply, economic storms have in this case an indirect, indirect effect. From the introduction of sanctions, people's health does not automatically deteriorate. But they, for example, will have less money to pay for medical services or gym memberships: it is clear that when wages are barely enough for living and eating, fitness becomes a luxury. Respectively, the indicator of citizens' health will “sow”, which will affect the general integral index. In addition, adverse economic factors will hit primarily the poorest segments of the population, and one of the components of our index is related to the inequality of citizens. Just it, in contrast to any "trends to improve" the quality of life, is constantly growing - and now all the more. So the forecast is quite clear: after the economic recession with a “lag” of about a year, we can expect a decline in the quality of life. But then it will be more difficult to stop it than to “bring back” the economic recession - again, due to inertia. The problem is exactly this ...

The “averaged” dynamics of the Far Eastern subjects of the Federation almost exactly repeats the all-Russian one, with only one minor, but important difference: the general tendency for growth to fade is seen in the region more clearly, despite a slight increase in 2013 year. On average in Russia, the level of quality of life achieved in 2013 was the highest in all recent years, while the overall growth has been maintained. However, in the Far East, the rise in the last year only compensated for the previous recession, the new “historical maximum” could not be ensured. Thus, for the time being there are no grounds for counting on the transition of the region to the “catching-up development” trajectory.

The most significant factor that caused the backlog of the Far East from Russia as a whole is the health situation of the population. This applies to both indicators, which in our study constitute the health index: infant "survival" and life expectancy at birth. At the same time, if the dynamics of life expectancy in the Far Eastern Federal District roughly corresponds to the average Russian, the infant mortality rate is deteriorating.

The second factor of this lag is the level of security of citizens. Here, however, the regional dynamics looks encouraging: the lag behind the average level in the country, though slowly, but declining.

As for the indicators characterizing the state of housing and communal services, here we see different "trends". On the improvement of housing, the Far East traditionally outstrips the average for the country indicators (including also because there is less specific weight of rural areas). However, it should be noted that it was in 2013 in the region that the indicators of the provision of housing with a water pipe became worse, while the "average" Russia in this plan went ahead. According to the share of dilapidated housing in the general fund, the region lags behind the country's average figures, but at the same time, after a long stagnation, there is finally a growth. On the availability of housing for the population in 2013, the region equaled the country as a whole - although in previous years it looked somewhat better (due to the relatively low cost of housing). As a result, the general indicator of housing conditions of the population is very close to the all-Russian, with some deterioration in the dynamics in the last observed year.

According to the indicators reflecting the ecological and social situation, the Far East is practically on par with Russia. And, unlike the housing and utilities sector, all the social indicators (poverty level, property inequality, unemployment) in the region are in full compliance with the average Russian indicators. The differences are so insignificant that they can not be taken into account.

In the Far East, as in past years, two groups of regions are clearly distinguished: outsiders and leaders. If something is stable, then it is this division.

A relatively successful cluster includes the Sakhalin and Magadan Regions, Kamchatka, Khabarovsk and Primorsky Krai. The word "comparative" sounds because in this group only one federal subject in 2013 managed to rise above the average for Russia's quality of life - the Sakhalin Region (by the way, in 2012 there were two such regions). A difficult situation with the quality of life can be called in the regions of the "lower" cluster, which includes the Amur Region, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Chukotka Autonomous District and the Jewish Autonomous Region.

From the point of view of dynamics in the “successful” group, the leaders are the Sakhalin and Magadan regions, which demonstrate growth rates above the average for Russia. Some concern, on the contrary, is caused by the development of Primorye, where in 2013, for the first time, a decline in the quality of life level was observed.

In the group of outsiders, the most promising trajectory of the Amur region, where in 2013, there was the most significant increase in the quality of life indicator throughout the region. But the Jewish Autonomous Region demonstrated the strongest decline.