Russia Close-up: Tver Region begins to battle population decline
In the mid-1920s, there were more than two and a half million inhabitants in the Tver Region and now there are about a million fewer.
In recent years, a lack of work opportunities has seen people leaving the area for the bright lights of neighbouring Moscow and St. Petersburg – a scenario which officials are working hard to reverse.
A desolate house in Rozhdestveno village, Tver Region
Although the social infrastructure in urban areas may be improving, life is still tough for those living out in the country. Some communities have almost ceased to exist because people simply couldn’t stay there and support themselves.
But there are signs that the region is changing for the better. Companies, keen to take advantage of Tver’s strategic location, have opened up large businesses and investment is rising by 30 per cent per annum. And there are signs that population numbers may be starting to climb.
Difficult times are still likely to be ahead. Mortality rates among people of working age remain high and there is an increasingly elderly population. But authorities hope that more jobs, more opportunities and a better standard of living, will make sure that the future of the region is in safe hands.