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18 Jan, 2021 14:01

Pushing wrong buttons: Russian youth having less sex & fewer children because of smartphones & other tech, says demographic expert

Pushing wrong buttons: Russian youth having less sex & fewer children because of smartphones & other tech, says demographic expert

A Russian demographer has blamed gadgets and easy-to-access pornography for the country’s ever-worsening population problem, as well as pointing the finger at parents for no longer pressuring their kids to have offspring.

Like much of Europe, the natural population of Russia is slowly declining. In 2018, the number of people in Russia fell for the first time in a decade. This trend continued into 2019, and was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

While the government has used a number of methods to encourage reproduction, including cash handouts to mothers, one demographer believes that technology might be a significant contributing factor to the country’s low number of births.

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“The decline in the birth rate among the population today is clearly affected by the global trend towards digitalization,” said Alexey Raksha, a former advisor at Rosstat, the federal statistics agency. “Why should young people get to know each other if they have gadgets with a variety of pornography at hand?”

Raksha also noted how parents no longer “oppress” their children into reproducing, which has also contributed to the increase in the number of childless couples.

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“Of course, the coronavirus pandemic has also affected demographics,” Raksha explained. “In 2020, the country lost at least 300,000 people and, this year, 150,000 is the best-case scenario.”

In his opinion, Russia will see no population growth until about 2035.

In recent years, the Russian authorities have sought to develop new initiatives to attract foreigners. For example, the government has made it much easier for those with Russian relatives to obtain a Russian passport, and has dropped the requirement for foreigners to renounce their old citizenship.

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