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Almost half of Russian families have no children and the country's birth rates are below the replacement rate
Almost half of Russian families have no children and the country's birth rates are below the replacement rate, a senior member of Russia's lower chamber of parliament said Thursday. "Today, almost half of the country's 41 million families have no children at all," said Yekaterina Lakhova, the chairwoman of the State Duma committee on women's affairs. Speaking at parliamentary hearings on family policy, Lakhova said single-child households made up 34% of Russian families, with two-child and many-child families accounting for 15% and less than 3%, respectively. According to Lakhova, Russia's birth rate is at 1.34 children per woman, below the replacement rate of 2.14 needed to keep the population stable. The UN forecasts that Russia's population will almost halve during the 21st century, to 101.5 million people by 2050 before reaching a low of 79.5 million in the second half of the century. Materials prepared for the parliamentary hearings say about 80% of children are born to parents aged 20-34. About 33% of children are born out of wedlock. Less than one third of children are born healthy in Russia, while the number of healthy school-leavers is only 5-10%, experts say. The number of teenagers using alcohol is increasing, experts say. In the past five years, the figure has jumped 65%. Children and teenagers also account for 70% of the country's 3 million drug addicts. More than 3 million households live in unregistered partnerships, and about 25.2 million people - one fifth of the population - have never married.
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