Migrants do not compensate for the decline of Russians

The coronavirus pandemic and the closure of borders have led to a significant reduction in the number of foreigners in the Russian Federation, the joint monitoring of the economic situation by experts from the RANEPA and the Gaidar Institute records. If in 2019 in the Russian Federation there were, depending on the month, from 9.6 million to 11.2 million foreigners, then in 2020 their number fell from 10.3 million at the end of January to 7.1 million at the end of the year. In 2021, the decline in the number of visitors continued – as of May 1, the number of foreign citizens in the country amounted to 5.66 million people. As before, the majority of those who come to the Russian Federation (86%) are citizens of the CIS countries, but their number against the background of a drop in the number of foreigners as a whole in 2020 decreased by 39%. Most of all, the number of citizens of Ukraine and Moldova decreased – by 53% and 51%, respectively, less – citizens of Kyrgyzstan (by 18%), Armenia (by 22%) and Tajikistan (by 35%). In 2021, compared with 2020, the number of citizens of the EU countries decreased by three times – their number in the Russian Federation turned out to be the lowest in 10 years (226 thousand).

As of May 1, 2021, the number of labor migrants (who indicated the purpose of entering Russia to work for hire) amounted to 2.68 million people. Compared to 2020, the number of labor migrants has decreased by a third (35%), most of all – workers from Ukraine (58% less), Moldova (52%) and Azerbaijan (49%). The flow from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan decreased by 42%, from Tajikistan – by 37%. The number of labor migrants from Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, which are members of the EAEU, has changed least of all – their number has decreased by 17% and 18%, respectively. The share of labor migrants staying in the country legally in the total number of those who came to work was 75%. At the end of the first quarter, labor migrants transferred 8.91 billion rubles to regional budgets. to pay for patents (20% less than in the same period in 2020).

The volume of migration growth in the Russian Federation, despite the reduction in short-term migration, remained practically unchanged (in January-February 2021 – 26.8 thousand people, for the same period of 2020 – 27.1 thousand people). On the one hand, the authors of the monitoring note, this is evidence of the weak influence of the pandemic on the propensity of people to change their place of residence, on the other hand, even this influx is not able to compensate for the losses of the population of the Russian Federation, which increased in 2020 due to an increase in mortality.

Anastasia Manuilova