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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2019 year, number 4

TRENDS IN MORTALITY IN THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE EASTERN REGIONS OVER THIRTY YEARS (1887-1917)

V.A. Zverev1,2
1Novosibirsk state pedagogical university (NSPU), 28, Vilyuyskaya str., Novosibirsk, 630126, Russian Federation
2Institute of History SB RAS, 8, Nikolaev str., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Keywords: Дальний Восток России, Восточная Сибирь, Западная Сибирь, компаративный анализ, историческая динамика, демографические тренды, естественное движение населения, смертность населения, начало демографического перехода, Far East Russia, East Siberia, West Siberia, comparative analysis, historical dynamics, demographic trends, population natural movement, mortality, demographic transition start

Abstract

The article shows the historical mortality rate - an important population processes - in East Russia at the end of the Imperial period. The annual overall mortality rates, calculated by the author, in West and East Siberia over the period 1887-1914, in the Far East for 1894-1914, as well as in some cities of these regions for 1902-1914, are summarized in time series and presented in tabular and graphs form. The author shows mortality indicators in the country’s Trans-Ural suburbs against one another and the European Russia in year-to-year and phased 4-5-year dynamics. The paper reveals prevailing trends of changes with particular attention to the urban population which determined the demographic prospects during the period of the country’s emerging urbanization. The few available data for 1915-1917 are included. The analysis of time series proves the correctness of views made earlier by the author of this article and supported by historians V.A. Skubnevsky and Yu. M. Goncharov, that a general population trend was declining overall mortality during the studied period both in East Russia and in the country’s center. It was particularly marked in cities, but was “camouflaged” by explosion of mortality rates in West Siberia taking place at the stages of increased agricultural immigration from European Russia. Perhaps, the mortality downward trend continued even at the early stages of the First World War. This is more evident in rural areas, but in large cities the mortality rate declined for two years after an extraordinary jump in 1915. Therefore, one can argue that the initial phase of the demographic transition was unfolding at the turn of the XIX and XX centuries, which was characterized by an advanced decrease in overall mortality rates with more stable birth rate not only in the center of the Russian Empire, but in its eastern regions as well.