29 Sep 2009 17:55

Russia sees natural population growth for first time in 15 years

MOSCOW. Sept 29 (Interfax) - Russia has seen natural population growth for the first time in 15 years, Health and Social Development Minister Tatyana Golikova said.

"We had 151,700 births and 150,700 deaths in August. We had natural population growth of 1,000 for the first time in 15 years," Golikova said at a meeting of the inter-departmental working group on the National Health Project and demographic policy.

"We received the latest figures literally today. We had 1.164 million births in January-August 2009, which is 41,000 more than in the same period of last year," Golikova said. Russia had 1.347 million deaths, or 57,000 fewer, she said.

The meeting noted that the crisis had not resulted in a sharp increase in the number of suicides, despite earlier expectations, and the situation here was not catastrophic.