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Russia's population fell slightly in year to December 1, 2008


MOSCOW, January 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's population had declined by 0.08% year-on-year, as of December 1, 2008, to total 141.9 million, the State Statistics Service said on Tuesday.

The number of deaths during the first 11 months of 2008 was 1.9 million, 6,400 less than for the same period in the previous year, while 1.6 million babies were born, 99,000 more than in 2007, the service said.

It said that the natural decline in population was 337,300 people, adding that immigration made up for 65.2% of drop, so the actual population had only fallen by 105,400 as of December 1.

Russia's population has been in steady decline since the market reforms and economic hardships of the 1990s, leading many experts to worry about a demographic crisis in the near future.

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