The Trap of Moscow’s Low Birthrate: The Highly Educated Childless?
The paper analyzes the actual and normative reproduction behavior of Moscow’s inhabitants. It is shown that the high birthrates in Moscow are to a significant degree determined by the migration inflows of childbearing-age women from the periphery. Data from the sociological study “Moscow and Muscovites” helped to reveal the character of the relationship between education level and birthrate, and how Moscow differs from Russia as a whole in these indices. It is demonstrated that in Moscow the phenomenon of childlessness acquires the significant scales. It is an increase in the education level of women that has the greatest influence on the reduction in the birthrate; a family’s income has almost no bearing on the number of children. Along with an increase in the share of childless families, social adherence to this phenomenon also increases. Permanent postponement of having children results from a shift in priorities in favor of education and career, but it runs the risk of developing into childlessness. Moscow—with its orientation toward new social models of behavior in the demographic sphere and in many aspects following the behavior of the inhabitants of Western megalopolises—can be considered an innovative region that with time spreads its practices to other large Russian cities. Spreading of the child-free phenomenon in Russian megalopolises that have no large migration feed like Moscow can lead to an increase in problems related to low birthrate. This paper gives recommendations for the outlook of regional sociodemographic development.
Moscow, demographic situation, birthrate, empirical data, education, child-free phenomenon