The number of immigrants who came to Russia in 2018 may be the lowest in the post-Soviet history. The Gaidar Institute and RANEPA (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration) tentatively estimated the migration increase at 120,000-130,000. The number of those wanting to move to Russia decreased slightly, while the number of immigrants who want to leave their “second homeland” increased by 22% – the worst figure in a decade.
The most appealing destinations for long-term immigration have not changed – Moscow and its larger metropolitan area, St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, and the Krasnodar Territory. The second choice is Tyumen, Kaliningrad and Crimea. The main workforce donor is Tajikistan, while the influx of people from Uzbekistan has not recovered after the 2015 crisis.
“In 2018, the inflow from Ukraine dropped below the level of that country’s pre-crisis years, after a four-fold jump in 2015. It will not be a surprise if immigration from Ukraine will show negative growth when the residence registration of the immigrants who arrived in 2014-2016 expires next year,” the researchers note.
According to December’s Monitoring of Russia’s Economic Outlook published by RANEPA, the 2018 migration increase was the lowest not only since the beginning of the 2000s, but also for the entire post-Soviet period. It ceased to compensate for the natural decline in Russia’s population, which began declining again for the first time in ten years.