Russians flee 'ghost towns' as population shrinks

Russia’s latest census has revealed a bleak demographic trend of people fleeing ever shrinking towns and villages for urban centers, as the population continues to decline alarmingly, experts said.
The first results of Russia’s 2010 census have shown that the country’s population has shrunk by another 2.2 million people since 2002 and is now at 142.9 million.
While experts called the results predictable, they also described the trend of systematic redistribution of people around the two largest cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg as very worrying.
“The number of villages with no population has grown” from 13,000 to 19,400 in the past eight years, said the head of Russia’s state statistics office Rosstat, Alexander Surinov.
He said that 36,200 villages had a population of less than 10 p…

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