Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Vanishing Russians

Whenever I get depressed about the direction the US is headed in, I always find an article on Russia to be a cheerful pick me up. When you read how bad things are over there you can't help but feel good by comparison.

In addition, abortions outpaced births last year by more than 100,000. An estimated 10 million Russians of reproductive age are sterile because of botched abortions or poor health.

The suicide rate jumped nearly 50% during the 1990s; half a million people killed themselves from 1995 through 2003.

Russia's suicide rate, at about 36 per 100,000 people, is second only to that of Lithuania, according to the Serbsky National Research Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry. In some remote areas of Russia, the rate exceeds 100 per 100,000.

Moscow has the second-largest concentration of billionaires in the world. But one-fifth of all Russians live on less than $38 a month, many of them in the countryside.

The average Russian drinks five gallons of pure alcohol a year, causing an estimated 900,000 deaths over the last decade from acute alcohol poisoning, fights and accidents.

Olga Kolotygina, 36, one of several women who have assumed leadership of the Ryazanovshchina town council, estimates that no more than half a dozen men among the village's 160 people are sober and "trying to improve their lives."
1.5 million abortions, 50,000 suicides, and 90,000 alcohol related deaths a year. 20% of the population is living on just $1 a day. Yikes! All of a sudden the problems in the US don't seem so bad.

via LA Times


crush41 said...

Notice the incredible gap between the life expectancy of male and female Russians, due in large part to alcoholism. I believe it is the greatest disparity in the world. Poor old widows don't exactly bring to mind exuberant happiness!

mping said...


That is an incredible gap. Thanks for pointing it out.

Fat Knowledge said...
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