Russian population slips to 141.2 million: state agency

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The Russian population has declined to 141.18 million people, the state statistics agency said Wednesday citing preliminary figures from this year's national census.

A total of 141.18 million forms were collected from people residing permanently in Russia, the agency said on its website.

The first census figures do not yet include Russian citizens on work trips abroad and residents of some hard to reach areas in the far northern Yamalo-Nenetsky and several other regions, the statement said.

The previous census in 2002 put the country's population at 145.17 million people.

The country is faced with a demographic decline after the post-Soviet drop in birthrates and emigration ravaged its population.

The Russian government has tried to stimulate birthrates and lure back Russian expatriates, boasting last summer of the first year-on-year population increase from 1995. President Dmitry Medvedev has announced a goal to increase it to 145 million by 2025

More detailed results of the census will be released next April, the statistics agency said.

© 2010 AFP

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