Population in the Nenets Okrug youngest in the Russian Barents region

Nenets children

Nenets Autonomous Okrug has among the youngest population in North-West Russia. The explanation of the Nenets phenomenon is high birth rate and migration of old people to warmer places.


The share of population under working age in Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO) is 22.4 percent. This is the highest figure in the North-West federal district of Russia. In Karelia, for example, the share of population under 18 years old is only 15.7 percent, in Murmansk region it is a little more – 15.8 percent, in Komi - 17.5 percent and in Arkhangelsk region altogether 16.6 percent.

Also in NAO there are less old people – inhabitants over active working age – than elsewhere; only 13.9 percent. In Karelia there are by 7 percent more senior citizens. In Murmansk region the share of people over active working age is 16.8 percent, in Komi – 16.4 percent and in the Arkhangelsk region – 20.6 percent.

Baby boom in the Nenets tundra
This situation can be explained by stable rise of the birth rate in Nenets: 587 people in 2006, 653 in 2007, 691 in 2008 and 695 in 2009. I course of the 8 first months of 2010 already 495 babies have been born in NAO, that is 24 people more than during the same period last year. The same tendency is in Arkhangelsk and Murmansk regions: rise of birth rate in January-August this year is by 6 and 97 people correspondingly as compared to the same period last year. However, in Komi and Karelia Republics correspondingly 66 and 35 babies less have been born this year compared to January-August 2009.

Pensioners migrate to the south
The small number of people over active working age in NAO is accounted for by the fact that internal migration is directed from the North and the East to the central part of the country, i.e. some people move to places with more comfortable climatic conditions in other Russian regions and also within the North-West federal district after retirement. This is proved by the dynamics of the number of people who have been leaving NAO over the recent years: the figure has been growing by about 100 people every year over the last three years (593 people in 2007, 698 in 2008, 788 in 2009).

This material is prepared by the Norwegian Barents Secretariat’s office in Arkhangelsk