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Russia’s Migrant Numbers Surge to Highest Levels in a Decade, Study Says

Moskva News Agency

More migrants have arrived in Russia in the first four months of 2019 than they did in the first four months of any year in the past decade, according to new research.

The surge follows a historic low in migrant numbers recorded by the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) in 2018 amid an overall population decline.

“A comparison of quarterly data shows that, firstly, the current year’s first-quarter arrivals number was the highest in the last decade,” the RANEPA study’s authors Nikita Mkrtchyan and Yulia Florinskaya wrote, citing official data.

A migrant population increase of 98,000 in January-April 2019 looks like “an anomaly” compared to a migrant population growth of 57,100 during the same period of 2018, according to RANEPA’s analysis.

Underestimated 2018 migrant population growth figures or a new methodology for compiling data could explain the surge this year, the authors said in research published Tuesday. 

Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Tajikistan have been the largest sources of migrants to Russia this year, the study said.

President Vladimir Putin's migration policy for 2019-2025 includes plans to attract up to 10 million Russian-speaking migrants to offset the country's declining population numbers.

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