Table of Contents
International Journal of Population Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 361497, 13 pages
Research Article

International Comparisons of Population Mobility in Russia

Department of Geography, 2181 LeFrak Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA

Received 3 November 2011; Accepted 26 February 2012

Academic Editor: Zai Liang

Copyright © 2012 Timothy Heleniak. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The population of Russia is regarded as being quite immobile compared to other countries. There have been some recent methodological advances and new datasets on internal migration which make cross-national comparisons, though these do not extend to Russia. This paper adds comparisons of levels of mobility in Russia with other countries. The study finds that the population of Russia is not significantly less mobile than other large countries and that part of the myth of immobility stems from a deterioration of the migration registration system in the post-Soviet period. There are inconsistencies between lifetime mobility derived from population censuses and annual mobility from a population register which originated during the central-planning period. Given changes in the economic structure at both national and regional levels during the period of economic transition, migration theory predicted significant migration movements, and it seems as if many were not captured by the statistical system.