Maternal age in Tatarstan reaches 29 years for the first time: youth don’t rush to start family

Discussion of firstborn at 49 years, problem of 35-year-old brides and other alarming demographic problems at final session of Registry Office

Maternal age in Tatarstan reaches 29 years for the first time: youth don’t rush to start family
Photo: Maksim Platonov

Tatarstan has held leadership in population growth in Volga Federal District for nine years but can lose it. The republic’s shaky situation in this indicator and other demographic data was discussed on 16 January at the final session of the Registry Office. Read in Realnoe Vremya’s report how Registry Office employees were urged to be creative in weddings, Tatiana Larionova promised a special programme to build and repair “terrestrial branches of paradise”, while Leyla Fazleyeva told off for discrepancies in natality and mortality of the population.

238 more people born than died

Director of the Registry Office Gulshat Nigmatullina noted in her report that Tatarstan had remained the only region in Volga Federal District and one of few in the country that has managed to keep not at the top but still have some growth of the population for the ninth year in a row. In the light of President Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly, which was repeatedly mentioned at the session, this indicator is becoming a more political factor. So there were registered 43,180 acts of birth and 42,942 acts of death in the republic in 2019. Kazan and Naberezhnye Chelny became leaders in natality rate. Second and further children account for over 60% of the total number of babies born in the republic. Moreover, the number of firstborns incessantly reduces: by over 9,500 during the year.

506 Tatarstan families had twins and six families had triplets. Kaybitsy District where families with three or more children have 44% of newborn babies, Muslyumovo (41%), Atna and Tukay Districts (40%) are the districts with the biggest number of babies.

Gulshat Nigmatullina noted a transformation of marital and reproductive behaviour of people, which continues in the republic and country — later marriages and childbirths. Photo: kazanfirst.ru

Brides, grooms and women in labour get older

The second accomplishment of Tatarstan mentioned in the Registry Office director’s report is about the best divorce and marriage ratio in Volga Federal District — 551 per 1,000. 24,182 marriages and 13,316 divorces were registered in total last year. Generally speaking, the number of divorces in the republic reduced, except Kazan and Naberezhnye Chelny that have a rise.

Over 70% of newlyweds are young people who didn’t cross the bar of 30 years. One in five marriages in the republic is interethnic, marriages with foreigners stably don’t exceed 5% of the total number.

Gulshat Nigmatullina noted a transformation of marital and reproductive behaviour of people, which continues in the republic and country — later marriages and childbirths. “If 10 years ago most of the girls got married before they turned 25 years, now only about a third of them do so now. Similar dynamics are observed among men. For instance, 10 years ago brides older than 35 years totalled just 13%, in 2019 their number reached almost 20% of the total number. And grooms aged 35 and older account for almost a fourth of the total number today,” the head of the Registry Office provided statistics. A resident of Leninogorsk District turned out the oldest groom. He was 91 years old, while a citizen of Kazan who celebrated her 81st birthday was the oldest bride.

Maternal age has uninterruptedly been growing for 25 years already. If it was 25 years in the early 90s, in 2019 it reached 29 years for the first time. The oldest mother in the republic lives in Naberezhnye Chelny. She gave birth to her firstborn at 49 years. The older father is a 63-year-old resident of Aksubayevo who had the fifth child in the family.

Over 70% of newlyweds are young people who didn’t cross the bar of 30 years. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Information about every resident to appear in e-base

Like other regions, Tatarstan goes on working to create a new unique information resource — a united state register of the registry office. For this purpose, all records since 1926 are digitalised. The base will store information about every citizen of the country, which will allow it to become an electronic family record for future generations.

According to Nigmatullina, 9,3 million records have already been digitalised, last year workers of the Registry Office topped the target by 2%. However, as Chairwoman of the Tatarstan Prime Minister Leyla Fazleyeva noted later, the republic fell behind in digitalisaiton rate, which was mentioned by the Ministry of Justice of Russia, and they should suddenly get moving.

More creativity

Taking advantage of the presence of the vice premier, Nigmatullina claimed that registry offices in 13 municipalities were located in rooms that didn’t comply with the latest requirements, and four buildings needed a major overhaul. Even Kazan lacks space to receive citizens and store information. “We think it is probably time to develop a republican programme to build and repair facilities of the sector,” the director of the office noted to a round of applause of the audience.

She also urged her colleagues to move beyond patterns, to make up scenarios of different events dedicated to the popularisation of the marriage institutions in a more creative and modern way, especially during the year of the 100th anniversary of the TASSR. The experience of Kukmor was positively mentioned, they organised a lottery for newlyweds. Nigmatullina herself gave an example of a creative approach having offered to watch a video, which is traditional for final sessions, which was an anime. “If marriages are registered in the sky, it turns out that the Registry Office is a terrestrial branch of paradise,” the first phrase of this video already broke all patterns.

Tatiana Larionova was also creative — she offered to organise a festival dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Victory for those who named children after their grandparents who went to war. Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov

Demography as political issue

The new format of the presentation was highly appreciated by Leyla Fazleyeva and Vice Chairwoman of the Tatarstan State Council Tatiana Larionova. The latter was also creative — she offered to organise a festival dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Victory for those who named children after their grandparents who went to war. Larionova honestly recognised that the original idea belonged to the Registry Office in Chelny where she became a witness of a solemn registration of children named after famous athletes as early as 2009, which was declared the year of sport and healthy lifestyle in the republic. “I still remember it. How could this come to their mind! I do want you to have such bright, interesting, new ways of work this year,” the deputy gave instructions.

Leyla Fazleyeva added a fly in the ointment to the good mood. She noted that the key problem of the office was the insufficient interdepartmental interaction with other state bodies. “Issues of statistical data about birth and death must accurately correlate between several agencies: it is the Ministry of Health and health care institutions located on your territory, it is institutions linked with bodies of the Registry Office,” she strictly claimed and stressed that every number was taken into account within Demography national project. And to avoid discrepancies, she offered to check out data every month.

“Interdepartmental interaction is this “love and accord”, she reminded a phrase from the film that was shown several minutes ago and urged to create “architecture of relationships” with other republican ministries as well as non-profit organisations that worked with families, migrants, teenagers and in the prevention of negative occurrences.

“Dear colleagues, we won’t handle negative dynamics without understanding global tasks of conserving the demographic situation in the Republic of Tatarstan next year,” the vice premier claimed. She meant that the number of people who died in Tatarstan might exceed the number of newborn babies for the first time in many years.

By Eleonora Rylova
Tatarstan