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Population Dynamics and Its Factors: Ethnicity and Regional Characteristics in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia)

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The purpose of this study is to identify the characteristics and intermunicipal differences in the demographic dynamics of the Sakha Republic and the factors that determine them. We complemented the perspectives of previous studies, which seemed to be lacking, by identifying differences in the demography of each municipality (district or uluse) that arise in relation to geographic location, ethnic factors, and types of economic activity each district specializes in. In particular, the factors of ethnic composition are explicitly and quantitatively examined. By regression analyses, the relationship between ethnic composition in three rounds of population census and the population growth rate during the period following each census has been identified at the municipal unit level. At the beginning of the 1990s, the share of indigenous peoples explained more than half of the population increase/decrease in the municipalities and the higher share of it contributed to population stability. However, the explanatory power of this factor weakened over time once the economy began to show stable growth. By cluster analyses of municipalities, factors, other than ethnic, affecting the districts’ different dynamics have been revealed. In the 2000s, the influence of economic factors and geographical and transport conditions became critical. Even though indigenous peoples had a high share, if the districts were in northern areas and remote places with poor transport accessibility, they showed a population decrease. On the contrary, districts with a large indigenous population located close to the republic’s core, Yakutsk, recorded large population growth.

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  1. This article refers to all the territories that are categorized as the Extreme North or “equivalent with the Extreme North,” namely the Republic of Karelia, Murmansk oblast, Arkhangelsk oblast, Komi Republic, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, Taimyr (Dolgano-Nenets) Autonomous Okrug, Evenk Autonomous Okrug, the Sakha Republic, Magadan oblast, Kamchatka krai, and Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. Although all the territories of Sakhalin oblast and the Tyva Republic are defined as the Extreme North, they were excluded because of their southern location in comparison with other regions. The names of Taimyr (Dolgano-Nenets) and Evenk autonomous okrugs are given as they had been before the merging in Krasnoyarsk krai in 2007.

  2. Eveno-Bytantaysky and Momsky districts.

  3. Abyysky and Srednekolymsky districts.

  4. Olenyoksky, Zhigansky, Nizhnekolymsky, Verkhnekolymsky, and Verkhoyansky districts.

  5. Gorny, Namsky, Churapchinsky, Ust-Aldansky, Verkhnevilyuysky, and Suntarsky districts.

  6. Institute of Humanitarian Research and Issues of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


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The study of T.V. Litvinenko was carried out within the framework of the state-ordered research theme of the Institute of Geography RAS (no. AAAA-A19-119022190170-1 (FMGE-2019-0008)). The study of K. Kumo was financially supported by research grant (B) (19H01478) of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Japan, the Joint Usage and Research Center Program of Hitotsubashi Institute of Economic Research and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Foundation for International Cooperation.

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Correspondence to K. Kumo or T. V. Litvinenko.

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Kumo, K., Litvinenko, T.V. Population Dynamics and Its Factors: Ethnicity and Regional Characteristics in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). Reg. Res. Russ. 12, 495–507 (2022).

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