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Russia expects higher birth rate in 2008
Russia's birth rate is expected to rise 5.5 percent to 1.7m children in 2008 compared to the previous year, head of the analytical and forecasting department of the Health and Social Development Ministry Vitaly Kolbanov told journalists today. A total of 811,500 children were born in the first half of 2008, which is 7.8 percent greater than in January-June 2007. According to preliminary data, in July alone, the birth rate was 155,000-160,000 children. Meanwhile, Russia's death rate edged up 0.8 percent in H1 2008.
All Russian regions have approved programs for demographic development, which provide for measures aimed at boosting the birth rate.
A better demographic situation in the country prompted a longer average life expectancy. According to preliminary data, the average life expectancy stood at 65-67 years.