The “Russian Amish” – resisting the demographic decline of the former Soviet Union


For decades, the Russian population is declining due to low birth rates and (comparatively) low life expectancies. The communist regime of the Soviet Union suppressed and destroyed most religious traditions and communities - and family structures along the way. Although the Russian State recently tried to raise the fertility levels with money, there's a long way to go to stop the demographic implosion.

But there's an interesting and telling exception from the perspective of evolutionary studies. While no non-religious populations of Russians are known to have retained at least replacement levels, some religious groups have. Here's a report on a group of Traditionalist Orthodox Christians ("Old Believers") that managed to survive in Latin America and recently returned to Russia. Dubbed the "Russian Amish", these groups are showing the gold standard of evolutionary success: many children.

As I did my first studies on religion & fertility many years ago among the "American Amish", the evolved homologies seem to be quite striking. Shedding the legacy of the former Soviet Union, cooperative and reproductive potentials of religiosity are beginning to emerge.

Report on "The Russian Amish"

Special thanks go to @Rjrasva for tweeting this report!


One Response to “The “Russian Amish” – resisting the demographic decline of the former Soviet Union”

  1. Vetri Reply | Permalink

    Could you tell me how many Amish/Mennonite/Old-believers live in Russia?/

    If 1 million people of this kind live in Russia, they can multiply rapidly.

    Unlike other countries in the world, farm land is abundant and these people can stay far from outsiders in such a massive country..so birth rate would be extremely high for generations in Russia..
    Such a high birth rate is not possible in any other country..

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