The Sarmatian Review Index

Demographic prospects for Europe

Estimated number of foreign workers Germany and Italy will have to import yearly (starting in 2025) owing to labor shortages at home: Germany, 500,000; Italy, 300,000.

Source: A UN Report, as reported by Ronald Eggleston, "Germany: Foreigners Benefit From New Citizenship Laws," RFE/RL, 10 January 2000.

Russian demography 

Population decrease in the Russian Federation in 1999: 784,000, or 0.5 percent (down to 145.5 million).

Number of deaths in Russia in 1998 and 1999, respectively: 1,988,700 and 1,140,300,

Number of births in Russia in 1998 and 1999, respectively: 1,283,300 and 1,215,800.

Source: State Statistics Committee, as reported by Agence France-Presse, 21 February 2000. 

Texas demography 

Estimated percentage of Hispanic population in Texas in 2030: 46 percent.

Percentage of Texas population in 2000 that belongs to the baby boomer generation: 33 percent. 

Source: Editorial, Houston Chronicle, 15 December 1999.

U.S. prison demography

Number of adults behind bars in 1970: 200,000.

Number of adults behind bars in 2000: 1,983,084.

Source: William Raspberry, "Also a Downside to Prison Population Jump," Houston Chronicle, 15 December 1999.

Postcommunist economies on the eve of the new millenium

Percentage decrease in Czech GDP in 1999: 0.5 percent.

Unemployment in the Czech Republic in December 1999: 9.4 percent.

Source: AFP (Prague), 10 January 2000. 

Percentage decrease in Croatian GDP in 1999: two percent.

Unemployment in Croatia in 1999: 20 percent.

Source: Economist, 8?14 January 2000.

Growth of Polish GDP in 1999: four percent. 

Inflation in Poland in 1999: 7.3 percent.

Source: Deputy Finance Minister Leszek Balcerowicz on 12 January 2000, as reported by AFP(Warsaw) on the same day.

Percentage fall in foreign investment (both direct investment in factories and enterprises, and portfolio investment in stocks) in Russia during the first nine months of 1999: 30 percent (from $9.29 billion in 1998 to $6.47 in September 1999). 

Source: State Statistics Agency, as reported by the Associated Press, 30 November 1999.

Inflation in Russia in 1999: 36.5 percent.

Source: AFP, 11 January 2000.

Size of the Russian Federation's budget for 2000 (as approved by the Duma after its fourth reading on 3 December 1999, and by the Federation Council on 22 December 1999): $32 billion, or 855.07 billion rubles. Total revenues are estimated to be 797.2 billion rubles.

Source: RFE/RL, 27 December 1999.

Millenium celebrations

Percentage of Poles who planned to spend millennium night at home in front of the television set: 51 percent.

Percentage of Poles who planned to go to public parties in the streets: 16 percent.

Percentage of Poles who planned to spend the evening at the homes of relatives or friends: 13 percent.

Percentage of Poles who planned to have a party at home: 8 percent.

Percentage of Poles who planned to go abroad for New Year's Eve, with Tunisia, the Canaries and Thailand the most popular destinations: 0.3 percent.

Source: A survey published in Gazeta Wyborcza on 28 December 1999.

Developmental disparities

Percentage of world population connected to the Internet: 2.4 percent.

Percentage of Americans, Southeast Asians, Arabs, and Africans connected to the Internet: Americans, 25 percent; Southeast Asians, 0.5 percent; Arabs, 0. 2 percent; Africans, 0. 1 percent.

Source: Paul Kennedy, "Two Hard Questons Need Answering in Trade Wrangle," Houston Chronicle, 2 December 1999.

American education

Percentage of New York City's students who attend parochial schools: ten percent.

Percentage of New York City's parochial school graduates who go to college: 85 percent.

Percentage of New York City's public school graduates who go to college: 27 percent.

Number of people in administrative bureaucracy in New York City's public schools: 10,000.

Number of people in administrative bureaucracy in New York City's parochial schools: 50.

Source: Tom Wolfe, in an interview published in Investor's Business Daily, 21 January 2000.

Postcolonial realities

The Aral Sea's former ranking as a source of fresh water: the world's fourth-largest lake.

Percentage of water the Aral Sea lost over the last 35 years: about 70 percent.

Reasons for devastation: Moscow's agricultural policy requiring massive irrigation systems along rivers that feed the landlocked sea.

Source: United Press Intermational (Geneva), 6 December 1999.

Number of Russians who died following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the resulting war: 15,000.

Number of Afghans who died in that war: 1,5 million.

Source: AFP (Kabul), 24 December 1999.


Value of arms Russia sold abroad in 1998 and 1999, respectively: $2.5 billion and $3 billion.

Source: AFP (Moscow), 23 December 1999.

The Russian-Chechen war of 1999-2000 in diplomatic language

"[It] borders on potential crimes against humanity." 

Source: Canada's foreign affairs minister, Lloyd Axworthy, on 7 December 1999, as reported by AFP on the same day.

When they (the Chechens) say civilians have been killed in Chechnya, you have to think of the Russian people who died in Moscow, Volgodonsk and other Russian cities and the hostages including Orthodox priests."

Source: The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexy II, on 21 December 1999, as reported by AFP 

(Moscow) on the same day.

Number of Russian troops engaged in the war: about 93,000.

Source: Official Russian figures, as reported by AFP, 10 February 2000. 

Russian political culture

Percentage of Russians who believe that Stalin's rule was "more good than bad" or "equally good and bad:" 66 percent.

Percentage of Russians who consider Stalin a cruel tyrant responsible for the deaths of millions of their fellow citizens: 32 percent.

Source: A poll conducted by the Public Opinion Fund and released on 21 December 1999, as reported by Paul Goble, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 22 December 1999.


Total U.S. household debt in 1992 and 1999, respectively: 85 percent and 103 percent of personal income.

U.S. private sector debt, as percentage of the GDP, in 1960 and 1999, respectively: 79 percent and 132 percent.

U.S. net foreign liabilities in 1999: $1.5 trillion, or 20 percent of the GDP.

Source: Economist, 22?28 January 2000.

Increase in the Russian GDP in 1999 (as compared to 1998): 3.2 percent, to 4.476 trillion rubles (around 180 billion dollars). 

Size of 1999 GDP compared to 1997 GDP: 0.2 percent below that of 1997.

Source: State Statistics committee on 25 January 2000, as reported by AFP (Moscow) on the same day.

Trading volume on Warsaw's Stock Exchange on 4 February 2000: 397.2 million zlotys ($94.5 million).

Source: Associated Press (Warsaw), 4 February 2000.

Income per person in Poland as compared to the average income per person in the European Union: 41 percent. 

Average income per person in Mazowsze, Poland's richest region: 60 percent of the European Union average.

Source: European Union Commission, as reported by Donosy, 8 February 2000.

Percentage rise in Russia's public debt in 1999: 22 percent, to $169 billion, or 108.7 percent of the Russian GDP.

Breakdown between domestic and foreign debt: foreign debt rose by 32.6 percent, to over 95.7 percent of the GDP; domestic debt shrank by 23 percent, to 13.03 percent of the GDP.

Source: Finance Ministry data released 24 February 2000, as reported by AFP (Moscow) on the same day.

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The Sarmatian Review
Last updated 7/20/00