Demographic Diversity in the Kostroma Region in Russia: Indicators and Dynamics of Local Communities
The Kostroma Region is one the most well-known historical areas in the Russian Federation. In the public opinion it is considered to be ‘the Heartland of Russia’, the cradle of the Romanov dynasty, and symbol of ‘Russianhood’. The Kostroma Region is located 450 kilometers North-East of Moscow. According to the last Census (14 October 2010) in the Kostroma Region full resident population is 667, 6 thousand people. The population is very unevenly distributed among 24 municipalities and 6 urban districts. In the past two decades, the population of the Kostroma region, as in many other regions of Russia, is declining. The Kostroma Region is among the champions of the depopulation in the Russian Federation. Inside the Kostroma Region the difference of the pace of depopulation and other demographic characteristics among the municipalities is very high. What are the differences in the dynamics of the population of certain areas in the region? How can these differences be interpreted? We assume that the demographic characteristics of the region correlates to the location of municipal districts depending on their proximity to the regional capital (City of Kostroma). Best demographic situation is characterized by a positive growth of population, highest life expectancy, and younger population which is recorded in the capital. The combination of the worst demographic indicators is typical of the areas that belong to the so-called periphery and far periphery. The basis of this spatial patterns is the unequal distribution of public goods (hospitals, universities and colleges, workplaces, police, etc.), access to which is reduced as the distance from the capital expands. Thus, therefore basic demographic indicators in the Kostroma Region are, in fact, the markers on the scale of social well-being.