Does early motherhood lead to social tension in the North Caucasus?
On October 12th, the portal “Economy Times” published the article of Konstantin Kazenin (research assistant at the Russian academy of national economy) “North Caucasus: early motherhood as a source of social tensions”. In his article, he made an attempt to dispel a myth about the high birth rate at the North Caucasus and compared it with the birth rate data from all over the country.
Kazenin thinks that high birth rate was in the past of the North Caucasus. In his opinion, the birth rate in the region is not very different from the one in the country overall. To support his opinion, the research assistant draws a chart showing the overall birth rate in Russia, Dagestan and Kabardino Balkariya according to Rosstat.
Kazenin pointed out that the birth rate in Dagestan has reduced to the level of reproduction. In his words, there is no population increase in the republic.
In addition, the author of the article introduces a new aspect to the discussion: an average age of a woman giving a birth to her first and second baby. The scientist believes that the average figure of the birth rate is not quite accurate.
The average age of a woman giving birth to her second child
Based on the received data, Kazenin drew a conclusion that motherhood is generally “getting old” in the country. This can be explained by the destruction of the traditional society princples and the fact that people tend to get married at an older age than they used to be. Yet, the Dagestanis tend to get married at a younger age than they used to.
The author also draws the birth index data in Dagestan and Russia. As a result of the data comparison, he concludes that the difference between Russia and Dagestan birth rate is in the motherhood age.
Kazenin also pays attention to the number of young people in the society. Last year, people of the age group 15-29 years old comprised 36,7% in Dagestan which is 12,2% more than in Russia overall. He believes that due to this, more families with children without permanent income can be expected in the area.
Another conclusion drawn by the researcher is that demography leads to social tensions.
We would like to discuss on some of the aspects of this research in more detail. First of all, it is unclear why the author makes conclusions about the whole region based on the data from Dagestan only. There are 7 republics in the North Caucasus at the moment. Although they are situated close to each other, each of them has its own culture. Therefore, it does not seem to be fair to discuss the situation in one republic and present it as the tendency for the whole region.
Secondly, it is hardly able to find the connection between early motherhood and social tensions. The author does not provide any sound reasons for this. Compared to the Western countries, the average age of women who give birth to their first child is quite young in many countries all over the world (not only in the Muslim ones). Yet, this does not imply that these countries face social tensions.