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Statistical Snapshots: Russia's Children at Risk

Orphans and orphanages

  • Over 700,000 orphans live in Russia, increasing at the rate of 113,000 per year. UNICEF estimates that 95% of these children are social orphans, meaning that they have at least one living parent who has given them up to the state.

  • In 2003, parental rights were revoked for approximately 51,000 citizens of Russia. In 2005, this number increased to 70,000.

  • 2,176 orphanages exist in Russia as of today. The number of orphanages has increased by more than 100% in the last decade.

  • Statistics on orphans graduating from orphanages/institutions compiled by the Russian Ministry of Education are as follows:
    • Approximately 15,000 children leave Russian orphanages each year, usually at the age of 16 or 17 years of age
    • 50% of orphans after graduation fall into a high-risk category
    • 40% become involved in crime
    • 10% commit suicide
    • 33% stay unemployed
    • 20% become homeless
    • Only 4% are admitted to universities


  • 2.5 million children are homeless, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Over 5% of children born in Russia in 2001 became homeless.

  • 50% of children in Russia are born into poverty-stricken families.

  • During the last 10 years, the number of children in Russia has decreased by 4 million.

  • Russia's population shrank by 348,700 people in the first six months of 2006, down to 142.4 million. If today's demographic situation continues in the same path, by the year 2025 Russia's population could drop to 125 million; by the year 2100, the population could be as low as 64 million.

Health issues

  • 617,000 Russian children are disabled.

  • Every day in Russia, some 20 babies are born to HIV-positive mothers. Two of those, on average, are abandoned at birth. According to UNICEF, more than 50,000 children in Russia have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

  • The Russian Health Ministry reports that a stunning 60% of the country's youth are in poor physical or psychological health.

  • Approximately 70% of medical equipment in Russian hospitals is outdated, in ill repair or simply broken down.

  • Only 15-20% of newborn Russian children are considered healthy.