Today, the wealth of nations and their political influence depend on their human capital. Yet in Russia, the health of the workforce has seen a serious and lasting decline which is extremely worrying, according to Nicholas Eberstadt.
He bases his argument on an analysis of the state of health of the Russian population, in particular the mortality rates. He shows that the rate, for all ages and both sexes, has worsened considerably in recent years, mainly as a result of cardiovascular disease and "accidents and other forms of violent death", frequently caused by alcohol abuse.
N. Eberstadt recognizes that mortality rates have risen in other countries too at certain times (e.g. Spain, west Germany, Japan), but these were temporary peaks, usually connected with wars, and were immediately followed by major improvements.
In Russia, however, the situation is quite different: we are seeing a long-term trend that is not related to any particular accidental occurrence, and Eberstadt therefore doubts whether it can be rapidly reversed. On the contrary, he foresees this leading to an economic and political decline in the medium and long term in the Russian Federation.