Average life expectancy for both men and women has declined since the 1980s.
This population decline is expected to worsen in the next decade.
Limited access to year-round seaports has always been a military and commercial problem.
The climate of much of European Russia is continental, with long, cold winters and short, hot summers.There is a broad cultural continuity throughout the federation and among the millions of Russians in the newly independent republics of Central Asia, the Baltic region, and the Caucasus. In addition to being the largest, the Russian Federation is one of the world's northernmost countries.It encompasses 6,592,658 square miles (17,075,000 square kilometers), from its borders with Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, and Ukraine on the west to the Bering Strait in the far northeast and from its borders with Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and China in the south to the Arctic Ocean in the north.It is largely the result of the economic and social upheavals of the postsocialist period, which have impoverished the population and caused a decay of social services.Growing unemployment, long-term nonpayment of wages and pensions, paid wages that are below the poverty line, unsafe working and road conditions, the spread of infectious diseases, and the impoverishment of public health care systems have caused stress, depression, family breakdown, and rising rates of alcoholism, suicide, homicide, and domestic violence.