Aging in Russia

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Russia has always been at an intersection of Western and Eastern cultures, with its dozens of ethnic groups and different religions. The federal structure of the country also encompasses a variety of differences in socioeconomic status across its regions. This diversity yields complexity in aging research; aging people in Russia differ in terms of nationality, religion, political beliefs, social and economic status, access to health care, income, living conditions, etc. Thus, it is difficult to control for all these factors or to draw a picture of an “average” Russian older adult. Nevertheless, there is a great deal of research on aging in Russia, mainly focusing on biomedical and social aspects of aging. Most such research is based in the Central and Western regions, whereas the Siberian and Far East regions are underrepresented. There is also a lack of secondary databases and representative nationwide studies. Social policy and legislation address the needs of older adults by providing social services, support, and protection. The retirement system in Russia enables adults to retire at relatively young ages—55 and 60 years for women and men, respectively—but also to maintain the option of continuing their professional career or re-establishing a career after a “vocation” period. Though in recent years the government has faced a range of political issues, affecting the country’s economy in general, budget funds for support of aging people have been maintained.

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