Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Demographic Collapse of a Diaspora

The ethnic German population of the former Russian Empire and USSR has plummeted since 1989 due to massive emigration. Out of over two million ethnic Germans in the USSR at the time of the last Soviet census in 1989 less than 650,000 were left by 2010, a decrease of over two thirds. The loss from Kazakhstan and Central Asia where the majority of the population lived during most of the post-WWII period has been particularly great. The ethnic German population of Kazakhstan declined by over 80%. A similar percentage left Uzbekistan. In excess of 90% of those in Kyrgyzstan have also left. While more than 96% emigrated from Tajikistan.

Decline in Ethnic Germans in the Former USSR and Baltic States due to Emigration

Country              1989           2009-2010

Russia                824,295      394,138
Kazakhstan         957,518      178,409
Kyrgyzstan         101,309          9,500
Uzbekistan           39,809          7,000
Ukraine                37,849        33,002
Tajikistan             32,671          1,136
Moldova                7,335              NA
Turkmenistan         4,434              NA
Belarus                  3,517           2,472
Latvia                    3,783           4,539
Estonia                  3,466            1,905
Lithuania               2,058            3,243
Georgia                 1,546               651
Azerbaijan                748                NA
Armenia                    265              133

Source: T.B. Smirnova, "Ot perepisi k perepisi: prichini izmenenia chislennosti rossiiskikh nemtsev v poslednee desiatiletie" in A.A. German (ed.), Dva s polovinoi veka s Rossiei (k 250 letiiu nachala massovogo pereseliniia nemtsev v Rossiiu), (Moscow: MSNK-press, 2013),  table 2,  p. 675.


Withywindle said...

Russians sometimes pretend to be Jewish to get into Israel. Do any pretend to be German so as to be able to emigrate to Germany?

J. Otto Pohl said...

Yes, but already in the 1990s the German government instituted very strict verification mechanisms to reduce the number of cases of this happening.

Withywindle said...

How much intermarriage had their been between ethnic Germans and others before emigration?

J. Otto Pohl said...

There was quite a bit of intermarriage between Germans and Russians during the post-WWII years. A lot of families that settled in Germany are mixed marriages.

Unknown said...

Most of our family "Beyl" immigrated to N. Dak.but 3 children remained in Crimea. I understand the probable dispersing of them during the war. Is there any way to search names over there? Yes, I understand they many not have survived.