December 9, 2023

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Many wonder why there are so few protests in Russia over the brutal war against Ukraine. One answer may lie in the youth bulge theory which we will use again to explain the relative slowness of the Russian population, so read on!

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Since the start of the war against Ukraine observers have wondered why there is no more political unrest in Russia, i.e. more criticism, more protest, and more opposition to this unjust war against its peaceful neighbor in general.

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Several reasons come to mind such as police brutality against protesters, lengthy prison sentences for members of the opposition, and constant brainwashing with propaganda, but there may be a hidden force: ratio of young people.

In this post, we will not retell the full backstory of the Youth Bulge Theory as we have already done here: Afghanistan’s “Youth Bulge”: The Power Behind Political Instability.

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The gist is that the larger the proportion of young people compared to older people, the more violent political and social conflicts will be. In the above post, we showed a highly significant correlation between them based on the World Bank data. On top of that, we found a significant point for the 0-14 age group at around 24%.

Now, let’s see how Russia ranks based on the latest 2020-numbers:

Library (WDI) age0_14 na.omit() colnames(data)

As we can clearly see in this plot the proportion of 0-14-year-olds is about 18%, well below the critical tipping point of 24% (=narrow red line). This alone certainly does not “guarantee” that there will be no serious revolts or revolutions, but it can provide a good heuristic with about 80% accuracy.

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What do you think about the youth bulge theory in this context? Please let us know in the comments!


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