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31 March 2012

 A migrant woman stands with her daughter and nephew outside their shelter on the outskirts of Moscow July 26 2011. Russia's demographic situation is one of the many factors that contributes to uncertainty in understanding the future of the country. Not only is Russia one of the only developing countries with a decreasing population, also the chaos of the 1990's has produced a hole in the demographic curve meaning there are fewer young adults now than should be expected in a standard population. The result is a small indigenous labor pool and a large influx of migrant workers to fill this gap. These workers are mainly from former Soviet countries in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, places with their own economic problems which contribute to migration. The migrants generally do low-skilled and heavy work on building sites, in markets or on the streets. Official statistics put the number at just under a million, but unofficial estimates there are several million, mostly concentrated in and around Moscow. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov

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