Created: 8/23/1962

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overfulfilment of population goals in ussr reveals planning blunder

CKNTRAL rNTELLFGENCK AGKNCY OHicc of Research and Reports


According to an article in the July issue of Planovoye khozyaystvp (Plannedhc goals for theears of the Soviet Sevon Yearave been modified, ln large part because the Soviot population is growing more rapidly than was anticipated when tho plan was originally formulated. The total population, according to thc article, already has increasedillion more than had been anticipated, and the urban populationillion.5 the urban population will have Increased byillionthan was anticipated in the control figure for that yea r 1/

This "population explosion" is more apparent than real, for according to official estimates that havein Soviet statistical yearbooks, there has been no significant change in the rate of population growth either in the countryhole or in urban areas separately since thc Seven Year Plan was drafted. Population goals are being overfulfilled simply because the estimates05 prepared by Gosplan7 were extremely low and unrealistic.

These low estimates and the subsequent revisions have had obvious implications for the Soviet planners concerned with housing and consumer goods and services. For example, the revised estimate of the urban population5 implies that the urban housing stock must increase byercent, rather than by the original goal ofercent, during the Seven Year period if per capita housing goals are to be achieved.

Growth of the Total Population

The estimates of the total population shown infore published by Gosplan7ook entitled The Economic Competition of Two World Systems.ccording to theho populationthe USSR" was to grow at an annual rate ofercent between 50 andercent between0 and The actual rate of growth of the Soviot population0ccording to officially published vital rates, however, hud rangedercent. 4/

ugust CB 1

Table 1

Estimates and Projections of the Total Population

of the and5

Midyear Population in Millions



8 the head of the Central Statisticalof the USSR, in an interview with an American demographer, described Gosplan's estimates as "excessively low." He explained that the Scientific-Research Economic Institute of Gosplan, which prepared the estimates, simply did not have qualifiod population statisticians. Thehad answered these criticisms by pointing out that the projections were designed simply to indicate the "general tendency" of population growth. Tney were basedimple projection of the average rate of growth of the population over some past (presumably period. 5/

The announced "overfulfillmcnt" of the total population estimateillion apparently represents the difference between the original estimateillion0 and

the recorded figureillion for that year. illion5 apparently was abandoned early The per capita output goals for

hich appearedtatistical handbook published in August ere based on a population goal ofillion. The new estimate5 comes much closer than the original to the projection ofillion calculated by Western demographers. 7/

Growth ol the Urban Population

The officially reported estimate of the urban population forillion. 8/ If it is assumed that the


overfulfilment ol* the urban population goalillion already had taken places was true of the total population, then the original control figure for that year was aboutillion. Thus Cosplnn must have applied an annual rate of Increase ofercent to an estimate ofilliono obtain its projection If it is assumed further that Gosplan used the same rate in its projections implied by the urban housing goals mentioned above, then the estimate for that year would have beenillion. The application of the expected overfulfiliment ofillion5 to this estimateevised control figure for5 ofillion. Theso estimates and projections are shown in Table 2.

Table 2

Estimates and Projections of the Urban Population of the5

Midyear Population in Millions

Used as ControlCurrent

In the Seven Year



Between 07 the'irhan population of the USSRat an average annual rateercent.

Th* overfulfillnenl of urban population goals, therefore, vasoregone conclusion. 8 the urban population has continued to increase at an annual rate ofercent. The revised estimateillion5 implies that the urban population isto increase at an average annual rateercent during the remainder of the Seven Year Plan, Apparently the USSR sLill hopes to slow down its rapid rate of urbanization.

August CB gj^51


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Economic Institute of Gosplan,

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khozyaystvp0 godu (National

Economy of the USSR,.

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5 pp. , OFF USE.

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opulation of the Countries of the Sino

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"Economy Of the USSR inOSCOW, p. U.

S. P. Real'naya zarabotnaya plata i pod"yem

material"*nogo bTago's'os'to'yaniya trujyashclujchsySSR (Real Wages and"the Level of Material Well-Being Of" Workers in Ihe USSR), Moscow, p. . U.

v1 godu above), p. U-

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