Created: 11/1/1960

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comparison of us and soviet population and manpower

central intelligence agency



CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Research and Reports


This report presents summary data on population and manpower in the US and in the USSR and indicates some of the developments anticipated during the next decade. The economic significance of these developments has already been discussed in the following recent publications: Man-power: Challenge ofDepartmentofnd Soviet Manpower: Central Intelligence

Population changes in the US during the next decade are expected to result in an accelerated growth of the labor force, of high schoolandof college enrollment. Growth in these areas, which had been slowedduringsby the low birthrates ofs, will increase sharplyunder the impact of the rising birthrates experienced during and after World War II. In the USSR, in contrast, birthrates showed little change durings, declined sharply during World War II, andradual rise in thes. The low World War II birthrates are now being reflectedecline in the population of high school agelowdown in the growth rate of the labor force. Durings the growth rate of the labor force will be accelerated, the population of high school age will reverse its current downward trend2 and rise rapidly thereafter, and the population of college age will be much smaller durings than durings.

Sources for the Soviet data are listed in the appendix. Population projections for the USSR assume constant fertility rates and slowlydeath rates, and the labor-force projections assume fulfillment of the goals for manpower and school enrollment set in the Soviet Seven Yearontinuation0 of Ihe trends established in the first half of the decade.

Sources for the US data are listed in the appendix. In addition to these published sources, some unpublished estimates were provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Bureau of the Census. Population projections are those of the Bureau of the Census, and labor-force projections are those of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Figure 1


ble duringaborlion. and ,he current policy ofwiderhave" a' dep^/eTc, on

ued tactors as con-

men ubcUerhousine conditions, and an improving ratio of

men to women in the marrying ages. Although fertility rates by age

among Soviet women are not expected to change significantly durings, population growth will slow down because of adecline in theof women in the main child-bearingof the small number of children born during World War II who will be marrying and forming families durings.

Although fertility rates in the US have increased sharply since thes, many US demographers expect this trend to be reversed durings. They maintain that the postwar period has been one of transition in which girls married and had their children earlier than in the past. Birthrates have been rising, therefore, among women underears of age but have remained fairly stable among women inss, who were having their children under the previous, more delayed pattern of family formation. This period of transition is ending, and fertility rates amongwomen in the child-bearing ages as awholc will therefore decline. The US Department of Labor has evaluated theconsequences of these developments and hasopulationillion inthe same as the Series III projection of the US Bureau of the Census, which also assumes declining fertility rates duringa.

population estimates in this report are midyear figures.

there are wide differences between the current age-sex distribution of the population of the us and that of the ussr




most outstanding difference between the US population and that of the USSR concerns the ratio of women to men among adults. In the UShen-omen toen in the age groupnd olde r; in the same age group in the USSR, the reomen to0 men. In both countries the sex ratio was about even among younger persons. The relative shortage of adult men in the USSR reflects the cumulative effocts of wars and internal strife during the past half century and is unmatched in any other country in the were actually more men overn the US than in the0 million comparedillionnspiteof the fact that the total population of the USSR was one-fifth larger than that of the US. The relative shortage of adult men in the USSR is reflectedarge surplus of unmarried women. Although the total number of married women was about the same in the US and the USSRhere wereillionwomenears of age and older in the USSR but onlyillion in the US.

the population of high school age will increase much faster in the ussr than in the us durings

There are currently ae many boys and girls of high school* In the US as in the USSR, whereasears ago there were only one-half as many.owever, the USSR will haveillion in this age group, and the US will haveillion.

* Although high schools in tho USSR extendears,ear age group isuecdhcre to facilitate compariaon with the US in relative magni -tudes as well as In trends.

In the US the growth of the population of high school age wasduring the latter part ofs as the largerf children born in thes replaced the smaller number born earlier in that decade. The rising birthrates experienced duringn will result in an evenrowth rate in thes butomewhat slower rate in thes.


The population age group from which college students are normallyemained virtually unchanged durings in both the US and the USSR.owever, theof college age will increase by nearly one-fourth in the US but will decline by one-fourth in the USSR.0 this age group will increase in both countries at about the same rate, and both countries will have aboutillion persons of college age at the end of the decade.

the population in the principal working age group will continue to increase more rapidly in the ussr than in the us until the latter half ofs






0 the population age group from which experienced workers are primarilyas not much larger in the USSR than in the US, but there wereillion more women in this group in the USSR than in the USillion fewer men. The population agehroughncreased rapidly in the USSR durings, and the proportionof men increased fromoercent, so that the USSR now hasillion more men andillion more women in this age group than does the US.

The very rapid increase in the number of men agehroughn the USSR resulted in part from the fact that the relatively small groups of males reachinguring the decadeho were of military ageWorld War land its aftermathere being replaced durings by the larger groups of males born5ost of whom were too young for military duty in World War II. In the US the


Fiituta 6



spite of the fact that the USSRotal population nearly one -fifth larger than that of the US, the USSR at present has far fewer personsnd older. Durings, however, the population of this age group will increase much more rapidly in the USSR than in the0 this age groupwill stillittle larger in the US than in the USSR.

the total labor force will increase more rapidly in the us than in the ussr during



The Soviet labor force is now almostercent larger than Ihe US labor force, although the adultnd older) in the USSR is only one-fifth larger than in the US. This difference is dueuch higher labor-force participation rate among women in the USSR,in agriculture. In both countries, aboutercent of all mennd older are in the labor force, but in the USSRercent of the women in this age group work compared withercent in the US.

As noted earlier, the number of adult men in the USSR has beenmore rapidly than the number of adult women and will continue to do so durings. The percent of Soviet womennd older who workhas been fairly stable and is not expected to change significantly durings. Consequently, women will continue tomaller proportion of the total Soviet labor force.0ore than one-half of all Soviet workers were women.nless

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their rale of participation increases, they will represent less th-in one-half of the labor forco for the firBt time since before World War II.

In the US, more and more women have been taking jobs during the past decade. At present, women make upercent of the total labor force compared withercenthe US Department of Labor expectsa continuationof this trend and estimates (hat0 women will constituteercent of the US labor force.

The growth rate of the labor force was about the same in bothdurings. Over the next decade the US labor force will grow more rapidly than that of the USSR, nol only becauseore rapid growth of the adultnd older) in the US, but also because the USSR plans to route an increasingproportionof its youth into schools, thus delaying their entry into the labor force and reducing the growth of the labor force in relation to the growth of the adult population.


Women now constitute more than one-half of the Soviet labor force but less than one-third of the US labor force, and women also makearger proportion of the labor force in the various sectors of thein the USSR than in the US- In both countries, women are employed more widely in such fields as health, education, communications, and trade than in thcother branches of theeconOmy and least widely inand transportation. Women constitute more than three-fifths of the total number of personsducation in both countries. In contrast, however, the number of women employed in construction in the USSR is more than seven times as great as in the US; inmore than three times; inagriculture. three times; and in industry (including manufacturing, mining, and electriclmost two times.

nearly one-half of the soviet labor force but only one-tenth of the us labor force is employed in agriculture

Percent of Total


More thanillion people in the USSRearly one-half of the total labor forcere currently employed in agriculture. Thisis expected to drop to about two-fifthsn contrast, only about one-tenth of the US labor force is employed inagriculture, and the proportion will be cvon smaller

Both tho US and the USSR currently employillion andillion people in the fields of education, health, and publicAll ihe service fields taken together, however, account for onlyourth of the Soviet labor force but more than one-half of the US labor force. This difference between the two countries results primarily from the larger number of pc rsons employed in the US in trade; in repair and other personal services; and in financial, insurance, and real estate activities. Durings Die proportion of the labor force employed in services is expected to increase somewhat in both countries. The USSR alsomaller part of its labor force in industry andthan docs the US,percent compared withercent. Thisis expected to be less durings.


Percent of Total


luMdoptoiind uvondJn ttheoi mat In an mmn. dnbOi. tkmeirUry stool UAm.

t*BlWtefrtm bHuWtilW


nly aboutercent of the Soviet populationnd older had completed elementary schoolor the US, withear elementary school system, the proportion wasercent. Theof the populationompleted college education was much higher in the US than in theercent comparedwithpercent. The proportion that had completed high school but not college also was much higher in the US6 percent comparedwith1 percent who are graduates either of the general high schools or of the technicums in the USSR.

The USSR claims that illiteracy among its populationhroughas virtually been eliminated. According to the results of95 percent of the population in this age group can read and write. The literacy rate for this group wasercent9lliteracy among persons undern the USSR, therefore, is currently about as uncommon as in the US- The extent of illiteracy

among personsnd older in the USSR has not been reported butis still relatively high. In the US the rate is currently about 4

In both the US and the USSR the average educational attainment of rural residents is much lower than that of urban residents. In the USSRore than one-half of the population lived in rural areas, but onlyercent of high school graduates,ercent of technicumgradu-ates,ercent of college graduates were to be found insuchareas. Similarly, for the USural farm areas accounted forercent of the population but forercent of all high school graduatesercent of all college graduates.

Other published results of9 Soviet census show that although womenajority of high school and college graduates, Soviet men have acquired more education, on the average, than Soviet women. This is not the case in the US, where women are ahead of men in the general level of education. Thus, in the USSR,ercent of the men but onlyercent of the womennd older had completed at least anercent of the menercent of the womenhad completed high school or technicumbut not college; andercent of the menandercent of the women had completedIn the US5 percent of the women but onlyercent of the mennd older had completed at least anyear) education, andercent of the men andercent of the women had completedhigh school but not college. Nine percent of the USercent of the women had completed college. In terms of general level of education, US women had completed an average2 years compared7 years for men.

Source References for Soviet Datahrough 6

US Bureau of the Census, Foreign Manpower Research Office, unpublished estimates of the population of the USSR.

nd 9

CIA. Labor Supply and Employment in the USSR, ,

IA. Soviet Manpower..p.

Figure 8

USSR. Tsentral'noye Statisticheskoyc Upravloniye pri Sovcte Ministrov SSSR.SSR (Women in thePublished data relating8 extrapolated

CIA. Labor Supply and Employment in the USSR, ,


Tsentral'noye Statistichcskoye Upravleniyc pri Sovcte Ministrov SSSR. Uroven' obraaovaniya, natsional'nyy sostav. vosrastnayaazmcshcheniyc nasclcniya SSSR po rcspublikam.blastyam po dannym vsesoyuznoy perepisi9 goda (Level of Education,Composition. Age Structure, and Distribution of theby Republic, Kray, and Oblast According to Data of the All-Union Census of Population,.S Bureau of the Census, Foreign Manpower Research Office, unpublished estimates of the population of the USSR.

II. Source References for US Data

Figures,, and 6

Zitter,nd. Illustrative Projections of the Population of the United States, by Age andS Bureau of the Census, .

Figure 2

Estimates of the Population of the United States by Age, Color, and Sex, July7S Bureau of the Census,. 9-

Figure 7

Population and Labor Force Projections for the United0S BurcauofLaborStatistics, Bulletino date,

Figure 8

Employment and Earnings, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, vol.

Figure 9

Manpower Needs and Resourccsof the UnitedA study being prepared by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Figure 10

Literacy and Educational Attainment: S Bureau of the

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