16.01.2021

Russians have nothing to save: salary goes to food, medicine, utilities

The share of 10% of the most affluent Russians in 2018 accounted for 30.1% of the total cash income of the population, and 10% of the most needy – only 2%. In other words, the gap between rich and poor in Russia is 15 times. Over 15 million Russians live below the poverty line, and less than 6% of the population can afford to save. This depressing picture of Russian revenues was drawn by Rosstat in his 2018 study.

The total cash income of the population of the Russian Federation in 2018 was 57.5 trillion rubles. At first glance, the figure seems colossal. For comparison: the revenues of the federal budget for 2019 are less than 20 trillion rubles. However, if all the monetary incomes of the population are divided by the number of inhabitants of the country (about 147 million), then we get about 33 thousand rubles per person per month.

It is unlikely that this figure will strike someone’s imagination, but it confirms that the overwhelming majority of Russians live on very modest incomes. This fact becomes even more obvious if we analyze the data of Rosstat by groups of average per capita incomes. 5% of the Russian population (that is, 7 million people) exist (it is difficult to pick up another word here) for an amount of less than 7 thousand rubles a month. As many have the same from 7 to 10 thousand rubles. For reference: the amount of the subsistence minimum established in our country for the first quarter of 2019 is 10,144 rubles. This means that at least 14 million of our compatriots belong to the category of the poor. And another 15 million (11.2%) of Russians live on the edge of the poverty line, with an income of 10 to 14 thousand rubles. By the way, about the same – about 16 million people (11,

Probably, the last figure will make someone wonder. What are 60 thousand a month if the richest Russians buy islands in the ocean and western football clubs, drive personal jets for their dogs and compete with each other in the size of personal yachts? But, first of all, Rosstat operates only with data of officially declared incomes. And secondly, it still takes into account not a narrow stratum of billionaire oligarchs, but large social groups of tens of millions of people.

It is noteworthy that the so-called coefficient of funds (how many times 10% of the richest citizens of the country receive more than 10% of the poorest) has not actually changed in Russia for many years and is about 15. In developed and socially oriented states (in particular , in the Scandinavian countries), this figure does not exceed 10. But experts from the Higher School of Economics fear that in 2019 social inequality in our country may increase even more due to the acceleration of inflation and the slowdown in the growth of public sector wages.

The statistics of our citizens’ use of their incomes is very indicative. Over three quarters (77%) of them went last year for the purchase of goods and services, 12.1% for compulsory payments and contributions, 5.6% for savings, 3.7% for purchase of currency. “The vast majority of our population in recent years has been spending its money on three things: food, medicines, housing and public utilities. All the rest of the income simply does not remain, ”confirms the statistics of the corresponding member. RAS, scientific director of the Institute of Economics Ruslan Greenberg.

The best proof of this is the record low share of savings: only 5.6%. This indicator was less only in the crisis year of 2008 – 5.4%. In 2017, Russians spent 8.1% of their income on savings, and a year earlier, 11.1%. By savings Rosstat understands bank deposits, funds in the accounts of individual entrepreneurs, as well as the purchase of securities and real estate. The current failure of savings suggests that most people simply have nothing to postpone until tomorrow: God forbid, make ends meet today.

Experts attribute the reduction in the share of savings to the fall in real incomes (nominal income minus mandatory payments, adjusted for inflation) of the population. Recall that real incomes fall in our country five years in a row (in 2018 – by 0.2%).

At the same time, so-called compulsory payments grow from year to year. Their share increased over the past year by a whole percentage point – from 11.1% to 12.1% (maximum since 2008). Mandatory payments include taxes, insurance payments, interest on loans. The latter is 25–30% in obligatory payments. Over the past year, the debts of Russians to banks have increased, according to the Central Bank, by 22.4% to a record 14.9 trillion rubles. At the same time, growth in consumer lending is significantly ahead of the dynamics of income and wages: people have increased their debt burden, trying to avoid a further drop in living standards, analysts at RANEPA explain.

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