While average life expectancy in Western EU countries increased by almost five years between 1986
and 2008, in several Eastern European countries it is now actually lower than it was twenty years ago. At the same time, the population is rapidly decreasing due to the high mortality and emigration. The
proposed project, “Health and Population Developments in Eastern Europe in the Conditions of
Economic Crisis”, will focus on the health and population crises affecting Eastern Europe. In the project, a number of studies concerning these vital areas will be conducted, most of them in Russia, Ukraine, and the Baltic countries.
In the course of the project, studies examining the development of the general health situation (mortality and self-rated health) and especially the unequal distribution of health among the population will be undertaken. In addition, several important areas have been singled out for in-depth study, including:
• Adolescent health, especially substance abuse and violence
• Housing and urban health
• Alcohol consumption
• Violent causes of death, i.e. suicide and homicide
• The relationship between social capital and health
• The governance of the perceived population crisis
Various types of data materials will be employed in the course of the project. However, many of the
proposed studies will utilise the large health interview surveys in Ukrainian Stakhanov (2009), Russian Yaroslavl (2010), and among the school children of Russian Arkhangelsk (2010).
The current economic downturn that has seriously affected the Eastern European economies will receive special attention in the project. Taken together, these studies will provide an overview of health and population situation and factors affecting health in a time of economic hardship in Eastern Europe. In addition to its scientific interest, such knowledge is vital also from a public-health perspective for any future attempts to ameliorate this situation.