Rural Population Change in 1959-1989 and Rural Infrastructure
After 1989 the long-lasting trend of rural population decline in Russia was reversed. This chapter presents rural population change in the Uglich district up till 1985. In that year the population in the outer zone of accessibility of the district was only 25% of its 1959 level, whereas in the central zone it was still 84%. Evidence overwhelmingly suggests that shifts in the rural population of the provinces of European Russia and in most of their minor civil divisions depend on proximity to cities and towns: rural settlements in outlying areas shrivel up while only those close to urban areas and/or major highways survive. The process of rural population decline initially involved all the areas located in the Moscow-Leningrad inter-urban gap, including the Moscow and Leningrad provinces themselves.