In 1987 77 per cent of the Far Eastern population lived in cities and urban-type settlements, which is high when compared with the Soviet average, but something the authors would expect in a region where agriculture is not widespread. The size of the labour force in the region, or even that of the labour-age population, is not currently published in the USSR. If the authors assume that the age structure in the Far East is identical to that recently published for urban and rural populations in the USSR as a whole, then there are about 4.5 million persons of labour-age in the region. This is quite probably an underestimate, because all indications are that a larger proportion of the population of the Far East are in the labour ages than for the USSR as a whole. The late 1980s have been a period of slow labour force growth, a demographic fact that is now well known.