During 2021 Ingushetia’s socio-economic situation continued to deteriorate. The republic has repeatedly been in the anti-rating in terms of citizens’ income, unemployment, innovation development, and other economic indicators.

Ingushetia was among the ten outsiders in the Russian regions in terms of wages. According to RIA Rating, which was compiled on the basis of Rosstat data on average salaries for the period from August 2020 to August 2021, Ingushetia ranked 82nd in the ranking. The proportion receiving more than 100 thousand rubles in this republic is 1.3%, and the proportion receiving less than 15 thousand rubles is 22.2%. The range of the most common salaries in the republic is from 16 to 31 thousand rubles. Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan are also in the top ten outsiders.

Ingushetia is also among the regions of Russia where the elderly receive low pensions. According to data on average pensions in the regions as of October 1 of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, in Ingushetia the average pension amounted to 13,296 rubles. For example, in Chechnya, the pension is just over 13,845 rubles. The lowest pensions are in Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria, where pensioners receive 11,967 and 12,213 rubles, respectively. According to the Pension Fund, the average Russian pension is 15,850 rubles per month.

Ingushetia is the absolute leader in terms of unemployment. According to Rosstat for June-August 2021, 30.5% of economically active citizens do not have official employment, while the unemployment rate for this period in the regions of the Russian Federation was 4.6%. Ingushetia was in the last 85th place of the rating, the average time to find a job in the republic — 7.2 months. Another republic of the North Caucasus Federal District, Dagestan, is in 84th place. But the situation, according to the rating, is much better here, as the unemployment rate is half as high as 14.9%. True, it would take about 7.8 months to find a job in the region.

At the same time, Ingushetia has the highest level of shadow employment (without taxes and contributions) — 53.1% of the population. Chechnya is in second place (52.1%), and Kabardino-Balkaria is in third (49.5%). According to FinExpertiza, in the second quarter, the number of informally employed people in the country increased by one and a half million.

Ingushetia is also in the top ten outsiders in the ranking of labor markets for retirees. According to a study by RIA Rating based on Rosstat data on employment, conditions and wages for people of retirement age, Ingushetia was in 77th place with 26.3 points in this rating. For comparison, the best indicator for working conditions for pensioners is in Moscow, it is estimated at 70 points.

In Ingushetia, only 3.7% of families can afford to buy a new inexpensive car, 0.8% can buy a mid-class car, and only 0.04% can buy a premium-class car. According to the rating of Russian regions by availability of cars and the share of families who own cars, published on December 13 by RIA «Novosti», Ingushetia took 84th place with these indicators. It was prepared by RIA «Rating». The indicators are worse only in Chechnya, which ranks 85th) with similar indicators — 3.5% (inexpensive car); 0.7% (medium price car); 0.04% (premium car).

However, Ingushetia, as well as Chechnya and Dagestan, were among the top three regions in the country in which residents take out the least loans. According to a study by RIA «Novosti», in Ingushetia the average amount of debt to banks per person is only 36 thousand rubles, in the second and third — 70 and 74 thousand. By comparison, in the leading regions (Kalmykia, Tuva, Kurgan region, Udmurtia, and the Orenburg region) the figure reaches 410 thousand rubles. The average amount of debt to banks per person in Russia is 312 thousand rubles.

According to data from the North Caucasus, in the first nine months of 2021 in Ingushetia the turnover of commercial organizations decreased by 10%. It is the smallest in the North Caucasus Federal District — about 29 billion rubles. The loss of business (excluding small and medium-sized enterprises) amounted to 2.7 billion rubles. The industrial production index also decreased by 5% (negative growth in the district is also observed in Kabardino-Balkaria). The amount of investment in fixed capital in Ingushetia is 12.4 billion rubles, which is the lowest in the North Caucasus Federal District.

However, there are positive trends in Ingushetia as well. For example, according to data for January-September 2021, the mortality rate exceeded the birth rate in the republic. According to Rosstat, the natural increase in population during this time amounted to 4,831 people, with 6,187 births and 1,356 deaths of local residents. For comparison, in Russia, during the first 11 months of 2021 natural decline in population (the excess of deaths over births) increased by 64% on an annualized basis and amounted to 945.1 thousand people against 574.9 thousand a year earlier, said Rosstat. In January-November, 1,284,900 people were born; in the same period in 2020, 1,306,400 people were born.

Among other successes of Ingushetia we can highlight the migration growth in January-September 2021. The number of arrivals, according to Rosstat, exceeded the number of departures by 1,850 (6,281 people arrived and 4,431 left). At the same time, Chechnya, North Ossetia and Dagestan have seen an outflow of the local population.

However, it should be noted that these indicators of Ingushetia have already been repeatedly criticized, reports «Kavkazsky Knot «*. Alexei Raksha, a demographer and former advisor to the demographic calculations department of Rosstat, noted that during previous censuses, the Ingush authorities artificially inflated the population of the republic in order to receive large subsidies. «Ingushetia was drawing migration growth, while all neighboring republics had a migration outflow, which is natural, because the Caucasus is a labor-abundant region with low salaries and a high proportion of young people who migrate in search of a better life across the country,» he pointed out. The demographer noted that officially there are 515,000 people in Ingushetia, but according to his calculations there are 330,000 people in the republic, which means there’s a difference of 185,000.

Human rights activist Timur Akiev also stated that the financing of the region may be linked to the overestimation of the population. Political scientist Angela Matieva has a different opinion. «On the contrary, it was widely publicized that the figures were deliberately understated, so as not to show the real number of Ingush, to hide the fact that their number had long exceeded half a million. I am inclined to believe this viewpoint more. And I have every reason to do so, on the basis of the anti-Ingush policy pursued over the past ten years by the regional authorities themselves,» said Matieva.

* The Russian Ministry of Justice included the media in the register of foreign agents.

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