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Statistic designs

What do we know about the challenges of living in Russia?


The monthly minimum wage in Russia as of Jan 1, 2024 amounts to 19,242 Russian roubles (£167*). Pensions/benefits can be even less (Those we support typically report receiving around 8,000 RUB per month/£70*).

To put that into perspective; utilities amount to around £65pcm* and rent in a city like Ryazan (where we work) is around £178pcm* for a one bedroomed apartment. So, unless you are a multiple income household, even these costs could not even be covered. Food, clothing and medicine cost only marginally less than here in the UK. Travel is cheaper.

Research has shown that 60% of Russians report they spend over half their income on food. 

Almost 12 million live under the poverty line in Russia.

If using a subjective poverty line, almost 40% of Russians live under poverty line.

The average state pension for those who are retired, registered disabled or on social pensions is 18,638 RUB a month (£162*) in Ryazan.

For children under 18 months, parents receive around 7,000 RUB a month in child benefits (£61*).

Independent research showed there were around 2.13 million Russians who were homeless in 2022. This works out as 1.5% of the population. Women typically spend 7.8 years homeless and men 5.8 years. There are many reasons for homelessness and often many factors work together, but the top 2 reasons were losing a job, and being unable to pay rent.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Alcoholism has long been a problem in Russia; 20.9% of Russians and 36.9% of Russian men are alcohol dependent compared to 8.7% of both genders and 13% of men in the UK. 


There has also been a recent shift toward illicit drugs. It is very challenging to find recent data on levels of drug dependency in Russia. However, some sources suggest that it's around 5% of the population. 

Most of the Russian healthcare system is ill equipped to respond to addictions. Many treatment centres still use out-dated 'cold turkey' approaches rather than evidence based modern approaches.

Women's Rights in Russia

As of February 2017, Russia decriminalized domestic violence for first time offenses.. If a family member, including a spouse, commits a first-time offense of non-severe physical harm that doesn't lead to hospitalisation, they are no longer subject to a two-year prison term. Such cases are now treated as administrative offenses, reclassifying what were once criminal offenses as "family matters." In June 2022, the law was reformed to make it clearer that subsequent offenses would be viewed as criminal offenses. 

They may now receive a fine of around £258* or up to 15 days in prison.

12,000 women are killed a year in Russia as a result of domestic violence.

In Russia, nearly 16.5 million women, constituting 21% of the female population (78.57 million), endure domestic violence annually. This contrasts sharply with the UK, where 5% (1.6 million women out of 33.75 million) face abuse.

One in four families in Russia has encountered various forms of violence. Two-thirds of homicides stem from family members, placing Russia among countries with high rates, such as Iran, Yemen, and Liberia.

Family-related incidents account for up to 40% of all serious violent crimes. Shockingly, approximately one woman in Russia succumbs to domestic violence every 40 minutes, making the risk 50 times higher than in the UK, where about two women are killed weekly.

There are around 50 shelters in Russia offering women refuge from domestic violence (serving population of 16.5 million domestic violence victims) compared to 261 refuges in the UK (serving population of 1.6 million domestic violence victims). 

Only 10% of domestic violence victims in Russia seek help from the police after a physical beating.

Sadly, the special military operation has only reduced women's safety in Russia

Video on domestic violence situation in Russia:

In recent years, there has been a big shift politically towards favouring traditional family values.

For more information and statistics on domestic violence in Russia, click here.


Large numbers of Russian children are still living in orphanages. In 2020, 514,869 children were formally placed into care in Russia. This is 1.67% of children under 17 years old, compared to 0.65% in England.


All have experienced ACEs (such as domestic abuse within the family, addicted parents, poverty and homelessness). This, combined with the experience of separation/abandonment result in lives affected for the long term.

Find out more about adverse childhood experiences here.

Available data on Russian orphanage leavers shows that 10% commit suicide, 40% go to prison, 40% become alcoholics and drug addicts.


Proportionally 3 times more people in Russia die by suicide each year in Russia than in the UK. 25.1 people commit suicide per 100,000 people each year in Russia. This compares to 7.9 people each year in the UK. Quite a shocking difference.

Russia is among the worst affected 10 countries in the world when it comes to suicide and this reflects on substantial mental health issues faced by large numbers of the Russian population and also connects to social issues such as poverty, addictions and homelessness.

Impact of Sanctions 

Unemployment is expected to rise from 4.6% to 9% by 1st July 2022 due to sanctions. This compares to a rate of 3.9% unemployment in the UK.

Inflation rose by 14.5% in the week ending 18th March 2022. This compares to an inflation rate of 6.2% in February 2022 in the UK.

Domestic violence is likely to surge in Russia as it is well documented that during times of conflict intimate partner violence increases and autonomy of women within households decreases.

Other Facts and Statistics

The population of Russia in 2020 was 144.1 million.

Coercive control in leadership - This article argues that the leadership of RU displays signs of typical coercive control, leaving the rest of the world like an anxious neighbour, worried but too scared to get involved. 

*Exchange rates used on this page are 1 GBP = 115 RUB (correct as of 2nd April 2024). Values in GBP are rounded up or down to the nearest pound.

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