Russia’s average life expectancy suffered a catastrophic crash following the collapse of the Soviet Union, plunging to 56 years for men during the early 1990s. This figure rose to nearly 62 years last year (69 for both men and women) thanks to the recovery in the economy and Russians' newfound interest in leading more healthy lives.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov recently announced that, thanks to longer lives and immigration, the country’s population grew for the first time in 15 years in 2009.