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On the characteristics and problems of economic statistics in the Soviet Union, see Feshbach (1960, 1962, 1972), Shenfield (1992), and Treml and Hardt (1972).
For a discussion of the issues involved, see the classic study by Campbell and Ross (1968).
A greater than 100 percent apparent intercensal survival of young children persisted in the 1970 census (Anderson and Silver, 1985a; Kingkade, 1985). An analysis of the 1979 and 1989 censuses reveals a similar, though perhaps less serious, pattern of undercounting of young children.
The Russian word "natsional'nost" is translated into English as "ethnic group," since the English word "nationality" has connotations of ''citizenship."
Using detailed new statistics medical registration of births from Estonia, Katus (1994a) has calculated the differential in the infant mortality rate due to the shift to be 16.6 percent.
The shift to the WHO definitions of live birth and infant death was a good idea, but it creates problems of data comparability. Many other Soviet definitions were not standard. The Soviet definition of a family, for example, was different from that used anywhere else in the world (Anderson, 1986).
For a discussion of problems and opportunities in population statistics in the NIS, see Anderson and Silver (1994b). In that paper, we speculated that in the Central Asian states, reported infant mortality rates would fall, because of an increase in the proportion of infant deaths not being recorded. We also speculated that this would be interpreted as an indication of the positive consequences of throwing off Soviet control. In Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, both the reported decline in infant mortality and this rosy interpretation have in fact occurred (personal communication from Vladimir Shkolnikov).
Other patterns can also occur. Among Han Chinese, there is some evidence of heaping on a 12-year cycle corresponding to the animal years of the lunar calendar. See Anderson and Silver (1994c).
That this is not, strictly speaking, a characteristic of Moslem populations, but depends on other cultural characteristics, is illustrated by the case of the Hui (so-called Moslem Chinese), who also reside in large numbers in Xinjiang, but do not show any sign of the age heaping observed for the Uighurs and Kazaks. It appears likely that the Hui use the Chinese lunar calendar to reckon their ages.
It has been speculated that the higher mortality rates in urban than in rural areas could be real because of worse public health conditions, environmental hazards, and epidemics of communicable diseases in cities—akin, perhaps, to the experience in the United Kingdom in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The mortality risks in the Soviet Union and its successor states in the latter half of the twentieth century have on the whole been significantly higher in rural than in urban areas.
We have estimated that the Soviet definition of a live birth and an infant death led to a reported infant mortality rate 22 to 25 percent lower than that which would have resulted from using the WHO-recommended definitions (Anderson and Silver, 1986b). But in Central Asia, the definitional difference is only a small fraction of the error. Baranov et al. (1990) estimate that in 1970, while the reported infant mortality rate for Central Asia was 36 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, the actual rate was 128 using Soviet definitions and 161 using the WHO definitions of live birth and infant death. Although Ksenofontova (1994) questions the methods used by Baranov et al. (1990), her own estimates are not much lower than those resulting from the latter methods for this period. For further discussion, see Anderson and Silver (1990b, 1994b). For an examination of cause of death for infant mortality in Central Asia as a way of detecting data error, see Velkoff (1990, 1992) and Velkoff and Miller (1995).
This is due in part to inconsistent application of rules for attributing deaths to the permanent place of residence of the deceased rather than the place of occurrence of the event. See Anderson and Silver (1985b, 1994a).