Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Environmentalists may worry about overpopulation, but in Russia officials are concerned about the opposite trend. Population in the republic has fallen so sharply since the demise of the Soviet Union that the government now pays cash to families to help raise second and third children. The governor of Ulyanovsk has gone so far as to urge couples to take the day off to procreate. In case folks need an incentive, the state offers prizes -- cars, cash, TVs! -- to any couple that manages to deliver exactly nine months from now; that is, on June 12 -- Russia's national day.