Full text: The reconstruction of agriculture in the Soviet Union

The decided betterment in the living conditions of 
the agricultural population brought about a sharp 
decline in the death rate of the rural population since 
the revolution. Thus, the death rate in rural districts 
amounted to 28.6 per 1,000 persons in 1911-13, to 
21.7 in 1926, to 21.8 in 1927, and to 18.7 in 1928. 
Even more clearly is this process of the improve- 
ment in the conditions of the great mass of the peas- 
antry illustrated by the decided reduction in the infant 
mortality rate. During the period 1911-13, in the 
European part of the empire, the infant mortality 
rate (for infants up to one year old) was 266 per 
1,000; in 1926 the infant mortality rate among the 
rural population was 174, in 1928—156. The fore- 
going figures bespeak a considerable betterment in the 
standards of living of the village masses, resulting in 
a notable decline in deaths among infants, in increased 
longevity, and in a corresponding gain in the natural 
growth of the population. In 1911-13 the annual 
natural growth in population amounted to 16.9 per 
1,000, in 1926 it reached 24 for the village population, 
and in 1928—26.3. 
Along with the general growth of agricultural pro- 
duction, the great mass of the peasantry, the poor and 
middle groups, were confronted, in all its magnitude, 
with the problem of the conditions which would enable 
them to progress to the higher level of socialized pro- 
The more rapid development of production for sale 
signified the taking advantage of market conditions 
by the larger producers primarily. This is clearly 
brought out by a comparison of the results accom- 
plished by the various groups of peasants: 

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