The Transformation of the Economy and Population in the Territory of the Irkutsk North (TIN) in the 21st Century
The territory of the Irkutsk North (TIN) distinguishing itself by having rich mineral resource base of national and international status is considered as a model northern sub-region of Siberia at the new stage of economic development in connection with the development of hydrocarbon resources. The recent contribution of the TIN to the gross regional product of the Irkutsk region is more than 2/5, despite the fact that less than ¼ part of the population lives here, and it is the most urbanized area (93 % live in urban areas). Analysis of the major social and economic changes over the past quarter of a century in the context of the specialization of the TIN proves the reality of re-industrialization processes. For more than half a century of active target investment the economy and the prevailing framework of settlement in the TIN has spatial characteristics typical for the developed territory. At the same time we revealed qualitative and quantitative changes in the demographic potential. Thus the age structure of the population of the sub-region is close to the southern category of the territories, as the proportion of the population of working age is much smaller (57,9 %), while the share of the retirement age is more than 22 %. And the sex structure of the population has transformed in the predominance of women (over 53 %). The paper presents the most likely scenario forecast of the TIN – «northern contract», in which we observe the balance of responsibility for social standards, favorable living environment, and providing conditions for the development of an innovative economy.