Economic Growth Moscow's economy fought through hard times in a period of change, and the city now has one of the largest economies in Europe. It accounts for more than one-fifth of the total value of goods and services produced in Russia. Almost everyone of working age in Moscow has a job (the unemployment rate as of the 2010 Census was just 1 percent), and the average Muscovite earns a monthly wage that is almost twice the national average, although Moscow's cost of living is high.

The interior of a huge shopping mall in Moscow. ⌂

The rise of racism The collapse of the USSR had another serious effect on Moscow’s people. As republics became independent, they each wanted to rebuild their national identity. Russia tried to do the same, but some people took this too far and became extreme nationalists. They believe that only Russian people should be allowed to live in Russia. Many non-Russians in Moscow, especially Gypsies and people from former Soviet republics such as Georgia and Azerbaijan, suffered racist attacks. Jewish communities also have been victims of anti-Semitism.

WESTERNIZATION Many Muscovites are adopting aspects of Western European and American culture. Those with enough money can eat in Pizza Hut or McDonald’s and buy Adidas sportswear or American-style jeans (right). They can even watch English-language films and bands. Young people in particular are making the most of these new opportunities, but many older people are clinging to their traditional ways of life.



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