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Ukraine Faces Demographic Challenges Amidst War and Emigration

Ukraine is grappling with significant demographic challenges exacerbated by the ongoing war in the eastern regions and a steady flow of emigration. According to recent estimates by the Institute of Demography, the country’s population is facing a decline, with projections indicating a sharp decrease by 2050.

Population Distribution

Currently, Ukraine’s territory under government control is home to approximately 31 million people. However, around 4.1 million individuals reside in areas temporarily occupied by Russia. Additionally, nearly 4.9 million Ukrainians have migrated to EU countries, North America, and other destinations, while between 1.4 to 2.3 million plan to stay abroad.

Impact of the War

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has catalyzed worsening demographic trends. It has contributed to a decline in birth rates and life expectancy, as well as an increase in emigration, particularly among young families with children. The war has also resulted in significant displacement, with millions forced to flee their homes.

Fertility Rates

Ukraine’s fertility rates have fallen to critically low levels. The replacement level fertility rate, considered necessary for population replacement, is 2.2 children per woman. However, Ukraine’s fertility rate has plummeted from 1.2 before the war to just 0.9 by 2023, ranking among the lowest in the world.

Emigration Trends

Emigration from Ukraine has surged in recent years, driven by both the conflict and economic factors. In 2021 alone, over 873,700 Ukrainian citizens received residence permits in EU countries, comprising 30% of all permits issued. The emigrant population primarily consists of young, energetic families, leading to an aging population within Ukraine.

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