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Ukrainian population sees major decline over last two years — think tank

According to the think-tank, since the start of hostilities in Ukraine last February, 8.6 million people have left the country and have not returned

MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/.Ukraine’s population has declined to 29 million people, while the birth rate is half the figure needed to maintain this level, the Ukrainian Institute for the Future analytical center said on Monday.

"As of May 2023, the permanent population of Ukraine, according to UIF estimates, is 29 million people," the institute said in a post on its Facebook page (prohibited in Russia due to its ownership by Meta, which has been designated as an extremist organization).

According to the think-tank, since the start of hostilities in Ukraine last February, 8.6 million people have left the country and have not returned. It said that 37.6 million people actually lived in Ukraine at the start of 2022, but since then 20.7 million people have left the country with 12.1 million subsequently returning. Thus, according to the institute's estimates, the country's population has decreased by 8.6 million people since the beginning of 2022.

The Ukrainian workforce currently stands at somewhere between 9.1 million and 9.5 million people, and if state employees are excluded from this figure, about 6 million to 7 million people working in the private sector remain. "They are the ones that are carrying the others - 22-23 million people, including pensioners, children, students, the unemployed, dependents, and these same government employees," it stressed.

The birth rate in Ukraine has already dropped below 1, while this figure must be above 2 to ensure population growth. If nothing is changed, in a few years the number of pensioners in Ukraine will be twice the number of working people, the institute forecasts. "There will be no one to generate GDP in Ukraine," it sums up.

The Ukrainian Institute for the Future does not explain within what borders it calculates the population of Ukraine - in the territories actually under Kiev's control, or in all the territories that the Ukrainian authorities consider their own. The UIF also does not explain why its population estimate does not coincide with official statistics and whether this is because the authors of the report, unlike the State Statistics Service, took into account the seasonal labor migration of Ukrainians who temporarily went abroad to work.

Before and after

According to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, the population of Ukraine as of July 1, 2021 stood at 41.38 million people, decreasing by 205,100 over the preceding six months. In December 2021, Ukraine’s Strana media outlet reported, citing data from the State Statistics Committee and the World Bank, that Ukraine had lost 20% of its population after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It said that 52 million people lived in Ukraine in 1991, and just over 41 million people - in 2021.