War in Ukraine is demographic “catastrophe”


Eastern Europe


Oleksandra Boyko, a 30-year-old Ukrainian woman from Melitopol, holds her baby at a check point after she was able to leave from Russian occupied territory, in Zaporizhzhia. Photo AFP, Bulent Kilic

The war in Ukraine is “catastrophic” for population growth. By 2030, the population might decrease from 43 million to 35.

Such a forecast was made during a presentation at Ukrinform, the Ukrainian press agency. Ella Libanova, the director of the Institute of Demography and Social Research, declares the population losses due to the war and the related refugee processes as catastrophic. “I dream there will be 35 million of us in 2030.”

Currently, Ukraine has a population of 43 million people. It is expected that at least 7.8 million people have fled the country.

Because of the ongoing war, Ukraine is losing people through excess mortality, says Libanova. “These people also die due to stress overload, poor nutrition and insufficient medical care.”

The birth rate is also very low, says Libanova. “We still don’t fully feel it. But 2023 will be the year of a catastrophic fall in this indicator. Let’s say to have a simple restoration of generations; one woman should give birth to 2.13 - 2.15 children during her lifetime (on average). In 2021, we had an indicator of 1.1. In 2022, it will be even less, but the reduction will not be catastrophic due to children born in the first half of the year.”



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