Ukrainian Demographics – Men, Women, Families: Let’s Dot the I’s

2006, printed sources: Ella Libanova, Vice-Director, Institute of Demography under the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; Victor Smirnov, journalist

Note: Ukrainian nationals, not ethnic Ukrainians, are discussed.

  • How many children do average Ukrainian parents have?

One-child families prevail. Twins barely alter the continued aftermaths of the early 90’s, when Ukrainians had to struggle through the acute socio-economic transition crisis, and took caution not to bring new lives into uncertain conditions.

In April 2005, the government has introduced new allowance for a newborn (initial and year-long monthly installments totaling $1545 equivalent worth of the average worker’s annual wage fund in Ukraine). The innovation has encouraged parents who’ve been considering but postponing procreation. So in the first six months of 2006, the birth rate has increased by 7% compared to the same period in the previous year. Experts foretell that, to keep up the dynamics, the allowance amount has to be raised every 2-3 years, considering inflation; and that unfortunately, it is going to stimulate the trend of irresponsible and abusive maternity in the lower class, – yet not going to increase the average ratio above 13-14 children per 10 women (22/10 being the reproduction norm) because of non-material reasons.

Ukraine’s current average is 12 children per 10 women. This is comparable to the progress of much more secure Latvia or Poland, and even above the Chech 11/10. (Russia’s rates are rather complicated to compare to, because of its broad disparities by regions and ethnicities).

  • What are the forecasts on Ukrainian population?

From the growth curve that has broke down in 1992 at the landmark of 52 million people, through 2001’s 48.150 mln and 2006’s 46.778 mln – to 44 million people for the year 2015; 41 mln for 2030; 25 to 36 mln in 50 years, unless immigration increases or Ukrainian women start bearing as many children as in the 1960’s. Currently every generation in Ukraine is less numerous than the previous one. Women aged 75 are outnumbering girls aged 5.

By the 2030’s there would be one retirement pensioner per person of working age, and possibly 4/1 by the 2050’s. Such shift is a pan-European problem, but Europe is compensated by immigration – particularly from Ukraine.

There are 26 million people working in Ukraine now; 3 million their compatriots are working abroad. Roughly 1,5 mln Ukrainians, who’ve lived in foreign countries for 7-15 years, are not going to come back, nor is the majority of their children.

As for immigrants into Ukraine, illegal aliens outnumber the legal ones by times, and contribute largely to crime.

  • What is living Ukrainians’ life expectancy?

62 years men’s average, 73 years women’s average. Whereas the women take care, their fellow-countrymen are accustomed to drinking, smoking, eating unhealthily, inviting risks of accidents and violence, and neglecting healthcare till it’s too late. Though female consumption of tobacco and alcohol is increasing, to some extent.

48% Ukrainians have never smoked. 15% have tried or quit. 11% smoke periodically, 25% smoke regularly, 1% answers uncertain. – Research & Branding Group

  • Russian current menfolk loss is compared to that in the World War II…

Ukraine has disturbing male mortality, too. Over the Former Soviet Union, the situation is worse only in Russia and Kazakhstan. The “risk group” is the 40-60 age range, where men-to-women ratio is 6 / 10. Today’s Ukrainian men aged 40+ have 31% risk to die before their 60′th birthday. But those who have survived above the age of 60 have good chances for 14 more years of life.

Ukraine is home to 1.500 centennarians: 95 people around 100 years old per 100.000 of population in Rivne oblast, and 2 such per 100.000 of population in other regions.

On the other hand, the total number of cancer cases is approaching 1 million people; almost 40.000 tuberculosis cases are registered annually, among them a thousand of healthcare staff themselves.

  • Is “groom deficite” a problem?

No disaster, the maths say. In Ukraine, marriage partners are most sought for around their 30’s, and up to the age of 32 there are still more men than women. This reflects the worldwide natural law. Approximately 106 boys per 100 girls are born. Scores get equal around their 30+, and go on descending, to 1-2 men per 10 women as late as by the age of 80.

Or?.. By the total 46 / 54 male-to-female ratio, 8 of 100 women are objectively deprived of an exclusive mate. Recent investigations make further correction by 4% gays. So, if Soviet-time maidens in the byword song were propping the dancing ground’s wall due to the 10-girls-9-boys stats, – today 11,5 people are fighting for 7 straight guys. That is, not accounting male individuals who haven’t yet decided which of the sexes they are less annoyed with. – “Lady’s Questions”, March 2008

  • Is “bride export” a problem?

If we confront the age & sex structure of population with reported numbers of Ukrainians married to foreign men, impression is created that Ukraine has lost more women aged 15-35 than there are left. Realistically, the impact of foreign marriages is comparable to that of labor emigration. (The latter also prevents procreation, as it’s usually one of spouses who’s away working.)

  • What is the divorce rate in Ukraine?

58 out of 100 marriages end with a divorce. 14% divorces occur in the pre-20 age group; 31% married people get divorced in their 25-27, and 28% at the age of 28-30.

Over 50% married couples have expressed discontent with their family housing and budget as major stressors; 46% called their material standing critical, and only 2% couples recognized themselves fully provided.

Summary and translation:

© Comrade Natalia

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