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17.10.2006

Ukraine’s mortality rate is the highest in Europe

   

Life expectancy in Ukraine remains the lowest in Europe and mortality the highest, the Ukrainian Deputy Ministry for Employment and Social Policy Mykola Soldatenko stated last week at the International seminar on Mortality in countries of the former USSR. Fifteen years after break-up: change or continuity?

Soldatenko added that demographic processes in Ukraine are dependent at the present time both on the standard of living and on economic steps being undertaken by the authorities.

He mentioned that “the first signal that the birth rate was not keeping up with the numbers dying was received by the Ukrainian authorities as early as 991”. “However, this and other similar warning bells were not appropriately responded to”.

He noted that it was only thanks to demographers that the Ukrainian authorities had adopted an anti-poverty program, a strategy plan for demographic development and strategies for improving the demographic situation in Ukraine.

“Now, with rising incomes and mothers receiving lump-sum assistance on the birth of their child, we can observe a certain improvement in the ratio”, he said.

He acknowledged however that it would be impossible to change the demographic situation for the better without improving the living conditions of the population, resolving environmental issues and migration problems.

International seminar on Mortality in countries of the former USSR. Fifteen years after break-up: change or continuity? was organized by the Institute of Demography and Social Research of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the French National Research Institute, the German Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, the International Association for Population Studies and the UN union for study of pop and the UNO Population Foundation. It was held on 12-14 October in “President-Hotel” in Kyiv.

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