Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Social and economic rights

World Bank predicts Ukraine could lose a quarter of its population


Ukraine has been discussing the recent report from the World Bank which maintains that in 18 years Ukraine’s population could be reduced by a quarter, or by almost 12 million people.

According to the WB’s data, the demographic situation is the worst among countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Among the main reasons for such a sharp decline, the experts name the mass exodus of Ukrainian nationals abroad, a low birth rate and high mortality rate.

Last week President Yushchenko published a social programme aimed, in particular, at increase assistance to the most vulnerable parts of the population and at increasing people to have children. He proposed increasing wages, pensions and financial assistance on the birth of a child.

His opponents, however, claimed that these initiatives were linked with the coming elections and said that there wasn’t enough money in the State budget to implement them.

“We DON’T have 52 million!”

The latest prognoses from the World Bank are even more pessimistic than the predictions of Ukrainian demographers who have up till now said that the population would fall to 35 million by 2050. International specialists, however, believe that this kind of rapid demographic reduction could take place earlier – by 2025 already.

Compared with countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, the World Bank believes that Ukraine could lose more of its population.

Looking for a solution

Specialists consider that the situation will not be improved so much by encouraging people to have more children, but rather through the creation of enough jobs, and also urgent reforms in healthcare, education, pensions, etc.


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