Countryaah, Ukraine has a population density of 74 residents per
square kilometer. The largest concentrations are found in
the industrial regions of the eastern parts and in the
southwest. In 2019, 69 percent of the population lived in
cities, of which the capital Kiev (in Ukrainian Kyiv) was
the largest. Other cities include Kharkiv (1.4 million
residents, 2015), Dnipro (to 2016 Dnipropetrovsk, 989,800)
and Donetsk (936,300).
The natural population growth during the post-war period
has been low, periodically even negative. This is reflected
in the age distribution of the population, which is
characterized by a relatively large proportion of
middle-aged and pensioners.
According to the 2001 census, the population consisted of
Ukrainians (77.8 percent), Russians (17.3 percent),
Belarusians (0.6 percent), Moldavians / Romanians (0.5
percent), Crimean Tatars (0.5 percent) and Bulgarians (0.4
percent). Among a large number of smaller ethnic groups
there are also Hungarians, Romanians, Poles, Greeks and
Tatars represented by about 100,000 or more individuals.
The emigration to other countries has been great since
the 1990s. This also applies to the ethnic minorities, where
the Jewish group in particular has rapidly reduced in number
through emigration. In 2012, it was estimated that there
were 67,000 Jews left in the country.
Most of the Greeks are in the province of Donetsk, but
also in Crimea and Odessa. The Bulgarians are found
especially in Bessarabia in the Odessa province. The number
of Roma is disputed, but official statistics indicate
47,000. They live scattered across the country but the
strongest concentration of settlements is in the Carpathian
region. The Crimean Tatars live mainly on the Crimean
Peninsula, while a majority of the country's 32,000 gagauz
are located in southwestern Ukraine. Romanian-speaking
minorities (Moldavians, Romanians) live in the south-western
parts of the country.
Ukrainians make up the majority in most regions except
Crimea; however, the largest proportion live in the western
and central parts of the country. The Russian residents are
mainly concentrated in the major cities and in the eastern
parts of the country (Zaporizhia, Donetsk, Luhansk and
Kharkiv provinces), in Crimea and in Odessa in the
southwest. Many of the country's residents work abroad,
often illegally, especially in Europe, Turkey, the Russian
Federation and North America.
The official language is Ukrainian. Especially in eastern
Ukraine, Russia has a strong position. Minority languages
include Polish, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Greek.
Kiev became the center of the Christian mission among the
East Slavs since Grand Duke Vladimir was baptized in 988.
When Ukraine was conquered by the Mongols, the metropolitan
seat was moved to Moscow; Ukraine's Orthodox Church has
since been counted as part of the Russian. An unsuccessful
attempt to connect it to Rome in 1596 led some of it to
separate and form the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
During the 20th century, several attempts were made to
establish an independent Orthodox church in Ukraine,
especially after the fall of communism. This has resulted in
internal church disputes. Most of the population belongs to
an exarchate under the Moscow Patriarchate. It bears the
name of Ukraine's Autonomous Orthodox Church, and is the
only one canonically recognized by the Orthodox Churches in
the world. In 1989, there was an outbreak of parishes that
wanted a national Ukrainian church with no ties to Moscow,
and it appointed a patriarch of Kiev. During the Filaret
(from 1995), the Kiev Patriarchate has developed into
Ukraine's second largest church. An additional jurisdiction
is Ukraine's autocephalous Orthodox Church, which stems from
previous attempts to create a Moscow-independent Ukrainian
church. The two attempts to create a national Ukrainian
Orthodox Church have not been able to unite.
The Ukrainian Catholic Church is found mainly in western
Ukraine (Galicia) and has the same liturgy as the Orthodox
Church. According to a census, there are also about 2%
Catholics with Latin rites (at the border with Poland) and
2% Protestants. The Pentecostal movement and other Western
movements have had some success. There are about half a
million Muslims (mainly Crimean Tatars) and more than