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Ukraine

Population

According to 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).

Religion and Languages of Ukraine

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.

Language

The official language is Ukrainian. Especially in eastern Ukraine, Russia has a strong position. Minority languages include Polish, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Greek.

Religion

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 100,000 Jews.

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