Because of the war: How Ukraine’s population will change by 2030

1 February, 02:21 PM
How Ukraine’s population will change by 2030 (Photo:pressfoto / Freepik)

How Ukraine’s population will change by 2030 (Photo:pressfoto / Freepik)

Unfortunately, Ukraine’s demographic losses as a result of the war are huge, as a result of an increase in mortality, a decrease in the birth rate, and travel abroad

A characteristic feature of the latest civilizational development are the structural shifts in the creation of national wealth - from the last quarter of the twentieth century, according to the World Bank, 60-80% of the GDP of developed countries has been provided not by physical or financial capital, but by human capital – that is, the decisive role here is played by the population, its health, education, and qualifications.

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Unfortunately, the demographic losses of Ukraine as a result of the war have been huge, as a result of an increase in mortality, a decrease in the birth rate, and travel abroad.

It is still impossible to accurately determine cause behind this increase in mortality - there is no information from the occupied territories and rather eclectic data coming from front-line cities, and information about losses of soldiers will be made public only later. The additional losses due to the war (not only from fighting, as mortality has increased for many reasons like constant stress, hypothermia, lack of adequate nutrition, and the inaccessibility of high-quality medical care) will become clear after a few years.

Thanks to an improvement in the socioeconomic determinants of health, which will come after the war, we can expect a decrease in premature mortality, primarily from eliminating its causes, as well as an increase in male life expectancy until 2030 from the current 66.4 to 72.6 years (Poland’s number in 2022), and for women from 76.2 to 80.8 years.

On average, a Ukrainian woman gives birth to 1.2-1.5 children during her lifetime. It is likely that this figure will decrease slightly for 2022, but not significantly. A more critical fall will occur in 2023 and, if the war does not end, in 2024. After that, although I do not believe in a post-war baby boom, there will supposedly be a gradual increase in the birth rate to 1.5-1.6 in 2030.

According to the State Border Service, from the end of February to the end of November 2022, 10.7 million people left Ukraine through its western borders, but 9.3 million also entered. Both the first and second groups include many of those whose border crossings were connected with, for example, business trips, and trips on personal matters under so-called small border movement of residents within 50 kilometers of the border.

Many refugees from the war, those with children, cross the Ukrainian border to meet with men who cannot come to them, and then, accordingly, return to their places of temporary residence. Many of those who had left before the war to work abroad have also returned to Ukraine. In the first two weeks, when 100-120 thousand people were leaving every day, almost 200,000 men aged 18 to 60 entered Ukraine to protect the Motherland and their loved ones.

So, the balance of movement across the western borders (including Moldova) during the war period is approximately 1.5 million people, mostly children and women. Based on the fact that before the war the number of Ukrainian labor migrants was estimated at about 3 million people, today the scale of emigration is 4.5 million. Of course, this does not take into account departures - voluntary or forced - to Russia, the scale of which is extremely difficult to estimate.

EU countries have spared no effort to support our compatriots. By helping Ukrainians find jobs and education for their children, European governments are well aware of the high likelihood that some of them will stay in a Europe that is rapidly aging and whose labor markets are in need of a young and skilled workforce.

Estimates of the scale of demographic losses due to the relocation of Ukrainians as a result of the war to other countries range from 500-600 thousand to 5-6 million people, if, after the lifting of martial law, family reunification will take place not in Ukraine, but outside it.

Currently, the population of the territory of Ukraine within the borders of February 23, 2022 is estimated at 34-35 million people. What can we expect next? In fact, the prospects under any conditions are not very bright: both demographic aging and depopulation are inevitable due to the exhaustion of the demographic growth potential.

The population of Ukraine in 2030 will remain one of the oldest in Europe

 The population of Ukraine in 2030 will remain one of the oldest in Europe and will amount to approximately 35 million people under the most optimistic scenario, and 30 million under the most pessimistic. The total supply of labor, given the high level of economic activity and the extension of this period (due to the rather difficult post-war economic situation) will vary between 19-22 million people. Could it be greater? Theoretically yes, subject to an influx of foreigners due to rapid economic growth. Only then will other and possibly more difficult problems await us.

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The population and public sentiments, as well as their monitoring and accounting, should become the main component of the state policy. The state is not a bank, not a factory, and not just infrastructure. The state is patriotically active (economically, politically, and socially) people who value their citizenship, who have a high level of education, and who are ready, if necessary, to change their lifestyle, place of work, and residence.

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