Back to the journal

The influence of international migration on the ethnic composition of the population of Ukraine

Read the articleRead the articleDownload the article
The authors of the publication:
Malynovska Olena
Bibliographic description:
Malynovska, O. (2019) The influence of international migration on the ethnic composition of the population of Ukraine. Materials to Ukrainian Ethnology, 18 (21), 24–36.


Malynovska Olena

a Doctor of Sciences in Public Administration, chief research associate of the Center for Economic and Social Research of the National Institute of Strategic Studies.


The influence of international migration on the ethnic composition of the population of Ukraine



Foreign migration has always had a significant impact on the formation of number, sex-age and ethnic structure of the population of Ukraine. Although in the public consciousness migration is associated mainly with the newest period of history. The majority of immigrants living in the state has arrived to Ukraine in the Soviet epoch. As a result of the fact that the country is separated from the outside world by the Iron Curtain, they have come mostly from the former Soviet republics. The inter-republican migration of the Soviet era has influenced on the ethnic composition of the Ukrainian population in two directions. Firstly, because of the departure to the other republics of the USSR, the number of the titular nation representatives has declined, and, secondly, there is a replacement of those who have left by the population of other ethnicity.

During the period of independence, due to greater openness to the world, the directions of movement have changed, their geography has expanded. Immigrants such as refugees, foreign workers and investors, illegal migrants have appeared in Ukraine. Due to immigration ethnic groups which have already lived in Ukraine are replenished as well as new ones appeare. Although the total number of non-typical ethnic groups in the country is quite small and does not affect on the population structure significantly. The rapid growth of their numbers indicates the possibility of further replenishment through immigration.

It is necessary to realize that in the conditions of a natural decrease of population immigration becomes the only means of slowing down the depopulation. Specific measures aimed at emigration from Ukraine reducing, returning those who have left before, as well as encouraging immigration to the state, are necessary. In turn, it puts forward the problem of the immigrants integration into Ukrainian society and the establishment of interethnic interaction between the local population and the arrivals, whose ethnic and cultural characteristics can be quite different and unusual. The development and implementation of a state migration policy, an integral part of which should be the policy of integration, as well as the development of ethno-national policies, taking into account the multi-ethnicity and multiculturalism caused by immigration, are considered as important tasks.



international migration, ethnic group, state ethnic policy.



  1. BRUK, Solomon, Vladimir KABUZAN. Migration Processes in Russia and the USSR. Moscow, AS of the USSR. INION: Ob-vo ‘Rodina’, 1991, iss. 1, 129 pp. [in Russian].
  2. BUHAI, Mykola. Deportations of the Population of Ukraine (the 30s–50s). Ukrainian Histori- cal Journal, 1990, 10, 32–38 [in Ukrainian].
  3. VYNNYCHENKO, Ihor. Ukraine of the 1920s–1980s: Deportations, Exiles, Expels. Kyiv: Rada, 1994, 126 pp. [in Ukrainian].
  4. ZAHROBSKA, A. Organized Transmigrations in the System of Migration of the Population of the Ukrainian SSR. Kyiv: Naukova dumka, 1974, 112 pp. [in Ukrainian].
  5. ANON. The Results of the All-Union Census of 1959. Ukrainian SSR. Moscow: Gosstatizdat, 1963, 210 pp. [in Russian].
  6. KUCHER, Volodymyr, Yuriy SHAPOVAL. It is Such a Familiar Script of ‘Sovietization’. Vi- che, 1993, 6, 115 [in Ukrainian].
  7. MALINOVSKAYA, Elena. The Meskhetian Turks in Ukraine: Ethnosociological Essay. Kiev: Geneza, 2006, 319 pp. [in Russian].
  8. ANON. The Population of Ukraine according to the Place of Birth and Citizenship. After the Data of All-Ukrainian Census of 2001. Kyiv: State Committee of Statistics of Ukraine, 2004. [in Ukrainian].
  9. ANON. The Population of Ukraine in 2016. Demographic Annual. Kyiv: Derzhstat, 2017, 134 pp. [in Ukrainian].
  10. ANON. The National Structure of the Population of Ukraine and Its Linguistic Features: After the Data of All-Ukrainian Census of 2001. Kyiv: State Committee of Statistics of Ukraine, 2003. [in Ukrainian].
  11. ANON. The National Structure of the Population of the USSR. After the Data of All-Union Census of 1989. Moscow: Statistika, 1991. [in Russian].
  12. RUBL, Blair, Olena MALYNOVSKA. ‘Non-traditional’ Immigrants in Kyiv. Kyiv:  Stylos, 2003, 447 pp. [in Ukrainian].
  13. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Composite Report on the Countries. The Conference of the Union of Independent States concerning the Problems of Refugees and Migrants. European Series, 1996, vol. 2, iss. 1.
  14. TOPILIN, Anatolii. The Impact of Migration on the Ethnonational Structure. Sociological Studies. Moscow, 1992, 7, 31–43 [in Russian].
  15. ANON. A Number and Structure of the USSR Population according to the Data of All-Union Census in 1979. Moscow: Finances and Statistics, 1984. [in Russian].
  16. SHLEPAKOV, Arnold. Ukrainian Labour Emigration to the USA and Canada (Late 19th – Early 20th Century). Kyiv: The AS of the Ukrainian SSR Publishers, 1960, 199 pp. [in Ukrainian].
  17. SHULHA, Mykola, Nataliya PANINA, Yevhen HOLOVAKHA, Yosyf ZISELS. Jews Emigration in the Context of the General Migration Situation in Ukraine. Sociology: Theory, Methods, Marketing, 2001, 2, 64–89 [in Ukrainian].
  18. YAROSH, Bohdan. Totalitarian Regime in the West Ukrainian Lands in the 1930s–1950s (Historical-Politological Aspect). Lutsk: Nadstyriya, 1995, 176 pp. [in Ukrainian].
  19. ANON. Replacement Migration: Is a Solution to Declining and Ageing Population? United Nations, NY, 2000. [in English].
  20. UN Population division. Available from: