How might the demographic situation in Ukraine change after the war?
Military operations entail a number of consequences, and some of them are not obvious. Find out why, according to scientists, there will be more men than women in Ukraine after the war and what this may lead to
According to the forecasts of the Ptukha Institute of Demography and Social Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, developed in May-June 2023, the ratio of men to women will change after the war. Thus, according to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, from 1991 to early 2022, there were 86 men per 100 women. And after the war, the ratio of Ukrainians of reproductive age may shift to 110 men per 100 women.
So, why do scientists predict such changes, how will the demographic situation in Ukraine change, and what are the consequences of this - we will tell you further in the article with reference to the explanation of scientist Oleksandr Hladun for TSN.ua.
Read more about which countries currently have the most refugees from Ukraine and how many of them will return if Ukraine joins NATO here.
Why will there be fewer women than men in Ukraine after the war?
Scientists from the Institute for Demography and Social Studies believe that despite the fact that more men die in the war, a significant number of women who have received temporary protection abroad will not return to Ukraine after the end of hostilities. That is why the ratio of men to women is undergoing serious changes for the first time since 1991.
According to the scientist, there are many factors that will influence women's decision to return to Ukraine. Among the most important of them are
- availability of work abroad and employment prospects in Ukraine;
- the condition of their property and real estate in Ukraine (whether it was damaged by the hostilities);
- the host country's policy towards Ukrainian refugees after the war;
- the duration of hostilities in Ukraine.
Thus, given that a significant number of Ukrainian refugees left from the East of Ukraine, scientists predict that women will not return home in the postwar period.
Earlier, we told you why it is important to return Ukrainian refugee women home and how they can help restore Ukraine's economy. Read more about this here.
How will the demographic burden in Ukraine change and what are the risks?
The demographic burden is a generalized indicator that compares the number of disabled people (children and the elderly) and able-bodied citizens. In other words, this indicator helps us to know how the burden on the Pension Fund of Ukraine and the individuals who pay taxes to this fund will change.
To calculate the coefficient, it is necessary to add the number of children under 15 to the number of pensioners (citizens over 60). And then calculate the ratio of this amount to the number of able-bodied citizens (according to Ukrainian law, these are people aged 16 to 59), and then multiply the resulting figure by 1000.
Thus, at the beginning of Ukraine's independence, in 1991, the demographic burden was 708 units: 389 of them were children, 319 were elderly people. That is, this was the number of disabled citizens per working-age population of Ukraine. And at the beginning of 2022, this figure was 688 people (270 children, 418 pensioners). Thus, according to the Institute's forecasts, after 2025, the demographic burden will decrease, but by 2035 it will increase, with a significant disproportion towards the elderly. This is also proved by the fact that Ukraine continues to experience a downward trend in the birth rate, and this trend has only intensified during the full-scale war.
"By 2037, the demographic burden will be 624, but 174 children, and 450 people over 60. That is, compared to 1991, the demographic burden will decrease, but the proportion between children and people over 60 will increase. The burden will increase on the elderly, who are 60 years old and older," says Oleksandr Gladun.
It is worth noting that the population of the capital has almost returned to the level recorded before the outbreak of full-scale war. Read more about who lives in Kyiv, what is happening to IDPs and how their relocation and the number of refugees have affected the Ukrainian economy here.
Can the situation change and why is the forecast not final?
The research is based on the current demographic situation in the country, which means that if the overall picture changes, the forecast will be revised accordingly.
Revising the forecast is a standard procedure used around the world, as there are a number of unpredictable factors that cannot be taken into account in advance.
In addition, it is important to note that the previous forecast was developed under conditions of complete uncertainty regarding births, deaths and migration, as well as taking into account the territories of Ukraine as of 1991, which means that it also includes the temporarily occupied regions, including Crimea.
Therefore, the final forecast of scientists may change, but no one can say for sure when exactly this will happen. Perhaps already this year, if there is another wave of departure, or vice versa, the return of Ukrainians, or after the end of hostilities, when the State Statistics Service of Ukraine publishes official data on the number of people who have left the country and those who have already returned home.
We remind you! Sociologists have conducted a survey and found out why most Ukrainians do not want to pay taxes. Read our previous article to find out what other reasons besides low incomes are causing this.
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