In 2023, Ukraine will face a "catastrophic" fall in the birth rate, and there are risks that by 2030 the country's population will decrease to less than 35 million, according to Ella Libanova, director of the Ptoukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies.
The World Bank estimated the population of Ukraine at over 43 million as of 2021.
"As the war continues, we are losing people through excess mortality," Libanova said, explaining that aside from casualties in Russian attacks, an increasing number of people die from stress, poor nutrition, and insufficient medical care.
Libanova said that Russia's invasion of Ukraine influences demographics through casualties, migration, and worsening life conditions caused by continuous attacks on Ukraine's civilian infrastructure that could prevent refugees from coming back to Ukraine from abroad.
"The longer people stay abroad, the more they adapt and could want to stay there forever," she said. "Also, if people have destroyed houses and have no work, they will have nowhere and nothing to return to."
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as of Dec. 20, over 7.8 million Ukrainians have fled Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, and over 4.8 million of them have registered for temporary protection status or equivalent in Europe.
for an independent Ukraine