In the worst-case scenario, up to 5 million more citizens could leave Ukraine, except for the 1.2 million who have already left the country since February 24.
According to the press service of the National Agency for Civil Service, this was stated by the director of the Institute of Demography and Social Research of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Ella Libanova.
“From February 24 to September 19, about 8.4 million people left Ukraine. During this time, 7.2 million people entered. Now 1.2 million people from Ukraine are abroad. A significant part of them, except for women with children, are small border traffic, business trips, vacations, departure of foreigners in the first days of the war, crossing borders for the purpose of preferential import of cars, and the like,” the press service quoted Libanova.
She assumes that in addition to more than a million Ukrainians already abroad, Ukraine may also lose at least 500-600 thousand people. At the same time, the maximum number of emigrants can reach 5 million. This scenario will become real if the war drags on. Under such conditions, there is a risk that men will start moving in with Ukrainian women with children after the lifting of martial law.
“There is fierce competition for labor resources in the world. Europe is aging more than Ukraine and compensates for this aging with emigrants. The Ukrainians who left are well educated, a significant part of them are children of school and student age. Therefore, if this wave of emigrants stays in Europe for more than a year, there is a risk that the majority will not return home,” the director of the Institute for Demography and Social Research emphasized.
Libanova noted the importance of communication with citizens abroad to avoid the most pessimistic scenario.
“People should feel like Ukrainians and maintain ties with Ukraine. This requires efforts from the state and local communities, schools, kindergartens, and employers. Employers must keep the employment of workers who left Ukraine. Otherwise, after the war, we will lose labor “I note that since the beginning of the war, about 180,000 men who had left the country earlier returned to Ukraine. They returned consciously with the decision to defend their country. We rely on this level of consciousness when we analyze the prospects for the return of Ukrainians from abroad,” noted Libanova.
- President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that more than 12 million Ukrainians were forced to leave their homes due to the war, and more than 5 million went abroad.
- According to a survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in September, the vast majority (91%) of Ukrainian citizens surveyed want to stay and work in Ukraine.