Sunday, August 5, 2007

Ukraine Migration

These extracts which come from the article linked below are to accompany this post.

No. 14
October 2004

International migration in contemporary Ukraine: trends and policy
Olena Malynovska
National Academy of Public Administration

At the time of the first national census in 2001 there were 48,457 million people living in Ukraine. Compared to the results of the last Soviet national census dated 1989 which counted 51,706 million, the population had substantially decreased. Nevertheless, for a long time after Ukraine reached independence, its population was increasing despite a negative birth rate and in 1993 it reached 52,242 million. Comparison of data from the census also demonstrates noticeable changes in the ethnic structure of the population. For example, the share of Ukrainians in 1989 was 72.7%, but in 2001 it was 77.8%. On the other hand, the number of Russians decreased by 4.8 % and constituted 17.3% of the total population. The number of Jews in 2001 decreased five fold compared to 1989 and constituted only 103,000 at the time of the national census. At the same time number of Crimean Tatars increased 5.5 times.
The census registered 248,200 persons of Crimean Tatar nationality. The Azerbaijani population in 2001 increased by one fifth (45,200) compared to 1989, the Georgian population increased by almost 1.5 (34,200) and the Armenian population increased by 1.8 (99,900). There were also noticeable increases in the share of some other ethnic groups. For example, the number of Koreans increased by 50% (12,700), the number of Turks increased some 30 times (8,800), the number of Kurds increased 9 times (2,000) and the Vietnamese population increased 8 times (3,900).

These changes can not be explained only in terms of the peculiarities of natural population growth in certain ethnic groups. Obviously, migration was an important factor which influenced the population figures of the titular nation – Ukrainians and the national minorities.

Differences in the ethnic structure of the incoming and outgoing migration flows were also typical in Soviet times. There were significantly more Ukrainians among emigrants than among immigrants. Most nationals were leaving the country for other republics of the USSR and were to be replaced with a population composed of multiple nationalities. According to the national census dated 1989, there were almost 7 million Ukrainians, or 15.4% of Ukrainian nationals residing outside Ukraine in other Soviet republics as opposed to 13.8% according the national census dated 1979. At the same time, in 1989, 43.3% of Russians residing in Ukraine were born outside its borders. Between 1979 and 1989, the number of Uzbeks and Azerbaijanis in Ukraine increased by 2.1%, Turks by 2%, Tajikistanis by 1.8%, Armenians by 1.4%.

The total number of the migrating population between Ukraine and CIS and Baltic states has decreased significantly according to official statistics that register changes of residency. Already in the early 1990s, migration turnover - the sum of incoming and outgoing migrants - was practically half the average for the previous decade and did not exceed 700,000 per year. Later this tendency strengthened. In 2002, the volume of gross-migration was eight times less than in the early 1990s and constituted only 85,800.

One of the features of migration between Ukraine and post-Soviet countries on the eve of change was the growing prevalence of incoming over outgoing flow, i.e. migratory surplus. This surplus could already be observed in the late 1980s (in 1989, due to migration, the population of Ukraine increased by 44,300 and in 1990 by 79,300), but after Ukraine gained independence, this surplus increased significantly. In 1991, the migratory surplus was 206,500, in 1992 it reached 288,100. There were also distinct changes in the ethnic structure of migratory flows. The share of Ukrainians increased among immigrants, whereas it decreased among emigrants to the CIS and Baltic states. There was an increase in outflow from almost all the main nations of the new independent states. In the early 1990s, a migratory surplus was registered only for Azerbaijanis and Armenians, citizens of countries at war. Later, the influx of Georgians and Tajikistanis to Ukraine also outgrew the outflow; which was certainly connected with conflicts in the North Ossetia and Abkhazia, civil war in Tajikistan.

The ethnic structure of migrants proved that there existed a powerful repatriation movement. In 1989, Ukrainians constituted only 35% of the total migratory influx from the USSR republics, whereas in 1991 and 1992 they rose to 38.9% and 46% respectively. 40% of the migratory surplus in 1991 was formed by ethnic Ukrainians. The record-breaking migratory surplus in 1992 included 60% of ethnic Ukrainians. In contrast, among emigrants, the share of Ukrainians decreased and comprised 37.7% in 1991 and 28.8% in 1992. The largest share of Ukrainians was among immigrants from the Baltic States; between 1992 and1993 it exceeded 60%. 54% of immigrants from Turkmenistan were Ukrainians. Ukrainians constituted half of immigrants from Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan.

The second phase which lasted from 1994 until 1998 is characterized by a drastic decrease in the flow to Ukraine from former USSR republics with a steady or even increasing volume of outflow which caused a migratory deficit in Ukraine totaling 91,600 in 1994. Altogether, over five years, more than 900,000 people migrated from Ukraine to CIS and Baltic states, whereas 630,000 immigrated.

The lion’s share of emigrants in 1994 to 1998 went to Russia (636,000 people in five years or 70% of those who went to the post- Soviet countries), where the economic situation was better, wages and the standard of living higher and entrepreneurial conditions more favorable. Only 270,000 people arrived from Russia, i.e. the migratory deficit caused by migration to Russia in 1994-1998 comprised 366,000 persons.

However, this deficit was partially compensated by the influx from other post-Soviet countries:
the population exchange with Uzbekistan created a migratory surplus of 35,700, with
Kazakhstan: 20,700, with Georgia, 10,500, with Armenia, 9,000.
The population decrease during this phase was in most part explained by the migration of
Russians. Between 1994 and1998 the number of Russians in Ukraine due to migration decreased by almost 240,000. 85% of the deficit was comprised of migration to Russia. A part of the migratory flow previously directed to Ukraine from non-Slavic countries has also changed direction towards Russia. This flow consisted not only of Russians but also of Ukrainians and representatives of other nationalities. Despite that, Russians continued to constitute a substantial part of the influx to Ukraine from all republics of the former USSR. For example, in 1994, Russians constituted 20% of migrants from Uzbekistan, over 50% of migrants from Kyrgyzstan.

As for Ukrainian ethnic groups, there was a migratory surplus with most of the former USSR republics. The influx of Ukrainians was tenfold the outflow to Azerbaijan; it was 11 times bigger for Kyrgyzstan and Lithuania; 15 times for Latvia, 21 times for Georgia and 33 times for Armenia. At the same time, statistical data registered quite a significant outflow of Ukrainians to Russia. Due to that, over five years there was a 38,000 migratory deficit with CIS and the Baltic states for the Ukrainian ethnic group.

The third phase started approximately in 1999 and is still ongoing. This phase is distinguished by a quieter character. As well as other social processes, migration, after some drastic changes, has returned to its normal course, which is determined mostly by socio-economic indicators rather than political events. The volume of migratory movement continues to decrease as well as the difference between the influx and the outflow. Migratory deficit with CIS and Baltic states is not significant, which allows us to speak about a certain parity (in 1999 it comprised 5,500, in 2000 - 13,100, in 2001 - 19,500 and in 2002 - 21,600).

This statement is confirmed by the fact that even though the total number of immigrants is decreasing, the share of those who were born in Ukraine is increasing. In 1995 it comprised 47.1%, in 1996 - 48%, in 1997 - 48.4%. In 2000 this indicator reached 51% and in 2002 - 64%, i.e. repatriates comprised the major proportion of immigrants from the post-Soviet countries.

The total result of migration between Ukraine, CIS and the Baltic states between 1991 and 2002 is positive for the country, though not significant. About 2.1 million people migrated to Ukraine, more than half of them between 1991 and 1993, 1.8 million migrated, of which the most substantial part in 1994. The influx was larger exceeded outflow by 260,000. We can therefore conclude that migration between Ukraine and post-Soviet countries did not greatly influence the population numbers in Ukraine.

At the same time, migration affected the ethnic structure of the Ukrainian population. The increase in the share of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars is a direct consequence of the repatriation processes. Forced migrations of the post-Soviet era caused an increase in the number of Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Georgians, Tajikistanis and Turks in Ukraine, nations which suffered from inter-ethnic and civil conflicts.

According to the information from Ukrainian embassies, Ukrainian labor migration has the following structure in terms of countries of destination: in Poland there are 300 thousand labor migrants, in Italy and the Czech Republic, 200,000 (each), in Portugal, 115,000, In Spain, 100,000, in Turkey, 35,000, in the USA, 20,000. The number of Ukrainians who work in the Russian Federation is estimated to be 1 million people.

The scope of countries of destination for labor migrants also increased. Though Russia and Poland as neighboring countries with a simplified visa regime (the latter until October 2003) remain the most popular among labor migrants, the number of Ukrainian labor migrants is on the increase in Southern Europe, in some Asian and even in Latin American countries. For example in Portugal there were only 127 official immigrants in 1999, but in 2002 their number comprised 65,500, a 400 fold increase.

Sociological research proves that households of migrants are relatively better equipped with modern household goods, furniture, cars, etc. For instance there are 55 videotape recorders per 100 migratory households compared with 13 videotape recorders per 100 average Ukrainian households. Microwave ovens per household compare at 25 to 2, computers – 24 to 2. On average there are 12 cars per 100 Ukrainian households compared with 36 per 100 migratory households19. Families of migrants are 2.3 times more likely to wear fashionable clothes, far fewer suffer from a lack of basic consumer goods

Volumes of investments received by Ukraine due to labor migration are hard to assess. Unfortunately no serious research of this issue has been done yet. According to some estimates, the monthly average income of migratory households approaches 2 billion hryvnas, approximately one third of the total nominal income of the population21. According to other specialists, this income comprises 4 - 6,000 US dollars per annum. If we multiply this figure even by the minimum estimated number of labor migrants that would give us the result of 5 billion US dollars. According to the estimates of local authorities, only in Ternopil oblast annual transfers from labor migrants constitute about 100 million US dollars. In contrast, the oblast investment program for 2002-2005 aims to attract from foreign investors 13.4 million, i.e. only about 2% of the aforementioned sum.23 Real incomes of labor migrants are even higher because, according to specialists, no more then one third of them are transferred through banks.

At present Ukraine attracts only few immigrants. At the same time due to opening of the borders there appeared absolutely new categories of migrants, i.e. refugees and illegal migrants, who usually exploit openness of borders between former USSR republics and try to get through the territory of Ukraine to the West. Officially there are about 3,000 refugees residing on the territory of Ukraine. There are citizens from over 40 countries, but most come from Afghanistan25. As for illegal migrants, their number is, of course, not registered statistically. There are only some very controversial and doubtful estimates. Some experts say there are up to 60,000, others put the figure at 120 – 130 - 800,000, 1 million26, even 1.6 million.27 The most common estimate is that there are half a million illegal migrants in Ukraine. This estimate is given by the experts of the International Organization for Migration and by officials of Ukrainian frontier security authority.

According to official data, 85,000 illegal migrants were arrested on Ukrainian borders between 1991 -2001. The number of trespassers increased 100 times from 148 in 1991 to 146,460 in 1999. Decisive measures taken to improve border guarding, especially on the north-eastern part of the state border line, together with the improvement of visa control led to a significant decrease of the number of arrests. There were 5,422 trespasser arrests in 2000, 4,621 in 2001 and 2,605 in 2002.29 At the same time, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, they uncover 25 – 28,000 illegal migrants per annum.

At the same time, certain groups of illegal migrants can not leave the country or be deported for various reasons and stay for a longer period of time, create families, work and transform into a part of Ukrainian population. (e.g., according to a survey among undocumented immigrants in Kyiv, they stay an average 6 years31).

Nevertheless, the state migration policy, particularly immigration policy, is only of a restrictive and protective nature.

It seems that fear of an uncontrolled influx of foreigners is of deeper origin and is connected to the particularities of the present developmental stage of the Ukrainian nation and Ukrainian identity. Questions pertaining to the role of the "ethnic core," "other core nations" and national minorities in forming Ukrainian statehood and linguistic matters are uncomfortable and ignite debate that is, in fact, discussion of whether Ukraine should become a multicultural state as opposed to a one-nation state or even whether it should integrate itself into the European or Eurasian area. In this situation, high immigration rates could disturb any tentative compromise reached by different political forces and regions and pose a danger for the country's stability and integrity.

The political battle around ethno-political questions is, probably, one of the main reasons why Ukraine, despite frequent declarations, provided almost no practical support for the repatriation of those, who for various reasons, often outside of their control, found themselves outside the country and wanted to return. In contrast to neighboring Russia, Ukraine has no special law that would provide material assistance to returning deportees and their descendants.

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