How to save the nation? Demographic challenge for Ukraine – Views

How to save the nation?  Demographic challenge for Ukraine – Views


People are the greatest value of any state. Their energy, talents and abilities set the rhythm of life and determine the possibilities of the country. Economic, cultural, geopolitical.

A full-scale war with Russia caused us many losses. But human – the most painful. It is about those who died at the front and in the rear. About those who left the country and whose return is in question. About those young families who planned to have children, but because of hostilities gave up on it.

Now no one can say for sure how many people will live in post-war Ukraine. But even optimists talk about a figure of less than 30 million. And the main thing is here – dynamics. Currently, we do not see the prerequisites of the so-called baby boom – a jump in the birth rate that took place in some countries after the Second World War.

In fact, the demographic problems started long before 2022. There were 52 million of us in 1991, 48.6 million in 2001, 45.7 million in 2011, and almost 43.8 million in 2021. At the same time, the population was rapidly aging.

Before the Russian invasion, the share of citizens under the age of 17 was only 18%. And the life expectancy of men was almost 10 years less than the life expectancy of women. That is, we would have problems in any case. But now they faced a real disaster.

The threat of depopulation

The birth rate simply collapsed. If almost 297,300 children were born in 2020, then last year – only about 185,000. That is, a drop of almost 40%! If 118,300 mothers gave birth to their first child in 2020, then in 2023 – only 13,300. Here the failure is even bigger – by 90%! This shows that young families in wartime conditions categorically do not want to have children.

Occupation, deportations and Russian terror destroy the young generation. During the full-scale war, 4,100 children were injured. Of them, 468 died, and 2.3 thousand went missing. According to the most modest data, 20 thousand Ukrainian children were deported to the Russian Federation.

All this is not just dry statistics. Each number is a tragedy, a heavy loss for family and friends, irreparable consequences for the future of the state.

So, the depopulation of Ukrainians is not some kind of horror story, but a very real prospect. One must be aware of the threat and act in accordance with the challenges.

What are we doing now?

An effective policy for correcting demographic imbalances is a delicate matter and requires complex solutions. I hope that the government realizes this and will work out an appropriate package of initiatives.

But I, as a people’s deputy, with the support of my colleagues, registered the draft law no 11072, which affects the basic stimulating factor – assistance at the birth of a child.

Now the amount of such payment is UAH 41.2 thousand, and it has not increased for 10 years, although colossal inflation has been observed during this time. That is, the tool has gradually lost its effectiveness, and it needs to be updated and “revived”.

We offer:

  • tie child birth allowance to the subsistence minimum. That is, there will no longer be any “manual regulation” of payments, when the executive power acts at its discretion. We will have a clear legislative norm;
  • to establish assistance in multiples of 150 of the subsistence minimum – for the first child (currently it is 384.5 thousand UAH), 100 – for the second and 50 – for the third. You have to pay the most for the first child, because it is the beginning of the path to a complete family;
  • make payments in stages. The first is an amount in the amount of twenty times the subsistence minimum, the rest – during the next 36 months in equal parts;
  • issue the so-called “baby package” within a period not exceeding 30 calendar days;
  • settle the payment of child care allowance before the child reaches the age of three.

What will we get?

You must start with this. By significantly increasing assistance at the birth of a child, the state will demonstrate the seriousness of its intentions to fight demographic threats.

Experts talk a lot about migration as a way to restore the population of Ukraine after the war. But we should not forget about our internal resource.

Ukrainians need effective material incentives, not just slogans. The birth of a child is a huge responsibility, and in the conditions of war and post-war reconstruction, there are additional risks. Therefore, the state must extend a helping hand, because it is most interested in getting out of the demographic abyss.

Of course, this initiative should not work in isolation. A whole infrastructure is needed to combat depopulation. I believe that we will build it. And it is better to do it now, so that already in the first post-war years we have the first results.

Olga Saladukha, People’s Deputy of Ukraine, head of the subcommittee on high-achieving sports and sports activities of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Youth and Sports, especially for UP. Life

Publications in the “View” section are not editorial articles and reflect exclusively the author’s point of view.


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