Ukraine’s birth rate falls 28pc after Russian invasion

Figures for the first half of 2023 mark the steepest decline since the country gained independence in 1991

Benedict 2 August 2023 •

Mothers with their newborns ride an elevator down to a bomb shelter organised below a children's hospital during an air-raid alarm in Odesa

The war in Ukraine has caused the country’s birth rate to fall by almost a third, statistics have shown.

In the first half of 2023, 96,755 children were born in Ukraine compared with 135,079 two years previously, according to analytics website Opendatabot.

Although births have been declining by around 7 per cent a year for a decade, it marks the steepest decline since Ukraine gained independence in 1991.

An average of 16,100 children were born per month this year, compared to an average of between 21,000 and 23,000 births before Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

There appears to be little imbalance between the sexes of the children born. In the first half of this year, the number of boys born was 49,626, while girls totalled 47,129.

The last time there was a stark drop in the birth rate came after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, with the number of newborns declining 12 per cent the following year.

“Ukraine had one of the lowest birth rates on the planet. And then a war broke out,” Brienna Perelli-Harris, a demography professor, told media outlet NPR in February.

The World Bank estimated Ukraine’s population was 43 million in 2021, but nearly six million people have fled the country since the war began.

The Kyiv-based Ptoukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies has previously predicted the country would see a “catastrophic” fall in birth rate this year. It predicted that Ukraine’s population could fall below 35 million by the end of the decade.

It comes amid claims by officials that Russia is abducting Ukrainian babies and young children in order to “Russify” and re-educate them.

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, his children’s rights commissioner, are wanted by the International Criminal Court for the alleged “unlawful deportation” of children.


  1. Hey I know I’m old but I can be a studly stud. Just show me the way. All kidding aside this trend Ned’s to change.

  2. If one combines the dead, the disabled, the displaced and the low birth rate, one can see that Ukraine is demographically falling apart. The word ‘genocide’ comes to mind.

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