Ukraine Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Ukraine > Map Economy History

Biological Diversity of Ukraine
Forests and Forestry in Ukraine Information about Ukraine's forests and nature reserves.
Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany

Facts About Ukraine

Background: Richly endowed in natural resources, Ukraine has been fought over and subjugated for centuries; its 20th-century struggle for liberty is not yet complete. A short-lived independence from Russia (1917-1920) was followed by brutal Soviet rule that engineered two artificial famines (1921-22 and 1932-33) in which over 8 million died, and World War II, in which German and Soviet armies were responsible for some 7 million more deaths. Although independence was attained in 1991 with the dissolution of the USSR, true freedom remains elusive as many of the former Soviet elite remain entrenched, stalling efforts at economic reform, privatization, and civic liberties.

Government type: republic
Capital: Kiev (Kyyiv)
Currency: 1 hryvnia (UAH) = 100 kopiykas

Geography of Ukraine

Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Poland and Russia
Geographic coordinates: 49 00 N, 32 00 E
Area:
total: 603,700 sq km
land: 603,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 4,558 km
border countries: Belarus 891 km, Hungary 103 km, Moldova 939 km, Poland 428 km, Romania (south) 169 km, Romania (west) 362 km, Russia 1,576 km, Slovakia 90 km
Coastline: 2,782 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: temperate continental; Mediterranean only on the southern Crimean coast; precipitation disproportionately distributed, highest in west and north, lesser in east and southeast; winters vary from cool along the Black Sea to cold farther inland; summers are warm across the greater part of the country, hot in the south
Terrain: most of Ukraine consists of fertile plains (steppes) and plateaus, mountains being found only in the west (the Carpathians), and in the Crimean Peninsula in the extreme south
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Hora Hoverla 2,061 m
Natural resources: iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulfur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 58%
permanent crops: 2%
permanent pastures: 13%
forests and woodland: 18%
other: 9% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 26,050 sq km (1993 est.)
Environment - current issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; air and water pollution; deforestation; radiation contamination in the northeast from 1986 accident at Chornobyl' Nuclear Power Plant
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: strategic position at the crossroads between Europe and Asia; second-largest country in Europe

People of Ukraine

The population of Ukraine is about 50 million, which represents about 18% of the population of the former Soviet Union. Ukrainians make up about 73% of the total; ethnic Russians number about 22%. The industrial regions in the east and southeast are the most heavily populated, and the urban population makes up about 70% of the population. Ukrainian and Russian are the principal languages, but about 88% of the population consider Ukrainian their native language. The dominant religions are the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, much of which retains its links to the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate) is independent of Moscow.

The birth rate of Ukraine is diminishing. About 70% of adult Ukrainians have a secondary or higher education. Ukraine has about 150 colleges and universities, of which the most important are at Kiev, Lviv, and Kharkiv. About 70,000 scholars in 80 research institutes make Ukraine a leader in science and technology.

Population: 47,425,336 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18% 
15-64 years: 68% 
65 years and over: 14% 
Population growth rate: -0.83% 
Birth rate: 9.03 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 16.48 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -0.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 21.67 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 65.98 years
male: 60.39 years
female: 71.85 years 
Total fertility rate: 1.26 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Ukrainian(s)
adjective: Ukrainian
Ethnic groups: Ukrainian 73%, Russian 22%, Jewish 1%, other 4%
Religions: Ukrainian Orthodox - Moscow Patriarchate, Ukrainian Orthodox - Kiev Patriarchate, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox, Ukrainian Catholic (Uniate), Protestant, Jewish
Languages: Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Hungarian
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 100%
female: 97% (1989 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Ukraine > Map Economy History