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What Percent Of Ukraine Is Jewish?
Ukraine’s Jewish population has long played an important role in Ukrainian society. As part of the diaspora, the Jews have been an integral part of Ukrainian history for centuries. According to a 2020 estimate, the Jewish population in Ukraine is approximately 190,000, representing 0.5% of the total Ukrainian population.
The largest concentrations of Jews are located in the metropolitan areas of Kiev, Odessa, and Kharkov, as well as in some rural areas. Jews have been present in Ukraine since the 9th century, although the majority of Jews living in Ukraine moved from other parts of Europe more recently.
During the Soviet Union, Jews were persecuted by the government, and many were forced to flee the country. This caused a significant decrease in the percentage of Jews living in Ukraine, from 4% of the total population in 1939 to around 0.2% in 1989. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Jewish population began to slowly increase as many Jews moved to Ukraine from other countries.
Today, Kiev is home to the largest Jewish population in Ukraine, with an estimated 70,000 Jews, followed by Odessa and Kharkov, with an estimated 30,000 and 13,000 Jews, respectively. There are also significant Jewish populations in other cities such as Lviv, Chernivtsi, Uzhgorod, and Simferopol.
In addition to the traditional Jewish population centers, there are also significant numbers of Jews living in the rural areas of Ukraine. This includes the Carpathian Mountains, where there are approximately 10,000 Jews, and the western regions of the country, where there are an estimated 5,000 Jews.
Despite the small Jewish population, Ukrainian Jews continue to contribute to Ukrainian culture and society. The majority of Ukrainians are tolerant of Jews, and Jews are generally not subject to discrimination or prejudice. In fact, many prominent Ukrainians are of Jewish descent, including the late President Leonid Kuchma, the current Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk, and the former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
In recent years, the Jewish population in Ukraine has seen some growth due to the influx of immigrants from Israel, the United States, and Europe. This has helped to offset the decrease in the Ukrainian Jewish population due to the emigration of many of the elderly. Despite this, the percentage of Jews in Ukraine is still far less than it was in 1939, and the total population of Jews in Ukraine is not expected to increase significantly in the near future.
Overall, Jews make up a small but important part of the Ukrainian population. Although the percentage of Jews in Ukraine is relatively low, they continue to play a significant role in Ukrainian society and culture.