Ukraine - the geografical center of Europe
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Ukraine Facts

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Geographical Location: Ukraine is located in southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea. Ukraine is situated between 44"20' and 52"20' north latitude, and 22"5' and 41"15' east longitude.
Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States.
Area: Ukraine is the largest country in Europe among those with entire boundaries within the European continent. The total area of Ukraine is about 603,700 sq. km. It extends 1316 km from west to east, and 893 km north to south.
Neighboring Countries: Bordered by (clockwise) Romania (169 km), Moldova (939 km), Romania (362 km) and Hungary (103 km) on the southwest, Slovak Republic (90 km) on the west, Poland (428 km) on the northwest, Belarus (891 km) on the north, and Russia (1,576 km) on the north and on the east.
Total Land Boundaries: 4,558 km.
Coastline: 2,782 km.
Climate: The climate of Ukraine is mostly temperate continental. A subtropical Mediterranean climate is prevalent on the southern portions of the Crimean Peninsula. The average monthly temperature in winter ranges from -8° to 2° C (17.6° to 35.6° F), while summer temperatures average 17° to 25° C (62.6° to 77° F). The Black Sea coast is subject to freezing. Precipitation generally decreases from north to south; it is greatest in the Carpathians, where it exceeds more than 1500 mm (58.5 in) per year, and least in the coastal lowlands of the Black Sea, where it averages less than 300 mm (11.7 in) per year.
Terrain: Almost the entire country of Ukraine is a flat plain, with elevations generally below 350 m. The Carpathian Mountains intrude at the extreme west, and on the southern coast of the Crimean Peninsula the Crimean Mountains are located. The highest point in Ukraine is Mt. Hoverla in the Carpathians, with an elevation of 2061 m.
Land use: Ukraine has extremely fertile black-earth soils in the central and southern portions, totaling more than a half of the territory. According to the estimates, arable land is 56%, permanent crops: 2%, meadows and pastures: 12%, forest and woodland: 10%, other: 20%. In 1990 irrigated land was 26,000 sq. km.
Inland Waterways: Most major rivers flow south to the Black Sea; they include the Dnipro River in central Ukraine, the Southern Bug and Dnestr rivers in the west, the Donets River in the east, and the Danube in the far south. The Western Bug flows northward through the western part of the country and joins the Vistula, which empties into the Baltic Sea.
Natural resources: According to the experts, Ukraine contains approximately 5 per cent of the world’s total mineral resources. Ukraine has deposits of more than 80 types of minerals. The Donetsk Basin contains huge reserves of high-quality coal and the nearby iron-ore deposits of Kryvy Rih are equally rich. Other Ukraine’s mineral resources include manganese, mercury, titanium, chromium, nickel, bauxite, uranium, phosphate, sulfur and peat. Development of the above mentioned mineral resources under concession agreements along with transportation and refining of oil and gas are among the most promising areas for foreign investments.
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.
Geography note: strategic position at the crossroads between Europe and Asia; second-largest country in Europe.


Population: 49,811,174 (July 1999 est.)
Age structure:
        0-14 years: 18% (male 4,690,318 female 4,498,239)
        15-64 years: 68% (male 16,136,296 female 17,572,011)
        65 years and over: 14% (male 2,251,664 female 4,662,646) (1999 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.62% (1999 est.)
Birth rate: 9.54 births/1,000 population (1999 est.)
Death rate: 16.38 deaths/1,000 population (1999 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1999 est.)
Sex ratio:
        at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
        under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
        15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
        65 years and over: 0.48 male(s)/female
        total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (1999 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 21.73 deaths/1,000 live births (1999 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
        total population: 65.91 years
        male: 60.23 years
        female: 71.87 years (1999 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.34 children born/woman (1999 est.)
        noun: Ukrainian(s),
        adjective: Ukrainian.
Ethnic groups: Ukrainian 73%, Russian 22%, Jewish 1%, other 4%.
Religion: predominantly Christian: Ukrainian Orthodox (Kiev Patriarchate), Ukrainian Catholic (Uniate), Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox, Protestant, Ukrainian Orthodox (Moscow Patriarchate). Other religions like Islam, Judaism etc. are also professed by some part of the population.
State language: Ukrainian.
Other languages: Russian, English, German, Hungarian.
Literacy: literacy of total population is 98%
        definition: age 15 and over can read and write
        male: 100%
        female: 97% (1989 est.)
Conventional short form: Ukraine.

General Principles and State Power

Government type: Ukraine is a Republic.
Independence: December 1, 1991 (from Soviet Union).
National holiday: Independence Day - August 24, 1991.
Constitution: adopted on June 28, 1996.
Head of Government: Prime Minister.
Administrative divisions:
        24 oblasts (Cherkaska, Chernihivska, Chernivetska, Dnipropetrovska, Donetska,Ivano-
                             Frankivska, Kharkivska, Khersonska, Khmelnytska, Kirovohradska, Kyyivska,
                             Luhanska, Lvivska, Mykolayivska, Odeska, Poltavska, Rivnenska, Sumska,
                             Ternopilska, Vinnytska, Volynska,Zakarpatska, Zaporizka, Zhytomyrska)
        1 autonomous republic (The Autonomous Republic of Crimea),
        2 municipalities (misto) with oblast status (Kyiv and Sevastopol)
Capital of Ukraine: Kiev


After Russia, the Ukrainian republic was far and away the most important economic component of the former Soviet Union, producing about four times the output of the next-ranking republic. Its fertile black soil generated more than one-fourth of Soviet agricultural output, and its farms provided substantial quantities of meat, milk, grain, and vegetables to other republics. Likewise, its diversified heavy industry supplied equipment and raw materials to industrial and mining sites in other regions of the former USSR. Ukraine depends on imports of energy, especially natural gas.

Shortly after the implosion of the USSR in December 1991, the Ukrainian Government liberalized most prices and erected a legal framework for privatization, but widespread resistance to reform within the government and the legislature soon stalled reform efforts and led to some backtracking. Output in 1992-98 fell to less than half the 1991 level. Loose monetary policies pushed inflation to hyperinflationary levels in late 1993.

Since his election in July 1994, President Kuchma has pushed economic reforms, maintained financial discipline, and tried to remove almost all remaining controls over prices and foreign trade.

The onset of the financial crisis in Russia dashed Ukraine's hopes for its first year of economic growth in 1998 due to a sharp fall in export revenue and reduced domestic demand. Although administrative currency controls will be lifted in early 1999, they are likely to be riposted when the hryvnia next comes under pressure. The currency is only likely to collapse further if Ukraine abandons tight monetary policies or threatens default. Despite increasing pressure from the IMF to accelerate reform, significant economic restructuring remains unlikely in 1999.

The economy of modern Ukraine is formed by both agriculture and industry.

Industry: Industry contributes more than 40 per cent of GDP and accounts for more than one-fourth of total employment. Ukraine is a major center for heavy machinery and industrial equipment production, machine tools, large electrical transformers, ships, locomotives, rail cars, passenger and cargo aircraft, agricultural machinery as well as textiles. It also has a well-developed chemical industry that produces various plastics, tires and fertilizers. The Ukrainian aerospace and defense industry, which includes more than 500 military enterprises and research institutes, is known for its state-of-the-art technology and production of reliable equipment.
Agriculture: Agriculture accounts for about 25 per cent of Ukraine’s total GDP and approximately the same percentage of total employment. Mainly due to extremely fertile soil, Ukraine is a major producer and exporter of a wide variety of agricultural machinery and products, including sugar, sunflower oil, flax, different crops and dairy products. This sector offers diverse opportunities for foreign investments, especially in the field of food processing and storage.
GDP: 79.1 billion hryvnyas in 1996 (approximately US$ 45 billion) (Based on the data of the Ministry of Statistics of Ukraine).
        purchasing power parity: $108.5 billion (1998 est.)
        real growth rate: -1.7% (1998 est.)
       per capita:
                purchasing power parity—$2,200 (1998 est.)
        composition by sector:
                agriculture: 14%
                industry: 30%
                services: 56% (1997 est.)
Population below poverty line: 50% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
        lowest 10%: 4.1%
        highest 10%: 20.8% (1992)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 20% (yearend 1998 est.)
Labor force: 22.8 million (yearend 1997);
        by occupation:
                industry and construction 32%,
                agriculture and forestry 24%,
                health, education and culture 17%,
                trade and distribution 8%,
                transport and communication 7%,
                other 12%.
Unemployment rate: 3.7% officially registered large number of unregistered or underemployed workers (December 1998)
        revenues: $18 billion
        expenditures: $21 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)
Industries: coal, electric power, ferrous and nonferrous metals, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food-processing (especially sugar)
Industrial production growth rate: -1.5% (1998 est.)
        production: 171.8 billion kWh (1998)
        production by source:
                fossil fuel: 47%
                hydro: 9.2%
                nuclear: 43.8%
                other: 0% (1998)
        consumption: 174 billion kWh (1998)
        exports: 5 billion kWh (1998)
        imports: 7 billion kWh (1998)
        products: grain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, vegetables beef, milk.
Exports: $11.3 billion (1998 est.)
        main commodities: ferrous and nonferrous metals, chemicals, machinery and transport equipment,
                                    food products
        major partners: Russia, China, Turkey, Germany, Belarus (1998)
Imports: US$ 13.1 billion (1998 est.)
        main commodities: oil, natural gas, machinery and equipment, chemical products, plastics and
        major partners: Russia, Germany, USA, Poland, Italy (1998)
Fiscal year: Calendar year
Currency: 1 hryvna=100 kopiykas
Exchange rates: To view current exchange rates please click here


Railroads: total: 23,350 km (broad gauge - 1.524 m); 8,600 electrified
Highways: total: 273,700 km (paved and graveled: 236,400 km)
Inland waterways: 1,672 km perennially navigable (Prypyat and Dnipro Rivers)
Pipelines: crude oil 2,010 km, petroleum products 1,920 km, natural gas 7,800 km (1992)
Seaports: Berdiansk, Illichivsk, Izmayil, Kerch, Kherson, Mariupol, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Pivdenne, Sevastopol.
Inland port: Kiev.

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