In the nearest years, Ukraine will preserve its total birth rate, according to a forecast by national experts aired during a video conference, entitled "Depopulation in Ukraine and Russia - Similarity and Differences".

Ella Libanova, Director of the Institute for Demography and Social Studies (IDSS) at the National Academy of Sciences, said that in recent years the fertility situation has slightly improved in Ukraine - a rise started in 2002. The highest rates of its rise were registered in 2006 and 2008.

"Considering the available reserves of rural population and, in general, childbirth orientations of the Ukrainian population, we lay down into the forecasts for the next few years stabilization of the birth rate at almost average European level, and at year-end it makes 1.46 child per one woman," IDSS scientist Iryna Kurylo said.

Discussing the efforts taken by the authorities for improvement of the demographic situation, both Russian and Ukrainian scientists noted that economic measures do not bring a long-term effect.

Kurylo underscored that the fertility improvement policy in Ukraine "is noted for absence of an integrated approach," and according to her, a one-time aid for the child birth "is absolutely incommensurable with labor payment and other economic indexes." At the same time, polls conducted in Ukraine show that people primarily expect rising of living standards, she emphasized.

In his turn, IDSS director Ella Libanova says that the measures taken by the Ukrainian authorities are basically aimed at upgrading fertility, but the focus should be made on cutting mortality of men of the able-bodied age.

Libanova says that mortality of able-bodied men is taking place now, primarily, as a result of unhealthy way of life, abuse of alcohol, smoking and non-quality food.

In other words, the criticized level of medical service has nothing to do with it. "And here one should not expect an effect in the near future," Libanova stressed.

Speaking about the reasons of depopulation, IDSS official Olena Paliy, in particular, noted that by 19 years of age about one third of youth becomes smokers, and by 35 years of age - youth suffers from an access weight and adiposity, and non-quality food is also a serious problem. "We have almost no state control over the quality of foodstuffs. A bulk of non-quality products appear on the market, with which children are nourished too, therefore their health is undermined from childhood. And the main evil is, certainly, alcohol that causes not only diseases, but a great number of accidents, including on the roads," Paliy said.

In order to attract people to healthy way of life, it is necessary to tear them away from their daily problems of fight for survival, and this can be carried out only through improvement of social-economic conditions of people, head of the Demography of Ageing Laboratory at the Gerontology Institute of the Ukrainian Academy Sciences Natalia Foigt said.


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