Population in Urban Area, now
- World: 164th
- Europe: 11th
- Ukraine: 1st
Population in City Area, 2021-04-15
- World: 87th
- Europe: 6th
- Ukraine: 1st
Kiev Urban Area Population Graph
Kiev Population Review
Kiev (or Kyiv) is the capital of and the most populous city in the country of Ukraine. It is home to 2.7 million people in the city and 2.9 million in the Kiev Metropolitan Area. Kiev is the seventh most populous city in Europe and is an important cultural, industrial, and scientific center of Eastern Europe.
The city’s name derives from the name of one of its legendary founders, Kyi. It is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe and has passed through many stages of prominence and obscurity and has most likely existed as a commercial center since the fifth century. The city was prospered during the Russian Empire’s Industrial Revolution that took place during the late 19th century. The Ukrainian War of Independence—which lasted from 1917 to 1921—resulted in the establishment of a Ukrainian republic. However, most of this republic was later absorbed by the Soviet Union as a result of the civil war. Called the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Soviet Union retained control of the area from 1922 until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
A growing population since the collapse of the Soviet Union
When the Soviet Union collapsed, Kiev experienced an influx of migrants from the other regions of the country, resulting in a population growth from 2.5 million to its current population of 2.9 million. Kiev has continued to be Ukraine’s largest and wealthiest city and is predicted to continue growing until 2024. However, the city’s population will start to gradually drop after that. While the city is experiencing an influx of working age migrants, the aging population will decrease the city’s population as elderly citizens begin to pass away.
Ethnic composition of Kiev
In 2001, census data recorded over 130 different nationalities and ethic groups residing within Kiev. Ukrainians constitute the largest ethnic group, with 82% of the population, followed by Russians wit 12% and Jews with 0.7%. From there, the city also has Belarusians, Poles, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Tatars, and Georgians. A study in 2015 found that 94% of Kiev’s population was ethnic Ukrainian and 5% ethnic Russian.
Both Ukrainian and Russian are languages commonly in the city, with 75% of the city’s population choosing “Ukrainian” as their main language, and 25% choosing “Russian”. Almost 23% of Kyivans speak only Ukrainian at home, 52% use only Russian, and 24% go back and forth between both languages. There is also 13% of the population that chose Yiddish and 7% that chose Polish.
A high population density due to close quarter living
Because Kiev is only 839 square kilometers but accommodates 2.9 million people, its population density is quite high, with 3,526 people per square kilometer. Compare this to the rest of the Ukraine, where population density hovers somewhere around 75 people per square kilometer. The grouping of apartment buildings—as well as the fact that most apartments in the capital city only have two or three rooms—also increases the city’s population density.
A trying history for the city’s Jewish population
Like many large cities in Europe, the historic Jewish population of Kiev has experienced their fair share of trauma. Pogroms carried out in 1882 and 1905 drove away much of the city’s Jewish population. The population of Jews had once again grown to 224,000 people by 1939. However, some fled the city ahead of the German invasion of the Soviet Union of June 1941. Shortly after the German invasion, the Wehrmacht, the SS, and Ukrainian Auxiliary Police, and local collaborators massacred almost 35,000 Kyvian Jews at Babi Yar. While Jews did begin to return to the city near the end of the war, they suffered yet another pogrom in September of 1945.
The city’s current population of Jews is much lower than it once was, with about 21,000 people identifying as Jews living in the city. There are two major synagogues in the city: the Great Choral Synagogue and the Brodsky Choral Synagogue.