Ukraine is an Eastern European country that shares borders with Romania, Moldova, Russia, Slovakia, Belarus, Poland, and Hungary. It also has coastlines along the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. It has an entire area of 233,062 square miles and is home to 42.5 million people. That population size does not take into account Crimea, which is currently under territorial dispute between Russia and Ukraine. This country is politically divided into 27 regions, which are further divided into 24 oblasts and 1 autonomous republic. The oblasts are similar to provinces and are divided into districts and city municipalities. This article takes a closer look at the biggest oblasts and territories of Ukraine by population.
The Donetsk Oblast has the largest population in Ukraine, with 4,387,702 residents. It is located in the southeastern region of the country and covers an area of 10,238 square miles. The economy here is largely based on industry, including coal, steel, and cast iron production. After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, the separatist movement in Donetsk occupied its administrative building and claimed independence from Ukraine. This move prompted the Donbass War and the relocation of the Oblast capital to Kramatorsk.
The second most populated oblast in Ukraine is Dnipropetrovsk, which has a population size of 3,258,705. It is considered the most important industrial area of Ukraine, an economic sector that provides 473,400 jobs. The most common products manufactured here include metals, refrigerators, chemicals, and tractors. It covers an area of 12,345 square miles, 3.9% of which is covered in forests. Its location in the steppe region of the country gives it a diverse range of flora and fauna, with more than 7,500 animal species and 1,700 plant species.
The Kyiv municipality is the third most populated area in Ukraine. It is the capital of the country and has a population size of 2,900,920. This population has grown significantly since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The majority of these recent newcomers have come from the more rural areas in the country. In order to ensure sufficient housing, the government here has been investing in housing and urban development. This city is an important cultural, political, and educational center of not only Ukraine but also Eastern Europe. It is home to several educational institutions and high-tech industries, including the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, the National Technical University, and the Kiev Mohyla Academy (the oldest in the country). Other important economic sectors in Kyiv include the finance and services sectors.
The fourth most populated oblast in Ukraine is Kharkiv, which has a population size of 2,193,027. The demographics of this population are a majority Ukrainian (70.7%). The largest minority group is Russian (25.6%), followed by Belorussians (.5%), Jews (.4%), and Armenians (.4%). This oblast has an industrial-based economy with a number of sectors, including manufacturing, food processing, engineering, agriculture, and chemical production. It covers an area of 12,129 square miles, within which are a number of important historical buildings: the Pokrov Monastery, the Skovoroda Museum, and the Derzhprom Building.
The chart published below offers a more in-depth look at the population size of all of the oblasts and territories of Ukraine.