Kiev is the capital of Ukraine. Not only is it the capital city but it is the largest city by population. The last population estimate of Kiev shows that 2,887,974 people are residing in the city. Not only does that make it the largest city in Ukraine but also the 7th most populous in Europe.
City Size and Population Density
The city of Kiev covers a considerable total surface area of 839 square kilometers (324 square miles). When combined with the entire population of just under 3 million residents, the population density calculation comes to about 3,299 residents per square kilometer (8,540 residents per square mile).
When breaking down the numbers, Kiev’s population is skewed in favor of females. Females make up over 53% of the city’s total population, while males make up over 46% of the population.
Kiev is a very diverse city, and data taken during the 2001 census show that over 130 ethnic groups and nationalities live in the city. The majority of the population – over 82% -- are Ukrainian. There is also a large number of Russians, at over 13% of the total population. There is also a large Jewish community residing within the city, with just under 20,000 people. The percentages break down to show that Ukrainians constitute the largest ethnic group in Kiev, and they account for 2,110,800 people or 82.2% of the population. Russians comprise 337,300 (13.1%), Jews 17,900 (0.7%), Belarusians 16,500 (0.6%), Poles 6,900 (0.3%), Armenians 4,900 (0.2%), Azerbaijanis 2,600 (0.1%), Tatars 2,500 (0.1%), Georgians 2,400 (0.1%), Moldovans 1,900 (0.1%).
Approximately three-quarters of the population speak Ukrainian, while the remaining quarter speak Russian. Over 1 million residents have completed higher or secondary education, reflecting an increase of over 21% from data recorded during the 1980s.
It is thought that the first humans to inhabit the area were around during the Stone Age. Ancient legend tells the story of Kyi, Schek and Khoryv, and their sister Lybed, who together founded the city during the 5th or 6th century. However, it has been recorded that the official founding occurred in 482 A.D.
Moving forward to the 11th century, Kiev had grown to be one of the largest cities in Europe. It was a center for crafts and shopping and was also home to hundreds of churches. The population during this time was 50,000. Unfortunately, during the 1100s and 1200s, there were numerous bloody battles, and the city fell into decline. However, the city soon bounced back and became a center of culture, politics, and arts.
During the 15th century, the city was granted Magdeburg Rights to give the city more independence in terms of international commerce. The 1600s saw the establishment of the Kiev-Mogilyanskaya Academy, which made the city a center for education. The city began fighting for its independence during the 1600s. Following the fall of the Russian Empire, Ukraine was declared independent. However, during the Civil War, the country was seized and it – along with the city of Kiev – became part of the Soviet Union.
During World War II, much of the city’s treasures and churches were destroyed. However, the city began to rebuild following the war. In the 1990s, the Soviet Union collapsed, and the country declared its independence.
Kiev Population Growth
The population of Kiev has seen many ups and downs throughout the years. In the early 1900s, the population was counted at 450,000 people, rising to over 626,000 in 1914 before declining again. The population quickly began to climb again, and by the end of the 1950s, over 1 million people lived in the city. By the 1980s, this number had doubled. By 2015, this number began rising closer to 3 million. While many years saw double-digit growth, the 2000s have seen years with slight declines, but now, population counts are on the rise, though not at such a high rate of growth. This thriving city which has a rich culture, many historical landmarks, and modern attractions continues to make Kiev an appealing place to live, which is why growth is expected to continue at a steady rate.