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Migration Overview

This section provides an overview of key migration data until 2021 to understand migration from and to Ukraine, including migrant stocks, number of international students, labour migration and remittances.


Understanding migration trends helps to anticipate migration choices and to better tailor policy responses in countries of transit and destination as well as in the countries of origin of returning migrants and students.

See "CRISIS MOVEMENTS" for an  overview of current population movements inside and outside Ukraine, including IDPs and refugees. 

Migration to and from Ukraine


As of mid-year 2020, 6.1 million migrants from Ukraine resided abroad. While more than 53 per cent of them resided in the Russian Federation, other top destinations included the United States of America (6%), Kazakhstan (5.8%), Germany (4.7%), Poland (4.4%), Italy (4%), Belarus (3.6%), Czechia (2.1%), Israel (2.1%) and Uzbekistan (2%). [1] 


Stock of emigrants  from Ukraine by region,  as of mid-2020


An estimated 5 million migrants lived in Ukraine as of mid-year 2020. Of these, 75.9 per cent and 15.5 per cent were from European and Asian countries respectively.[2] 

[1] UN DESA, 2020. Data extracted on 28 Feb 2022.

[2] Ibid.

International Students


According to the Ukrainian State Center for International Education (of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine), Ukraine hosted 76,548 international students from 155 countries in 2020. Nearly 24 per cent and 12 per cent of international students in Ukraine were from India and Morocco, respectively.

International students in Ukraine, 2020


An estimated 77,148 international students from Ukraine were hosted around the world in 2019.[1]


International students from Ukraine, 2019

[1] UNESCO, 2021. Data extracted on 28 Feb 2022.



In their November 2021 estimates, Ratha et al. projected that remittance inflows to Ukraine in 2021 would be 16.3 billion USD, accounting for 9 per cent of the annual GDP. However, according to recent estimates, remittance flows to Ukraine were significantly higher and surpassed 19 billion USD in 2021, accounting for 12 per cent of Ukraine’s GDP. Additionally, remittances to Ukraine are forecast to increase by 8 per cent in 2022 [1] .

As a share of the total remittances received in Ukraine in 2021, the highest shares were sent by Ukrainian migrants in the following countries according to the National Bank of Ukraine:[2]


Remittance inflows to Ukraine in 2021


[2] National Bank Ukraine, 2021.

Labour Migration


Data collected by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine in 2012 in collaboration with ILO on the extent of short-term labour migration in Ukraine showed that short-term migrant workers made up 82.7 per cent of all migrant workers, or 2.9 per cent of the population aged 15–70. Women were under-represented among short-term and over-represented among long-term migrant workers, accounting for 29.7 per cent of short-term and 56.6 per cent of long-term migrant workers. [1]

Labour migration from Ukraine

The start of the war in 2014 changed labour migration patterns. While in 2012, Russia was by far the most popular destination for labour migrants from Ukraine (43% of all Ukrainians working abroad), the most popular destination for Ukrainian migrant workers in 2017 was Poland (39%). 57% of labour emigrants stay less than three months abroad though.[2]

Sectors of employment

In 2017, only 27% of Ukrainian labour migrants worked in jobs that were in accordance with their qualifications: 30% worked in a different field; and 36% worked in a field not requiring any qualifications. Only 9% worked in professional and technical services; 14% in trade and services; 26% as workers with tools; and 42% in very simple jobs.[3]



Useful Resources
Disclaimer: This webpage curates public information and data. The opinions expressed in this webpage are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), nor its Member States and other stakeholders. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout the webpage do not imply expression of any opinion or endorsement whatsoever on the part of IOM, its Member States and other stakeholders concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning its frontiers or boundaries. While the portal section "Ukraine: Migration Statistics, Policy and Humanitarian Responses" has been made possible with funding from the European Union, the German Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) Switzerland, the contents on this section do not necessarily reflect their official policy or position.

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