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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, Oct 1, 2004, 1:00 am ET

    Where in the U.S.A. are all the Ukrainians Americans and exactly how many are there?
    Demographer maps Ukrainian communities across the country

    Where in the U.S.A. are all the Ukrainians Americans? Where do they live? These are questions that may be best answered by Oleh Wolowyna, a demographer who has been keeping close tabs on census figures released by the U.S. government. According to Mr. Wolowyna, persons of Ukrainian ancestry residing in the United States constitute only 0.3% of the total population. This rather unimpressive number looks much more substantial when stated in absolute terms - approximately 900,000. At least, this is the number of people who identified themselves in the Census of 2000 as having Ukrainian ancestry.

    Some of the data compiled by Mr. Wolowyna can be downloaded free from the company's website. The tables in Excel format that are publicly available include a distribution of Americans of Ukrainian Ancestry by state, and breakdowns by sex, age, and language spoken at home.

    The great majority of those who claim Ukrainian ancestry, said Mr. Wolowyna, speak English only, although 13.3% speak Ukrainian and 14.1% speak Russian. That is to say, "of ALL persons of Ukrainian ancestry in the US, a higher percentage speaks Russian than Ukrainian," which he calls an "unusual fact". This can be explained by "the very large migration from Ukraine in the last 10 years - more than 140,000 - and 54% of them said that they speak Russian at home, while only 44% said that they speak Ukrainian at home.

    The data is based on the five percent Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS5) produced by the U.S. Bureau of the Census (BUCEN). As this is a sample, the numbers are not exactly equal to the official numbers based on the complete census. In general, the differences are quite small and, as with every sample, the smaller the subpopulation the larger the sampling error.

    Informed Decisions, Inc. (website: www.inform-decisions.com/ukrstat) offers a service for obtaining more detailed statistical analysis of Ukrainians in Metropolitan Areas (with relatively large numbers of persons of Ukrainian ancestry). Demographic, educational, and economic characteristics are just a few of the selections that one can request, and the applications are pretty extensive. Mr. Wolowyna suggested these examples to illustrate how the data can be used:

    • Youth organizations: how many persons in certain age groups and how many of them speak Ukrainian
    • Any general organization: total number of potential members in the city (those who do not speak Ukrainian and are not likely to be active in the community: by age, sex, education, income, marital status, etc.)
    • Credit Unions: number of person by income, if owns house (value, if has mortgage, how much is the mortgage/month, how many cars in the household, etc.)
    • Professional organizations: how many doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc., and compare these numbers with the number of members they have now.
    • Geographical distribution of all persons of Ukrainian ancestry: how many by zip code.

    A detailed statistical profile of all persons of Ukrainian ancestry in a city could be very useful for getting a better idea of all potential members for the different organizations, not just those who are already engaged.

    Download (save to disk) the tables from the website at www.inform-decisions.com/ukrstat. Be sure to check the Analysis Plan for a list of the additional data that can be tapped.



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