BRAMA, September 1, 2009, 9:00 AM ET|
New Research Center Established for the Study of the Ukrainian Diaspora in the United States
By Oleh Wolowyna and Vasyl Lopukh
The Shevchenko Scientific Society in New York creates new center in order
to encourage and facilitate research.
Since the independence of Ukraine, our diaspora's attention, resources and activities have shifted to a large degree to Ukraine and its problems, to the detriment of activities by the Ukrainian diaspora in the United States and other countries. Also most of our organized community work is still being conducted on an informal basis, and planning and implementation of different activities are often done without the benefit of factual and objective information. Available United States Bureau of the Census data from the last three population censuses and from the American Community Survey, as well as official immigration statistics and other data, if properly exploited, can provide a more rational and efficient basis for our diaspora's activities.
These data also provide a unique opportunity for research on the Ukrainian ethnic group from the academic perspective. They allow researchers to augment the field of ethnic studies in the US with research on Ukrainians and make contributions to different social and economic disciplines using Ukrainians in the US as a case study.
In order to encourage and facilitate research on this topic, the Shevchenko Scientific Society in New York has decided to create a Center for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research of Ukrainians in the US. A web site has been set up which contains detailed information about the Center, its mission and objectives: www.inform-decisions.com/ukrstat/.
This web site provides access to an integrated data base with census and survey data on Ukrainians in the US. In order to facilitate comparisons between Ukrainians and the total US population, a companion data base is also available with data for the whole US population. These data bases contain data for 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2006, and the necessary technical information needed for analyzing the data is included. The web site also contains dynamic tables with key statistical information on Ukrainians in the US by States and by Metropolitan Areas. In these tables you will find basic statistical information for the country, your State and your city.
The data are made available free of charge to anybody who wants to find out more about Ukrainians in the US, use them for research or as a management tool for planning community work. The Research Center invites scholars, students, community leaders and interested persons to make use of this information. A program of prizes for best research papers by students in the United States and in Ukraine is being set up, as well as funding for conferences and publications to disseminate the results. In order to expand the scope of researchers on this topic and as a complement to the government of Ukraine's interest in Ukrainians living outside of Ukraine, contacts have been made with several universities in Ukraine to encourage faculty and students to do research using these data bases.
These data also provide important information for our organized communities. Detailed demographic and socio-economic profiles of Ukrainians can be elaborated for many cities, with indicators like total size, age-sex structure, number and percent speaking Ukrainian (and Russian) by age and sex, marital status, occupation, education, different types of income, country of birth for migrants and year of immigration, etc. The data bases also have data on housing and household characteristics like homeownership or renting, mortgage or rent payments, age, size and value of the house for home owners, as well as family characteristics like structure of the family and family income. All these and many other variables are available in the integrated data bases..
Analysis of the population dynamics for different States and Metropolitan Areas between 1980 and 2006 allows one to see which States and cities are loosing population, which are growing, to detect the formation of new centers of Ukrainian settlements in cities with few or no Ukrainians, and to document the contribution to this growth by "4th wave" migrants and/or by Ukrainians moving out of cities with large Ukrainian communities (from northeastern and northern Midwestern cities to the South and the Western coast). These data provide timely information on challenges and opportunities for our churches, cooperatives and civic organizations.
The Center will maintain, update and expand the web site and the data bases, provide technical assistance to persons who want to use the data, administer research grants, organize conferences and publish research results. All this requires resources. A special fund is being set up to support the Center's activities, and we appeal to persons who recognize the importance of this activity to provide financial support to the Center. For donations and general questions about the Center contact the Shevchenko Scientific Society: (212) 254-5130; for technical questions about the data and research, contact Oleh Wolowyna: (919)923-1316 or olehw(a)aol.com.
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