6/23/14

Ukraine vs. Russia: economic view


These are two biggest parts of the Former Soviet Union. To characterize them from the economic point of view we borrow data from the Total Economic Database (TED) provided by the Conference Board (CB).  In 1980, total population in Ukraine and Russia Federation was 50 million and 139 million, respectively. Figure 1 depicts the evolution of total population since 1950, as estimated by the CB. In this blog, we have already presented the depopulation scenario in Russia and Japan. The case of Ukraine is even worse. Figure 2 compares the evolution of population normalized to 1980. Ukraine has lost 15% of total population since 1990.
Figure 1. Evolution of total population.
Figure 2. Total population in Russia and Ukraine as normalized to the respective levels 1980. Depopulation of Ukraine is dramatic since 1990.

The overall depopulation made it difficult to follow a steady growth path for Ukraine. Figure 3 shows the evolution of GDP per capita in Russia and Ukraine since 1980 (the first estimate available in the TED). For Ukraine, the current (2013) level is $4870 (in Geary-Khamis 1990 US dollars) while Russia has reached the level of $9526 per head. For Ukraine, the peak GDP per capita was observed in 1989 and the current (2013) level is about 77% of that in 1989, as Figure 4 demonstrates. Essentially, Ukraine is in the middle of 1970s. Russia added 18% to the level of 1989.  

All in all, Ukraine needs immediate help.
Figure 3. GDP per capita in Ukraine and Russia since 1980.

Figure 4. GDP per capita normalized to 1989.

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