he recent research “Refugees from Ukraine: Intentions to Return, Impact on the Ukrainian Economy, and Policy Recommendations,” commissioned by the Center for Economic Strategy, estimates the number of Ukrainians who have left Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion, profiles these individuals, predicts the potential return rate to Ukraine, and assesses the economic implications if not all of them return. The analysis is based on data from sociological surveys conducted in late 2022 and mid-2023 by the research agency Info Sapiens, as well as information from open sources.
According to Info Sapiens research, around 5.6-6.7 million Ukrainians left the country because of the war as of June 2023. The majority of those who left the country are women and children. Around 18% of all refugees are women aged 35-49. Furthermore, children under 18 comprise over 50% of European Ukrainian refugees.
In the initial months of the invasion, most Ukrainians fled to neighboring Poland, which was the easiest country to reach. Poland hosted over 1.3 million refugees at its peak in March 2022. However, by May 2023, the number in Poland declined substantially to around 990,000 as some of them returned to Ukraine.