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Ukrainian Jews Migrate to Cities

April 23, 1923
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There has been a continuous movement during the last quarter century of the Jewish population of Ukraine and White Russia from the villages into the smaller towns, and from these into the larger cities, according to statistics which have been just made available here.

The figures for the province of Kiev show that whereas in 1897, 18 per cent of the Jewish population lived in the villages, 49 per cent in the am 11 towns and 33 per cent in the cities, the census of 1920, the results of which are only being commented upon, proves that the Jewish percentage in the villages has fallen as low as 4 per cent, while the population in the villages rose from 33 to 71 per cent.

In the province of Chernigov, the Jewish village population was 34 per cent, of the entire Jewish population in 1897; in 1920, it fell to 12 per cent, whereas the population of the larger cities rose from 48 per cent in 1897 to 75 per cent in 1920. The figures for practically all the provinces in the Ukraine and White Russia much affected by pogroms and civil war, show a similar process.

This is due to the fact that during the period of pogroms, counter-revolution and civil war, and foreign military interventions, the Jews flocked from the villages where they considered themselves unsafe and at the mercy of peasants, to the cities where authority was comparatively better established.

In the non-Jewish Russian population a reverse process is noted. In the days of famine and reduced agricultural production, the village was the only place which had food and masses of people gave up living in the cities for life in the village.

The unlimited opportunities of free education offered by the Communists on their accession of power had the effect of attracting thousands of Jewish young man and women to the higher institutions of learning which are to be found in the cities. The renewal of private trade under the New Economic Policy likewise accentuated the tendency of the Jewish population to concentrate in the cities.

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