83% of Ukrainians say Ukrainian should be the only state language 


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83% of Ukrainians believe Ukrainian should be the only official language in Ukraine. This according to the results of the sixth national poll* conducted by Sociological Group «Rating» (Rating Group Ukraine).

According to Rating Group, this level of support for Ukrainian being the official language can be explained by the «unprecedented unity of Ukrainian society during the war». Support for the status of Ukrainian as the state language prevails in all macroregions, age and language groups.


Before February 24 almost a quarter of Ukrainians supported granting Russian official state status, but as of March 19 this figure is only 7%. Before the full-scale invasion, one-third of residents of the south and east of Ukraine supported granting Russian state status. As the poll shows, this figure is now almost half.


The poll results also show that over the last decade, there has been a steady growth in the number of those who consider Ukrainian their mother tongue: from 57% in 2012 to 76% in 2022. The share of the Russian language has decreased from 42% to 20% over the past 10 years.


Rating Group Ukraine identified several trends. One is that notable changes in self-identification of Ukrainians took place between 2015 and 2016. Some of the key reasons for this being society’s reaction to language policy experiments of the then government; the Revolution of Dignity; Russian aggression in Ukraine in 2014 and temporary occupation of the Crimea and certain territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. The second trend is the positive dynamics in self-identification of Ukrainians caused by the change in the attitude towards Ukrainian in central, southern and eastern regions.


The percentage of speakers of Russian only is decreasing: 40% of respondents in 2012, 26% at the end of 2021, and 18% at the beginning of the war. Russian speakers are «shifting» into the segment of «bilingual speakers» (from 15% to 32%). The number of those who speak only Ukrainian at home has increased slightly from 44% to 48%.


Sociological Group «Rating» (Rating Group Ukraine) is an independent non-governmental research organization specializing in all types of sociological researches in compliance with international standards approved by ESOMAR and WAPOR codes, a permanent member of the Sociological Association of Ukraine.


In 2021, 78% of Ukrainians considered Ukrainian their mother tongue, and in 2020 Ukrainian was the 21st most common language used on the internet.


*Audience: the population of Ukraine aged 18 and older in all oblasts, except for the temporarily occupied territories of the Crimea and Donbas. The sample is representative by age, sex and type of settlement. Sample population: 1000 respondents. Survey method: CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews). Error of representativeness of the study with the confidence level of 0.95: not more than 3.1%. Dates: March 19th, 2022.