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Ukrainians in North Carolina in 2016: A Statistical Overview

Data sources: all data in this profile are from US censuses and the American Community Survey.

According to the American Community Survey (ACS), there were 19,192 persons of Ukrainian ancestry in North Carolina in 2016. If we include parts of Charlotte and Myrtle-North Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Areas (MAs) in South Carolina, this number

Map 1 shows all the MAs of North Carolina with the number of Ukrainians in each MA. Most Ukrainians in North Carolina reside in urban areas. The total number of Ukrainians in these MAs is 13,795, representing 77 percent of all Ukrainians in the State. The highest concentration is found in three MAs: Charlotte with 5,698, Raleigh with 4,016 and Asheville with 1,934.

Map 2 shows the spatial distribution of Ukrainians in North Carolina in terms of PUMAs, areas defined by the Bureau of the Census that have about 100,000 inhabitants. Charlotte and Myrtle Beach, have parts in South Carolina: a) the population of Charlotte increases from 5,698 to 6,589 if we include the parts in South Carolina; b) only 358 of the 1,183 Ukrainians in the Myrtle-North Myrtle Beach MA reside in North Carolina. Areas of the Sate with relatively few Ukrainians are east of Charlotte bordering South Carolina and the north-south corridor between Raleigh and the coastal counties.

Maps 3, 4 and 5 present distributions of Ukrainians in Raleigh, Charlotte and Asheville, respectively. Each city is divided into PUMAs, and in each PUMA we have numbers of Ukrainians and of 4 th wave immigrants (persons born in Ukraine who migrated to the US after 1987, declared “Ukrainian” as their ancestry and/or speak Ukrainian at home).

The number of Ukrainians in North Carolina experienced significant growth between 1980 and 2016 (Table 1). The 2,580 Ukrainians in 1980 more than doubled by 1990 and doubled again by 2000. Increase in the next decade fell to 61 percent, and the growth between 2010 and 2016 was only ten percent. The increase between 1980 and 1990 was almost exclusively due to internal migration, as part of the stream from the Northeast to the South and West. Ukrainian immigrants to North Carolina were mainly from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Ohio and Florida. The 1990-2000 increase had two components: internal (55 percent) and international migration (45 percent). Internal migrants were mainly from northeastern States, while most of the international migrants were from Ukraine. This period marked the beginning of the so-called 4 th wave; 1,750 of the 2,319 immigrants in 2000 came from Ukraine.

There was a reversal in the proportion of internal and international migrants during the 2000-2010 decade, 43 and 57 percent, respectively. Most of the international immigrants in 2010, 5,234 out of 6,102, were from Ukraine. Consistent with the overall slowdown of migration from Ukraine to the US in recent years, the contribution of the 4th wave was minimal between 2010 and 2016. The bulk of the increase during this period was due to internal migration, motivated by economic opportunities in the State.

The age-sex structure of Ukrainians in North Carolina in 2016 is shown in Table 2. There are more females than males (52 and 48 percent, respectively) and females are, on average, somewhat older than males (median ages 39.2 and 38.4, respectively). Table 3 shows the age-sex age structure of Ukrainian in five MAs: Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro-High Point, Raleigh and Wilmington (click “% row”). Asheville has the youngest population with ten percent aged 0-4 years and 11 percent aged 65 years or more, while Wilmington has the oldest population with almost one-third aged 65 years or more and less than five percent aged 0-4 years (it should be noted that there are only 541 Ukrainians in Wilmington).

Table 4 presents the age-sex distribution of 4 th wave immigrants. There were 3,818 immigrants or 20 percent of all Ukrainians in North Carolina in 2016. They have a young age structure, with more than 17 percent aged 0-4 years and two percent aged 65 years or more (click “% column”), and proportionally more females than males, 58 and 42 percent, respectively.

Table 5 presents numbers of 4 th wave immigrants for MAs with at least 50 immigrants, distributed by period of arrival to the US. Percent of 4 th wave immigrants vary significantly among MAs. For example, all Ukrainians in Rocky Mount are 4 th wave immigrants (last column of Table 5). Asheville has the 2nd highest proportion with 41 percent, followed by Charlotte with 27 percent, Raleigh 18 percent and Greensboro-High Point 16 percent. Percent of 4 th wave immigrants is very low in Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton and Winston Salem, with two and six percent, respectively.

Times of arrival also vary among the MAs. In some MAs like Greensboro-High Point, most immigrants arrived in 2000 or later. In Charlotte, close to half arrived before 2000 and very few came in 2000 or
later (click “% row” to see the distribution by period of arrival for all MAS).

The question of language spoken at home was asked of persons five years or older. The great majority of Ukrainians in North Carolina, 73 percent, said they speak English at home. Ukrainian is spoken by 12 percent, Russian 11 percent and the remaining 4 percent speak other languages at home. Table 6 presents the distribution by language spoken at home for MAs with 300 or more Ukrainians. All Ukrainians in Wilmington said that they speak English at home, followed by 90 percent in Greensboro-High Point and Hickory-Lenoir-Morgenton with 84 percent (click “% row”). Asheville has the lowest percent of English-speakers with 49 percent. It also has the highest percent of Ukrainian speakers with 37, followed by 15 percent in Raleigh and ten percent in Charlotte. Only three MAs have Russian-speakers: Charlotte (18 percent), Asheville (14 percent) and Raleigh (10 percent).

The level of education of Ukrainians in North Carolina is relatively high (Table 7). The majority, 81 percent, have a high school diploma or higher, and 61 percent have college (undergraduate or graduate) degrees (click “% column”). Females have a higher educational level than males, with 59 percent males and 64 percent females with a college degree or higher.

Ukrainians in North Carolina also have a relatively high occupational status (Table 8). Twenty percent have occupations in the manager and business category and 27 percent in the professionals and related category (click “% column”). Only 97 Ukrainians have military occupations and three percent have occupations in the natural resources and construction category.

Definition of persons of Ukrainian ancestry:

  • answered “Ukrainian” to the question “what is this person’s ancestry?” OR
  • did not answer “Ukrainian” to the ancestry question but was born in Ukraine or speaks Ukrainian at home

 

Using this definition, we can divide persons of Ukrainian ancestry into four groups:
Single: answered “Ukrainian” as his/her ancestry – 43 percent;
1 st ancestry: gave “Ukrainian” as his/her first ancestry – 22 percent (it is possible to provide one or two ancestries and in this case, “Ukrainian” was listed as the first ancestry);
2 nd ancestry: gave“ Ukrainian” as his/her second ancestry – 31 percent;
None: did not list “Ukrainian” as only, first or second ancestry, but was either born in Ukraine or speaks Ukrainian at home – 4 percent.

The Atlas of Ukrainians in the US is a complementary resource to this statistical overview. It provides a comprehensive overview of Ukrainians in the US. It describes the history of migration from Ukraine to the US and demographic and socio-economic aspects of the Ukrainian community.