According to summary results of researches conducted by the Sociological group "Rating" in 2012, 50% of respondents consider Ukrainian their native language, 29% - Russian. Moreover, 20% consider both Ukrainian and Russian their mother tongue. Another 1% considers a different language their native language.
In the West (96%), in the Center (75%) and in the North (58%) the Ukrainian language is believed to be the main native language. At the same time, in the East (36%), in the South (56%) and in Donbas (67%) - mostly Russian.
Rural residents and elderly people consider Ukrainian to be their native language the most often.
45% of respondents usually speak Ukrainian at home, 39% - Russian and 15% - both Ukrainian and Russian (equally).
In the West (91%), in the Center (73%) and in the North (51%) people mainly speak Ukrainian at home, in the East (65%), in the South (67%), and in Donbas (83%) - Russian.
Ukrainian is mostly spoken by middle-aged and elderly people, a lot more in rural areas.
Thus, less people speak Ukrainian than consider it their native language. And vice versa – more people speak Russian than consider it their mother tongue.
There is full parity in the matter of granting Russian the status of the state language: 46% of respondents are against it, as many (45%) are for it. Other 8% - are undecided.
It should be noted that over the past two years, the numbers of opponents and supporters of bilingualism are almost equal. However, when compared to the year 2009, the level of support for granting Russian the status of the state language has decreased (from 54 to 46%), respectively the number of opponents has increased from 40 to 45%.
Among the biggest supporters of bilingualism are residents of Donbas (84%), the East (71%) and the South (65%). Among its opponents are residents of the Centre (58%), the North (68%) and the West (89%).
Granting Russian the status of the state language is mainly supported by proponents of the CPU (72%) and the Party of Regions (71%). Supporters of UDAR (59%), Civil Position (66%), Batkivshchyna (69%), Front for Change (70%) and 100% of voters of Freedom are mostly against it.
Despite the fact that Ukrainian is mostly spoken by elderly people, young people oppose bilingualism more.
Another feature: among respondents who support Ukraine's entry into the Customs Union, the vast majority (72%) speak in favor of granting Russian the status of the state language. However, among respondents who support the signing of the free trade zone agreement with the EU, the vast majority (72%) are against bilingualism. As you know, young people mostly support Ukraine's accession to the EU.
Research audience: Ukraine's population aged 18 years and older
Research method: personal formalized interview in accordance with questionnaire (face to face)
Researches were conducted in February 2012 (4000 respondents surveyed, an error not exceeding 1.5%) and in March 2012 (1201 respondents surveyed, an error not exceeding 2.8%).