Ptukha, Mykhailo

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Ptukha, Mykhailo [Птуха, Михайло; Ptuxa, Myxajlo], b 7 November 1884 in Oster, Chernihiv gubernia, d 3 October 1961 in Kyiv. Pioneering demographer and statistician; full member of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences from 1920 and corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences from 1943. While a gymnasium student he worked during the summers for the statistics section of the Chernihiv zemstvo bureau. He studied at Saint Petersburg University (1906–10) and abroad, notably in Berlin (1910–12) and London (1914–15). In 1913 he began teaching statistics at Saint Petersburg University. Ptukha moved to Kyiv in 1918. In 1919 he organized the VUAN Demographic Institute (renamed the Institute for Demography and Sanitation Statistics of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR in 1934), which he headed until its absorption by the Institute of Economics of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR in 1938. Ptukha organized the latter institute’s statistical section and headed it from 1940 to 1950. From 1944 to 1950 he also headed the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR Section of Social Sciences and was a member of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR presidium. In 1929 he was elected a member of the International Statistical Institute. He was a member of the delegation of the Ukrainian SSR at the signing of Paris Peace Treaties of 1947.

Ptukha founded the Ukrainian school of demographers. The Demographic Institute he headed was the first research center on demographic statistics in the world and trained many prominent scholars. Ptukha wrote numerous articles and reports and 11 books, including ones on the theory of population and mortality statistics (1916, master’s dissertation), the marriage index (1922), the population of Kyiv gubernia (1925), mortality in Russia and Ukraine (1928), Dmytro Zhuravsky (1951), and the history of statistics in the Russian Empire (2 vols, 1955, 1959). A collection of his writings on population statistics was published in Moscow in 1960, and an edition of his selected works appeared in Kyiv in 1971.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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