Kharkiv Oblast (Ukrainian: Харківська область, translit. Kharkivs'ka oblast', Russian: Харьковская область, translit. Khar'kovskaya oblast'; also referred to as Kharkivshchyna - Ukrainian: Харківщина) is an oblast (province) in eastern Ukraine. The oblast borders Russia to the north, Luhansk Oblast to the east, Donetsk Oblast to the south-east, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast to the south-west, Poltava Oblast to the west and Sumy Oblast to the north-west. The area of the oblast is 31,400 km², corresponding to 5.2% of the total territory of Ukraine.
The oblast is the third most populous region of Ukraine, with a population of 2,857,751 (as of 2004), more than half (1.5 million) of whom live in the city of Kharkiv (Kharkov), the oblast's administrative center. While the Russian language is primarily spoken in the cities of Kharkiv oblast, elsewhere in the oblast most inhabitants speak a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian called Surzhik.
Its population (as of 2001) is 2,895,800 million (1328900 males (45,9 %), 1566900 females (54,1%)).
As of the 2001 census, the ethnic groups within the Kharkiv Oblast are:
the groups by native language:
Ukrainians - 70.7%,
Russians - 25.6% ,
Belorussians - 0.5%
Jews - 0.4%,
Armenians - 0.4%,
Azeris - 0.2%,
Georgians - 0.15%,
Tatars - 0.14%,
others - 2.1%,;
other languages 1.9%. Demographics
The Kharkiv oblast has a primarily industrially based economy, including engineering, metallurgy, manufacturing, production of chemicals and food processing. It also has an important agricultural sector with 19,000 square kilometres of arable land (comprising 5.9% of the total arable lands of Ukraine).
Also in Kharkiv is the Airplane plant for space controlling systems. It is a major center for all branches of engineering, from large-scale manufacture to microelectronics. Also situated in Kharkiv Oblast is a gas field, which is one of the biggest in the Ukraine.