According to a 2004 public opinion poll by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, the number of people using Russian language in their homes considerably exceeds the number of those who declared Russian as their native language in the census. According to the survey, Russian is used at home by 43–46% of the population of the country (in other words a similar proportion to Ukrainian) and Russophones make a majority of the population in Eastern and Southern regions of Ukraine:
- Autonomous Republic of Crimea — 97% of the population
- Dnipropetrovsk Oblast — 72%
- Donetsk Oblast — 93%
- Zaporizhia Oblast — 81%
- Luhansk Oblast — 89%
- Mykolaiv Oblast — 66%
- Odessa Oblast — 85%
- Kharkiv Oblast — 74%
Russian language dominates in informal communication in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. It is also used by a sizeable linguistic minority (4-5% of the total population) in Central and Western Ukraine.
According to data obtained by the "Public opinion" foundation (2002), the population of the oblast (province) centres prefers to use Russian (75%). Continuous Russian linguistic areas occupy certain regions of Crimea, Donbass, Slobozhanschyna, southern parts of Odessa and Zaporizhia oblasts, while Russian linguistic enclaves exist in central Ukraine and Bukovina.