Libmonster ID: UA-12186

By Volodymyr PUKHLIY and Valentyna TKACHENKO, researchers of the Council on Productive Forces Studies at the National Academy of Ukraine

* * *

At the present stage of civi - lization development the uniqueness and value of the human race-the aggregate of biological creatures-were finally comprehended. Along centuries the laws of it reproduction has been studied by the pundits in such a "sociostatistical" discipline as demography. As of today, they are unanimous in the opinion that the accelerated growth of the Earth's population, especially evident during the last third of the 20th century, stipulated not only positive realities, but also caused exacerbation of problems in such spheres as economy (e. g., supply of energy, raw and food resources), social organization (spread of hunger, poverty and unemployment), ecology (disequilibrium in the environment rehabilitation), as well as national and ethnic relations (separatism, terrorism). The interaction of these complex realities entitle us to view them as global problems, that is, of the kind that are inseparable from each other, able to spread uncontrolled, and, in some instances, not liable to be held on tight rein.

The said makes the political leadership of various countries to take through intergovernmental negotiations concerted decisions concerning cooperation in the matter of neutralizing the negative consequences of the current and future demographic development. All this is being carried out with each country conducting demographic policy commensurate with its own interests and intended to optimize the process of population replacement in accord with scientifically grounded criterions of socioeconomic expedience. In independent Ukraine, such policy is only starting to be formed. To define its goals it is highly important to define current and perspective problems of the process of the replacement of generation that have concluded their life cycle. To the solution of this task would be

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contributive the measurement of the "demographic reference frames" of Ukraine within the system of processes of civilized advance of humanity.


The continuity of such events as birth and death in the natural population movement creates certain demographic situation in the world, some part (region) of it, or country. The general vector of its development is the transition from high levels of birth rate and mortality to lower ones, and, correspondingly, with resurgence of qualitative indicators of population replacement, in particular, the improvement of its health, the increase of average life expectancy of a planet inhabitant.

At present, the world birth rate is the most revealingly demonstrated by total fertility rate (the number of children a woman would have during her reproductive life childbearing age from 15 to 49 years). It makes 2.8 children per woman compared to 5.0 children in the middle of the last century. Substantial difference also exist in the rates between the more advanced countries, where it amounts to 1.57 child per woman, and less advanced with 3.1 children. One may judge about the principal difference in the parameters of population replacement presented from the fact that in accord with the established statistical regularity growing population replacement occurs with the value of the index over 2.14; correspondingly with lesser its value human population fades away. In accord with comparative statistical data, 64 countries (Ukraine included) had the birthrate parameters that allowed reproduction on irreplaceable and narrow scale, while 123 countries secured extended replacement thanks to high levels of fertility rate.

Another constituent of the population replacement is mortality rate. The situation that has formed here is also very striking. On the one hand, in the advanced countries with lower mortality levels the life expectancy at birth is high (on average 75 years), while, on the other hand, in the less advanced countries with higher morbidity the average life expectancy is, therefore, lower (63 years).

The most perceptible consequence of the said changes among the constituents of the natural population movement are becoming the shifts in age and sex structure of population, which for the world on the whole consist in the leveling of sex disproportion and phenomenon called "population aging". The latter lies in the increase of the portion of the people of declining age in the total number of population. In accord with the classification proposed by the experts of the UN demography section, population can be considered as young, if the portion of persons over 65 is less than 4 percent, and as old when it reached seven percent.

The process of population aging affects the more developed countries more strongly. If in 1950, the portions of children under 14 made 27 percent and aging people 7.9 percent, on the verge of second and third milleniums the correspondent portions were 18 and 14 percent. Hence, in this group of countries the threshold of demographic old age had been exceeded twice. For the less developed countries, the general old-age index is 5 percent with young population still prevailing in some parts of the world. One may get some idea about

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the present-day age population structure as well as shifts within it from the data in Table 1.

Table 1. Global population: distribution, 2000-2050 (thousands)





The World
















Latin America




North America












Thus, in the sphere of demographic development for the modern world two diverse patterns have formed. In the advanced countries the dynamics of demographic processes is characterized by the slowing of natality, drop of the birthrate to the levels that fail to secure simple population reproduction, and substantial shifts in the age structure showing in 'aging of population". For instance, in Germany and Italy the disparity between the numbers of those born and deceased is a negative value.

Certain countries of the Afro-Asian region, some of which are quite retarded in their social and economic development, are distinguished by rapid rates of population growth. During the 20th century, their demographic potential has increased 2.6 times. Six countries of the group are accounted for the half of the yearly population growth nowadays. These are India (21 percent), China (12 percent), Pakistan (5 percent), Nigeria (4 percent), Bangladesh (4 percent) and Indonesia (3 percent). The processes led to sharp change in the population ratio of the principal regions of the world: more than two thirds of the Earth's population reside in the so-called developing countries in such parts of the globe as Asia, Africa, and Latin America (Table 1).

The vital role for formation of the present-day situation in any part of the world is played by the factor of social and territorial mobility of population that is on the increase from year to year. The dominating direction of the migratory movement is from the countries with low standard of living to the ones providing conditions to realize human potential.

To summarize, so far the trend setter of the global demographic development is the following: population of the world continues to grow having reached 6 billion and 56 million people in the year 2000 against 2 billion and 519 million in 1950. This trend, however, is not so distinct today as it was several decades ago since the population growth is slowing. If, let us say, in the third quarter of the 20th century the yearly increase made 1.95 percent, it came to 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, despite deceleration of relative figures, the absolute yearly population growth remains still very high amounting to 77 million.

The backdrop of the global demographic situation provides for the problems

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of current and future demographic development of a separate country to be clearly delineated.

Table 2. Global population: age structure, 2000-2050






Age groups, %

Age groups, %

Age groups, %











The World








































Latin America










North America






























Reproducton of Population In Ukraine

Before independence gained in 1991, Ukraine as a separate state was not represented on the demographic map of the world. Nowadays, evaluative assessments shows that demographic potential of this country makes up 6.8 percent of the European and 0.8 percent of the world, placing it 24th in the year 2000 in order of the size of population. It is perfectly clear that with such reference characteristics, the country's demographic development proceeds completely in accord with general patterns of the Earth's population reproduction. In particular, as the analysis of correspondent date indisputably proves, until recently Ukraine demographically developed under the scenario typical for all economically advanced countries, where at present the so- called cutting-edge (progressive) mode of population reproduction has set in. But even on this beaten track Ukraine has succeeded to score a lot of critical comments: population of the Ukrainian state is declining with its qualitative characteristics, that is, sex-age, matrimonial, professional skill structures, worsening; life span is shrinking, especially its work active portion. What processes define the modern demographic portrait of Ukraine?

The outlook for each nation depends on its ability to reproduce itself in generations to come. It is perfectly clear that the process is affected exclusively because of procreation, which is dependent on social and economic conditions. Due to the market transformations in Ukraine the latter made for the gap between the family needs and real capabilities to realize them

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goes deeper, which the population responded by "adjusting" its reproductive behavior. It turned into putting off the starting of a family for later with correspondent birth of firstlings, and refusing to bear second, third, etc. children. The situation created is of the sort that at present on average ten Ukrainian women give birth to 13 children during their childbearing age, while for simple reproduction, that is, replacement of population on the same scale without migration growth, the figure must be 1.5 times greater. (To compare, 18 children were born in 1996.)

It is worth noting that it is a long time since any of the advanced countries achieved such a high index (that is, 22 children for 10 women); however, it should be mentioned than on average Ukrainian women bear more children than Italian, Spanish, Bulgarian, or Czech females but fewer than the ones of Britain, France, Germany, or Sweden. Unfortunately, one must establish the fact that this tendency in natality, although being peculiar to the world at large, manifests itself in Ukraine inadequately and differently to, for instance, the developed countries, where despite population reduction its qualities of life improve. Consequently, though bearing fewer children the population is incapable to provide proper upbringing, adequate education and training, food rich in calories, etc. Besides, abrupt drop in the number of births is threatening with negative shifts in the age structure of population.

The increase of mortality became the primary evident factor of disequilibrium of the demographic reproduction process. The reversal changes in the number of the born and deceased for demographic development of Ukraine since 1991 resulted in characteristic phenomenon of depopulation, the fact of the number of deceased exceeding that of the newborns. As of today, the latter compensates the group of the former only by 48 percent.

The situation with the reproduction of population is further complicated by high level of disease incidence. It is a no small threat to the fate of the nation since the principal causes of worsening of state of population's health are such serious and often incurable illnesses as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, venereal and other epidemic hazard disease. These are companions of poverty, misshapen sanitary and morally humanistic foundation of society. Thus, compared to European norms, the number of TB-caused deaths in Ukraine is 1.8 times higher, while cases of contracting VD is 2.5 times and AIDS dozen times more frequent.

The principal causes of death are diseases of blood circulation (58 percent of all cases), neoplasm (13 percent), and accidents (10 percent). Cannot be ignored the great number of death in Ukraine related to suicides, and alcohol poisoning, mental disorders, which is 3 to 5 times higher that in the advances countries, being resulted, evidently, by inadequate reaction to the outside socioeconomic conditions. These have worsened for the greater portion of the population impaired by the tragic events of the 20th century. It weights heavily against Ukraine also the comparison of population mortality at work efficient age thus failing to repay a peculiar debt for coming into being to the fathers' generation (the present pensioners) and to lay ground for the nation's future by bearing and bringing up children.

For instance, the chances to die at the age of high reproductive and

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working activity for males in Ukraine is 1.3 times higher that in France, and almost twice as that in Japan. This fact places Ukraine highly unfavorably in its economic competition with the more healthy nations. Extremely urgent for Ukraine is inactivating all known reserves to reduce it from its present value of 10.3 %o to the level existing in the economically developed countries where it is 1.5 to 2 times lower.

The example to follow in the realm of demographic development must serve for Ukraine such index as an average life span. For a Ukrainian, it is one of the briefest in Europe approximating the range of a Russian, Albanian, Bosnian, or Moldavian. Related to a West European, life expectancy of a Ukrainian male is shorter by 12 years (62.4), and of a Ukrainian female by 7.3 years (73.6). On average, among the European countries natural life shorter than in Ukraine is in Russia (66.1 years), Moldova (66.6) and Romania (69.8).

One of the graphic evidence in Ukraine of the world tendency for change in the demographic situation is the population aging. Overall, the population of the country is somewhat older that on average in Europe, Canada, the USA, and such neighboring countries as Belarus and Poland, although being younger than in Great Britain, Germany, and Sweden. As of January 1, 2002, the portion of persons over 65 had reached 14.3 percent with the quarter of the population being of pensionable age. Under another calculation method, for every 1,000 of those working there are seven hundred and twenty six persons of idle age, 324 of them being children and 402 retirees. Other countries' experience shows that the population aging process in Ukraine is to beget the whole series of social and economic problems soon. Starting with age misbalance of the available working force, pension and medical care provision for marginal groups of population, complications with forming mobilization contingent it will come, finally, to overall weakening of nation's capability to reproduce itself.

The factor complicating demographic situation in Ukraine is also the fact that during the period of acute economic crisis hundred of thousands of its citizens left the country for good with millions of them doing this for the time being. Under the official statistics during the period from 1999 to 2001, the migration exchange of Ukraine with other countries was negative amounting to 135 thousand persons. It should be noted that with the flow of Ukrainian population emigration directed to Israel, Germany, the USA, Canada and Russia, the majority of them are individuals with high working and reproductive potential.


The flood of various prognosis and predictions for the coming era marked the start of the 21st century, demographic ones being deemed the most grounded thanks to the well-developed methodology and sufficient technical provision to make them. The practical value of the latter lies in the fact that the process of social development acquired scientific grounding as it needs to know the number and composition of future participants of the vital activity. The range of assessments of the future population of the globe and of separate

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countries that are supplied by various research centers is quite wide. What they are similar in is the conclusion that the future population will stabilize, but differ in evaluating the terms of reaching the said stability and the number limit. Basically, the terms vary from the middle of the 21st century until the year 2110, and the number from 10 to 18 billion.

The latest UN forecast made in 2000 for the period up to 2050 and published the year before last reflects the demographers' point of view at the end of the 20th century. It takes into account the demographic tendencies of the period, anticipated rates and trends of social and economic progress, preservation largely of the present demographic policy by the majority of states, as well as attitude of sociopolitical circles concerning attaining this or other number of population. In accord with the forecast assessments, the population will rise during the period although the rates will decline. An average forecast predicted that up until 2050 the population would increase to reach 9.3 billion with the yearly growth of 76 million during the 2001 to 2025 period, being limited during the following 25 years by 55 million. The smallest population predicted will number 7.9 billion with the largest to be 10.9 billion.

According to the forecast, the heterogeneous character of the present-day demographic trends at the country-to-country level is expected to last out in future too. Although during the first half of the century most of the countries will approach the level of simple population reproduction, its growth in at least 16 countries will remain exceeding of it. Naturally, the demographic situation here will differ considerably from population reproduction in other 67 countries, where the birthrate is predicted to remain at the level below the one sufficient to provide for the simple generation replacement. Without alternative sources of replenishment, 39 of these countries are to witness reduction of the total number of population during 2000 to 2050. In particular, the number of these countries will include the Russian Federation and Ukraine, which population will reduce by 28 to 40 percent, Italy and Hungary with 25 percent decline, and Japan and Germany with a drop of 14 percent.

As is now, in future the developed countries will be bettering somehow their internal demographic situation at the account of measured-out-in-doses inflow of young able- bodied population from the outside. The point is that in numerous countries the whole branches of economy are dependent on import of the workforce. Demographers predict that migratory movement of population is apt to grow in the world. In particular, it is notable that the more developed regions experience the arrival of migrants from the overpopulated countries; calculation show that without migration at the yearly rate of 2 million the population of the developed countries would start to decline not in two thousand twenty five as predicted, but in 2003, that is, now.

Of course, there is great probability of the above forecast of the demographic future of the planet never coming true as, incidentally, happened to all of the previous prognosis. Thus, an error in it may be caused by the fact that the present population of a number of countries is assessed only approximately. There are also reservations regarding Ukraine since the forecast assessments fail to take account of the national census data of 2001.

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The extent this regular population forecast comes true would be up to various causes and depend on numerous conditions. Among the multitude of factors capable to effect the dynamics of the population growth the paramount importance will be played the activities of the national governments concerning solution of population issues of their countries.

Which tasks does the population prognosis for Ukraine assign the demographic policy to be pursued? It is evident that the current social and economic processes highly negatively effect the demographic sphere. In accord to the UN experts prognosis, 29 million 959 thousand persons will reside in Ukraine before 2050; in other words, the present population will be reduced by 20 million people, or 39.5 percent. Such a volume of permanent inhabitants of the country will be caused by even higher than now birthrate (total fertility rate 1.7 in 2050 against 1.26 in 2000) as well as by the increased life span that is expected to be 74.0 years for males and 80.8 years for females. Calculations, however, are inclusive the whole level of the negative balance of migration reaching 100 thousand persons a year. It is indicative that even under the optimistic scenario the demographic potential of Ukraine is to shrink to 32 810 thousand, thus loosing the third of its population.

The age structure of the Ukrainian population during the period forecast will evolve towards reduction of the share of the young with increase of the one of the old age. In accord with the prognosis, the share of children under 14 in the total population of Ukraine will reduce from 18 percent in 2000 to 13 percent, while the portion of people over 65, on the contrary, is to increase correspondingly from 14 to 29 percent. Though the share of persons in the age group from 15 to 64 is to decrease not as substantially (namely, 10 percentage points), it is in this age category considerable redistribution will occur will persons over 40 numerically prevail over younger population cohort.

The home scientists also participate in predicting demographic development of Ukraine. Due to the local social and economic situation taken into account as much as possible, their prognostications have a good chance to be more precise than those provided by the UN experts. Thus, the demographers of the Institute of Economics of the National Academy of Sciences arrived at the population of Ukraine in 2026 exceeding the mean UN prognosis by 2.5 million. Experts of the Council on Productive Resources Studies of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences believe, however, that even with its demographic potential preserved in Ukraine, the country will fail to avoid the so-called "transmigration" status. In accord to their "optimistic" prognosis, closer to the middle of this century the Ukrainian territory will host yearly from 300 to 400 thousand emigrants from Afro-Asian countries. . Such an assumption is quite grounded if one admits the evident-excessive overpopulation of a territory makes aboriginals open up new, less developed living spaces, which is affected at present in the form of migration that takes sometimes excessive forms of flows of refugees, illegal foreign workers, etc. Conversely, the worsening of correlation between country's population and its territory serves as signs of the nation's inability to efficiently manage economy and reproduce itself and,

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therefore, of its competitive vulnerability.

If one agrees that there is no alternative to hosting large bulks of migrants, it is advisable to bother oneself in advance with their selection as is done, for instance, by the majority of developed countries. For this purpose, it is necessary to develop and introduce a system of measures at least that are not in conflict with the basic human rights and provide for qualitative composition of immigrants. But before that, of course, it is essential to make an attempt to substantially better life in the country, to make it attractive both for coming back of its citizens from abroad and appealing for persons having extensive educational, professional and spiritual background from other countries.


The global demography is closely connected with the efficiency of managerial decisions at all levels of organizational structure of society that emerge from the new paradigm of ideas about the essence of the results and goals of any social and economic processes. The grounds of it were laid down in recommendations and principles adopted by the world community at the conferences on problems of population held in Mexico in 1984 and Cairo in 1994. In brief, it lies in the recognition of the highest value of the Social Development of Human Being. The very first prerequisite of the existence of Homo sapience is the availability of sufficient totality of biosocial creatures that reproduce themselves. To provide for the continuity it is necessary-at present even more than in the past-to have weaknesses timely corrected during the run of demographic events. Revelation of global and regional (country-by-country) demographic trends may serve scientific basis for carrying out of the task.

In our opinion, it is reasonable to summarize results of the analysis in two sections:

I. The present global demographic problem is greatly differentiated spatially. The developed countries (Ukraine may be also included here with certain reservations) that entered the phase of population stability and aging, with simultaneous reduction of the fertile contingent, are facing the series of exclusively complicated challenges. Surely the most acute of them sure is social maintenance of the growing number of people that because of their age have ended their labor career. The fact is that the solution of it is only possible at the account of the national income earned by population engaged in productive activity, and it is exactly what is diminishing. Aside from that, the excess of those retiring over those joining the working age seriously complicates the process of filling working places generated by scientific and technical progress, where the most effectively can toil only the youth, which due to its psycho- physiological properties is capable to master new trades.

Problems of another sort are in store for the countries with high birthrates. In addition to the trivial issue of feeding the population, one of the most urgent tasks is the socialization (that is, education, training, job placement) of children and youth.

Hence, the tasks confronting the world community in the sphere of demography are extremely complex. The key to their solution lies in the deepening of

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international cooperation both in the sphere of scientific analysis, and in concrete joint actions. Ukraine is not keeping aloof from the collective efforts to define and implement effective measures for stable humankind development, which it again demonstrated at the Johannesburg World Summit during August and September of 2002.

II. The solution of demographic problems both at global and regional levels should start with scientific substantiation of the demographic policy in each separate country. There are no doubts that it has no chances for success without taking into account the worldwide tendencies of human population development and positive experience concerning natural and mechanical population movement affecting the process. In addition, under globalization it does not seem possible to solve demographic problems in a separate country without not only its stable economic strengthening and consolidating favorable social environment, but also without improvement "demographic climate" on the planet in general.

The assessment of the future trends of demographic development of Ukraine confirms such a conclusion. Unfortunately, one must ascertain the fact that already more that one generation appears to be at the focus of special attention of authority as a source of taxes, cheap labor, etc., instead of being seen as a gene pool of a nation to be preserved and improved. Perhaps the lack of understanding that demographic processes are highly inertial with the results hidden from the immediate sight prevents this. Thus, indeed, no positive reaction is observed at the stated by the government statistics three-year-long economic growth: during nine months of 2002 the population decreased by 290.2 thousand persons, which causes were 90.8 percent natural and 9.2 percent migration.

For this reason, problems in the demographic sphere are accumulating gradually turning into a powerful factor that from some moment starts weakening the level of national security. In this sense, the effect of unfavorable demographic factors is manifested in the following:

* Absolute reduction of the population will cause decrease of the aggregate demand for goods and services, thus watering down the objective urge towards rapid economic development;

* The aging of population is to divert more from productive accumulation of material, financial, and labor resources;

* Demographic degradation of the country debilitates its mobilization and defense potential and makes worse its geopolitical situation, especially related to those countries that build up rapidly their demographic potential and exporting it;

* Uncontrolled migration is detrimental towards the title nation by changing population ethnic and national structure, destabilizes the society through epidemiological, criminal and moral and psychological factors.

The definite position of Ukraine on the demographic map of the world demands that this country urgently implement task-oriented measures that would neutralize negative aspects of the demographic development. Will there be enough Ukrainian governments that they change so quickly, as well as their will and skill, so that to introduce and be steadfast with the required strategic line without disturbing the trend for improvement of the current social and economic situation. The outlook for this country seems gloomy in the case of a negative answer.

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Understanding of the laws of demographic development, their specifics and mechanics of action in Ukraine should be the core of demographic policy. It is important to make provisions within its frames for correspondent economic, medical, and social programs that would contribute to soothing the expected situation worsening in the remote future period and creating tendencies for its betterment.

The well-directed demographic policy is the only possible way that makes efforts to build the Ukrainian nation sensible. As a remindful, the Cabinet formed the Interdepartmental Commission on Issues of Family Relations and adopted the Plan of Actions concerning status of women (both in May 2001). The President of Ukraine had signed the Decree "On Measures to Stimulate Birthrate in Ukraine". The Government also takes practical steps in the sphere of external labor migration. Pursued in civilized form and in accord with the law, this policy contributes to Ukraine's integration into the world economy and international market of labor. It is clear that the one should be adjusted, primarily on the bilateral level due to the signing of intergovernmental agreements on labor activity and social security of citizens that stay abroad. The domestic legislation in the sphere of the external labor migration is being brought to conformity with international norms, especially set by conventions and recommendations of international organizations. As of today, correspondent treaties are signed with Czech Republic, Vietnam, Portugal, Russian Federation, and countries of the Baltic region.

Within the frames of international cooperation, Ukraine is expected to stir up its stand on the issues of technical assistance to devise demographic constituent of the national and regional programs of social and economic development. This especially concerns family planning issues (that is, setting up regional family planning centers, training of instructors and medical stuff), carrying out complex mother-and-child healthcare measures, as well as learning modern techniques to collect and analyze social and demographic information.


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