Most eastern Europeans are ethnically Slavic – descended from Indo-European peoples who migrated from Asia and settled in the region. They are divided into 3 groups- east Slavs, including Ukrainians, Russians, and Belarusians; west Slavs including Poles, Czechs, and Slovaks; and south Slavs, including Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, and Macedonians.
The central portion of Eastern Europe includes countries that once formed the country of Yugoslavia. Ethnic and cultural groups living here include southern Slavic peoples.
The easternmost portion of Eastern Europe is home to people of Russian and Ukrainian origin. As the largest ethnic group in Europe, Russians can trace their roots to ancient Slavic groups near the Black Sea. Peoples of Ukraine came from Slavic groups as well. One minority group that can be found in many eastern European countries, including Bulgaria, is the Rome people, once referred to as Gypsies.
Ukraine and Poland both have fertile soil and ample water resources that support large populations. Ukraine has 46 million residents and a population density of 206 per sq. mile. Industrialization throughout the 1900s led to urbanization in Eastern Europe. Budapest is the capital of Hungary and is the thriving center of business and culture.