Lemkos (Lemko: Лeмкы, Lemkŷ; Ukrainian: Лемки, Lemky; Polish: Łemkowie; sing. Лeмкo, Lemko) are an ethnic group inhabiting Lemkivshchyna, a part of Transcarpathia (spanning Ukraine, Slovakia and Poland).
Their affiliation with other ethnicities is controversial, although individual Lemkos generally self-identify as a sub-group of Rusyns and/or Ukrainians. Other ethnic groups identifying as Ruthenians and/or Ukrainian include the Boykos and Hutsuls. Members of these groups have increasingly rejected official ethnic designations such as Verkhovyntsi (Highlanders), and/or as a sub-group of Ukrainets (ethnic Ukrainian), in favor of the Rusyn identity; a trend that can be observed in official census statistics in Slovakia.[failed verification]
The spoken language of the Lemkos, which has a code of rue under ISO 639-3, has been variously described as a language in its own right, a dialect of Rusyn or a dialect of Ukrainian. In Ukraine, almost all Lemkos speak both Lemko and standard Ukrainian (according to the 2001 Ukrainian Census). Ukraine (unlike neighboring countries) denies Lemkos separate ethnic and linguistic status. In the Polish Census of 2011, 11,000 people declared Lemko nationality, of whom 6,000 declared only Lemko nationality, 4,000 declared double national identity – Lemko-Polish, and 1,000 declared Lemko identity together with a non-Polish identity.