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Europe :: Belarus Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Belarus
  • Background field listing
    After seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR, Belarus attained its independence in 1991. It has retained closer political and economic ties to Russia than have any of the other former Soviet republics. Belarus and Russia signed a treaty on a two-state union on 8 December 1999 envisioning greater political and economic integration. Although Belarus agreed to a framework to carry out the accord, serious implementation has yet to take place and current negotiations on further integration have been contentious. Since his election in July 1994 as the country's first and only directly elected president, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means and a centralized economic system. Government restrictions on political and civil freedoms, freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion have remained in place.
  • Geography :: Belarus
  • Location field listing
    Eastern Europe, east of Poland
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    53 00 N, 28 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 207,600 sq km
    land: 202,900 sq km
    water: 4,700 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly less than twice the size of Kentucky; slightly smaller than Kansas
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 3,642 km
    border countries (5): Latvia 161 km, Lithuania 640 km, Poland 418 km, Russia 1312 km, Ukraine 1111 km
    Coastline field listing
    0 km (landlocked)
    Maritime claims field listing
    none (landlocked)
    Climate field listing
    cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between continental and maritime
    Terrain field listing
    generally flat with much marshland
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 160 m
    lowest point: Nyoman River 90 m
    highest point: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m
    Natural resources field listing
    timber, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas, granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, clay
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 43.7% (2016 est.)
    arable land: 27.2% (2016 est.) / permanent crops: 0.6% (2016 est.) / permanent pasture: 15.9% (2016 est.)
    forest: 42.7% (2016 est.)
    other: 13.6% (2016 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    1,140 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations
    Natural hazards field listing
    large tracts of marshy land
    Environment - current issues field listing
    soil pollution from pesticide use; southern part of the country contaminated with fallout from 1986 nuclear reactor accident at Chornobyl' in northern Ukraine
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note field listing
    landlocked; glacial scouring accounts for the flatness of Belarusian terrain and for its 11,000 lakes
  • People and Society :: Belarus
  • Population field listing
    9,477,918 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Belarusian(s)
    adjective: Belarusian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Belarusian 83.7%, Russian 8.3%, Polish 3.1%, Ukrainian 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 0.9% (2009 est.)
    Languages field listing
    Russian (official) 70.2%, Belarusian (official) 23.4%, other 3.1% (includes small Polish- and Ukrainian-speaking minorities), unspecified 3.3% (2009 est.)
    Religions field listing
    Orthodox 48.3%, Catholic 7.1%, other 3.5%, non-believers 41.1% (2011 est.)
    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 16.09% (male 784,231/female 740,373)
    15-24 years: 9.59% (male 467,393/female 441,795)
    25-54 years: 43.94% (male 2,058,648/female 2,105,910)
    55-64 years: 14.45% (male 605,330/female 763,972)
    65 years and over: 15.93% (male 493,055/female 1,017,211) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 48.9
    youth dependency ratio: 25.7
    elderly dependency ratio: 23.2
    potential support ratio: 4.3 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 40.9 years
    male: 38 years
    female: 43.9 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Population growth rate field listing
    -0.27% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 215
    Birth rate field listing
    9.5 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    Death rate field listing
    13.1 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Net migration rate field listing
    0.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    Population distribution field listing
    a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 79.5% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 0.44% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    2.028 million MINSK (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.79 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.48 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.87 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    26.5 years (2017 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    2 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 3.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 73.8 years
    male: 68.3 years
    female: 79.5 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.5 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    72.1% (2017)
    note:  percent of women aged 18-49
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 100% of population
    rural: 98.3% of population
    total: 99.8% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 1.7% of population
    total: 0.2% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    5.9% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    5.19 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    10.8 beds/1,000 population (2014)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 99.8% of population
    rural: 97.9% of population
    total: 99.4% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0.2% of population
    rural: 2.1% of population
    total: 0.6% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    0.4% (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    28,000 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    <200 (2019 est.)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    24.5% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    Education expenditures field listing
    4.8% of GDP (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 99.8%
    male: 99.8%
    female: 99.7% (2018)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 15 years
    male: 15 years
    female: 16 years (2018)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 10.6%
    male: 12.7%
    female: 8.4% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
  • Government :: Belarus
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Republic of Belarus
    conventional short form: Belarus
    local long form: Respublika Byelarus'/Respublika Belarus'
    local short form: Byelarus'/Belarus'
    former: Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic
    etymology: the name is a compound of the Belarusian words "bel" (white) and "Rus" (the Old East Slavic ethnic designation) to form the meaning White Rusian or White Ruthenian
    Government type field listing
    presidential republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship
    Capital field listing
    name: Minsk
    geographic coordinates: 53 54 N, 27 34 E
    time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: the origin of the name is disputed; Minsk may originally have been located 16 km to the southwest, on the banks of Menka River; remnants of a 10th-century settlement on the banks of the Menka have been found 
    Administrative divisions field listing
    6 provinces (voblastsi, singular - voblasts') and 1 municipality* (horad); Brest, Homyel' (Gomel'), Horad Minsk* (Minsk City), Hrodna (Grodno), Mahilyow (Mogilev), Minsk, Vitsyebsk (Vitebsk)

    note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers; Russian spelling provided for reference when different from Belarusian

    Independence field listing
    25 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 3 July (1944); note - 3 July 1944 was the date Minsk was liberated from German troops, 25 August 1991 was the date of independence from the Soviet Union
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous; latest drafted between late 1991 and early 1994, signed 15 March 1994
    amendments: proposed by the president of the republic through petition to the National Assembly or by petition of least 150,000 eligible voters; approval required by at least two-thirds majority vote in both chambers or by simple majority of votes cast in a referendum
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Belarus
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994)
    head of government: Prime Minister Roman GOLOVCHENKO (since 4 June 2020); First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai SNOPKOV (since 4 June 2020); Deputy Prime Ministers Vladimir KUKHAREV, Igor PETRISHENKO (since 18 August 2018), Yury NAZAROV (since 3 March 2020), Aleksander Subbotin (since 4 June 2020)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (no term limits); first election took place on 23 June and 10 July 1994; according to the 1994 constitution, the next election should have been held in 1999; however, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO extended his term to 2001 via a November 1996 referendum; subsequent election held on 9 September 2001; an October 2004 referendum ended presidential term limits and allowed the president to run and win in a third (19 March 2006), fourth (19 December 2010), fifth (11 October 2015), and sixth (9 August 2020); next election in 2025; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and approved by the National Assembly
    election results: Aleksandr LUKASHENKO reelected president; percent of vote - Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (independent) 80.2%, Sviatana TSIKHANOUSKAYA (independent) 9.9%, other 9.9%; note - widespread street protests erupted following announcement of the election results amid allegations of voter fraud
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral National Assembly or Natsionalnoye Sobraniye consists of:
    Council of the Republic or Sovet Respubliki (64 seats; 56 members indirectly elected by regional and Minsk city councils and 8 members appointed by the president; members serve 4-year terms)
    House of Representatives or Palata Predstaviteley (110 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed; members serve 4-year terms)
    Council of the Republic - indirect election last held on 7 November 2019
    House of Representatives - last held on 17 November 2019 (next to be held in 2023); OSCE observers determined that the election was neither free nor impartial and that vote counting was problematic in a number of polling stations; pro-LUKASHENKO candidates won every seat; international observers determined that the previous elections, on 28 September 2008, 23 September 2012, and 11 September 2016 also fell short of democratic standards, with pro-LUKASHENKO candidates winning every, or virtually every, seat
    election results:
    Council of the Republic - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - NA
    House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - KPB 11, Republican Party of Labor and Justice 6, Belarusian Patriotic Party 2, LDP 1, AP 1, independent 89; composition - men 66, women 44, percent of women 40%; note - total National Assembly percent of women - NA
    note: the US does not recognize the legitimacy of the National Assembly
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chairman and deputy chairman and organized into several specialized panels, including economic and military; number of judges set by the president of the republic and the court chairman); Constitutional Court (consists of 12 judges, including a chairman and deputy chairman)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president with the consent of the Council of the Republic; judges initially appointed for 5 years and evaluated for life appointment; Constitutional Court judges - 6 appointed by the president and 6 elected by the Council of the Republic; the presiding judge directly elected by the president and approved by the Council of the Republic; judges can serve for 11 years with an age limit of 70
    subordinate courts: oblast courts; Minsk City Court; town courts; Minsk city and oblast economic courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    pro-government parties:
    Belarusian Agrarian Party or AP [Mikhail SHIMANSKY]
    Belarusian Patriotic Party [Nikolai ULAKHOVICH]
    Belarusian Social Sport Party [Vladimir ALEKSANDROVICH]
    Communist Party of Belarus or KPB [Aleksei SOKOL]
    Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Sergey GAYDUKEVICH]
    Republican Party [Vladimir BELOZOR]
    Republican Party of Labor and Justice [Vasiliy ZADNEPRYANIY]
    Social Democratic Party of Popular Accord [Sergei YERMAK]
    opposition parties:
    Belarusian Christian Democracy Party [Paval SEVIARYNETS, Volha KAVALKOVA, Vital RYMASHEWSKI] (unregistered)
    Belarusian Party of the Green [Anastasiya DOROFEYEVA]
    Belarusian Party of the Left "Just World" [Sergey KALYAKIN]
    Belarusian Popular Front or BPF [Ryhor KASTUSEU]
    Belarusian Social-Democratic Assembly [Sergei CHERECHEN]
    Belarusian Social Democratic Party ("Assembly") or BSDPH [Ihar BARYSAU]
    Belarusian Social Democratic Party (People's Assembly) [Mikalay STATKEVICH] (unregistered)
    Christian Conservative Party or BPF [Zyanon PAZNYAK]
    United Civic Party or UCP [Nikolay KOZLOV]
    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant; recalled by Belarus in 2008); Charge d'Affaires Dmitriy BASIK (since July 2019)
    chancery: 1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 986-1606
    FAX: [1] (202) 986-1805
    consulate(s) general: New York
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant; left in 2008 upon insistence of Belarusian Government); Charge d'Affaires Jenifer MOORE (since August 2018)
    telephone: [375] (17) 210-1283
    embassy: 46 Starovilenskaya Street, Minsk 220002
    mailing address: Unit 7010 Box 100, DPO AE 09769
    FAX: [375] (17) 234-7853
    Flag description field listing
    red horizontal band (top) and green horizontal band one-half the width of the red band; a white vertical stripe on the hoist side bears Belarusian national ornamentation in red; the red band color recalls past struggles from oppression, the green band represents hope and the many forests of the country
    National symbol(s) field listing
    no clearly defined current national symbol, the mounted knight known as Pahonia (the Chaser) is the traditional Belarusian symbol; national colors: green, red, white
    National anthem field listing
    name: "My, Bielarusy" (We Belarusians)
    lyrics/music: Mikhas KLIMKOVICH and Uladzimir KARYZNA/Nester SAKALOUSKI

    note: music adopted 1955, lyrics adopted 2002; after the fall of the Soviet Union, Belarus kept the music of its Soviet-era anthem but adopted new lyrics; also known as "Dziarzauny himn Respubliki Bielarus" (State Anthem of the Republic of Belarus)

  • Economy :: Belarus
  • Economy - overview field listing

    As part of the former Soviet Union, Belarus had a relatively well-developed industrial base, but it is now outdated, inefficient, and dependent on subsidized Russian energy and preferential access to Russian markets. The country’s agricultural base is largely dependent on government subsidies. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, an initial burst of economic reforms included privatization of state enterprises, creation of private property rights, and the acceptance of private entrepreneurship, but by 1994 the reform effort dissipated. About 80% of industry remains in state hands, and foreign investment has virtually disappeared. Several businesses have been renationalized. State-owned entities account for 70-75% of GDP, and state banks make up 75% of the banking sector.

    Economic output declined for several years following the break-up of the Soviet Union, but revived in the mid-2000s. Belarus has only small reserves of crude oil and imports crude oil and natural gas from Russia at subsidized, below market, prices. Belarus derives export revenue by refining Russian crude and selling it at market prices. Russia and Belarus have had serious disagreements over prices and quantities for Russian energy. Beginning in early 2016, Russia claimed Belarus began accumulating debt – reaching $740 million by April 2017 – for paying below the agreed price for Russian natural gas and Russia cut back its export of crude oil as a result of the debt. In April 2017, Belarus agreed to pay its gas debt and Russia restored the flow of crude.

    New non-Russian foreign investment has been limited in recent years, largely because of an unfavorable financial climate. In 2011, a financial crisis lead to a nearly three-fold devaluation of the Belarusian ruble. The Belarusian economy has continued to struggle under the weight of high external debt servicing payments and a trade deficit. In mid-December 2014, the devaluation of the Russian ruble triggered a near 40% devaluation of the Belarusian ruble.

    Belarus’s economy stagnated between 2012 and 2016, widening productivity and income gaps between Belarus and neighboring countries. Budget revenues dropped because of falling global prices on key Belarusian export commodities. Since 2015, the Belarusian government has tightened its macro-economic policies, allowed more flexibility to its exchange rate, taken some steps towards price liberalization, and reduced subsidized government lending to state-owned enterprises. Belarus returned to modest growth in 2017, largely driven by improvement of external conditions and Belarus issued sovereign debt for the first time since 2011, which provided the country with badly-needed liquidity, and issued $600 million worth of Eurobonds in February 2018, predominantly to US and British investors.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $179.4 billion (2017 est.)
    $175.1 billion (2016 est.)
    $179.7 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 70
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $54.44 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    1.22% (2019 est.)
    3.17% (2018 est.)
    2.53% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $18,900 (2017 est.)
    $18,400 (2016 est.)
    $19,000 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 94
    Gross national saving field listing
    24.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
    23% of GDP (2016 est.)
    25.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 54.8% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 14.6% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 24.9% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 5.7% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 67% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -67% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 8.1% (2017 est.)
    industry: 40.8% (2017 est.)
    services: 51.1% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, flax; beef, milk
    Industries field listing
    metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, synthetic fibers, fertilizer, textiles, refrigerators, washing machines and other household appliances
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    5.6% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Labor force field listing
    4.381 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 9.7%
    industry: 23.4%
    services: 66.8% (2015 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    0.8% (2017 est.)
    1% (2016 est.)

    note: official registered unemployed; large number of underemployed workers

    country comparison to the world: 6
    Population below poverty line field listing
    5.7% (2016 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 3.8%
    highest 10%: 21.9% (2008)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 22.15 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 20.57 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    40.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    2.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Public debt field listing
    53.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
    53.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    6% (2017 est.)
    11.8% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    Current account balance field listing
    -$931 million (2017 est.)
    -$1.669 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Exports field listing
    $28.65 billion (2017 est.)
    $22.98 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Exports - partners field listing
    Russia 43.9%, Ukraine 11.5%, UK 8.2% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    machinery and equipment, mineral products, chemicals, metals, textiles, foodstuffs
    Imports field listing
    $31.58 billion (2017 est.)
    $25.61 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    Imports - commodities field listing
    mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs, metals
    Imports - partners field listing
    Russia 57.2%, China 8%, Germany 5.1% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $7.315 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $4.927 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    Debt - external field listing
    $39.92 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $37.74 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Exchange rates field listing
    Belarusian rubles (BYB/BYR) per US dollar -
    1.9 (2017 est.)
    2 (2016 est.)
    2 (2015 est.)
    15,926 (2014 est.)
    10,224.1 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Belarus
  • Electricity access field listing
    electrification - total population: 100% (2020)
    Electricity - production field listing
    31.58 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    31.72 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    Electricity - exports field listing
    3.482 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Electricity - imports field listing
    6.319 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    10.04 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    96% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    3% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Crude oil - production field listing
    31,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    31,730 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    468,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    198 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    477,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    141,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    351,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    14,630 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    Natural gas - production field listing
    59.46 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    17.7 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    17.53 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    2.832 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    56.07 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
  • Communications :: Belarus
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 4,513,255
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 47.49 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 11,682,764
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 122.93 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: govt. and telecom regulator have plans to develop the telecom sector for the migration to 5G; Chinese company Huawei have started 5G trials to deliver data at 2Gb/s; fiber network reaches two million establishments; 10,000km of fiber cabling laid; August 2018 almost two million GPON connections (Gigabit Passive Optical Network, point-to-multi point access mechanism); Belarus launched its first telecoms satellite in 2016; LTE use reaches 75% of mobile subscribers (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line teledensity is improving although rural areas continue to be underserved, 48 per 100 fixed-line; mobile-cellular teledensity now approaches 123 telephones per 100 persons (2019)
    international: country code - 375; Belarus is landlocked and therefore a member of the Trans-European Line (TEL), Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line, and has access to the Trans-Siberia Line (TSL); 3 fiber-optic segments provide connectivity to Latvia, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine; worldwide service is available to Belarus through this infrastructure; additional analog lines to Russia; Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik earth stations; almost 31,000 base stations in service in 2019 (2020)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    7 state-controlled national TV channels; Polish and Russian TV broadcasts are available in some areas; state-run Belarusian Radio operates 5 national networks and an external service; Russian and Polish radio broadcasts are available (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 7,539,145
    percent of population: 79.13% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 3,201,519
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 34 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
  • Transportation :: Belarus
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 30
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,760,168 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1.9 million mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    EW (2016)
    Airports field listing
    65 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 33 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 20 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
    under 914 m: 7 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 32 (2013)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
    under 914 m: 28 (2013)
    Heliports field listing
    1 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    5386 km gas, 1589 km oil, 1730 km refined products (2013)
    Railways field listing
    total: 5,528 km (2014)
    standard gauge: 25 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
    broad gauge: 5,503 km 1.520-m gauge (874 km electrified) (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Roadways field listing
    total: 86,600 km (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Waterways field listing
    2,500 km (major rivers are the west-flowing Western Dvina and Neman Rivers and the south-flowing Dnepr River and its tributaries, the Berezina, Sozh, and Pripyat Rivers) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 4
    by type: other 4 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    Ports and terminals field listing
    river port(s): Mazyr (Prypyats')
  • Military and Security :: Belarus
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Belarus Armed Forces: Army, Air and Air Defense Force, Special Operations Force; Ministry of Interior: State Border Troops, Militia, Internal Troops (2019)
    Military expenditures field listing
    1.2% of GDP (2019)
    1.2% of GDP (2018)
    1.2% of GDP (2017)
    1.3% of GDP (2016)
    1.3% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the Belarus Armed Forces have approximately 45,000 active troops (29,000 Army, including Special Operations Force; 16,000 Air and Air Defense) (2020 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the inventory of the Belarus Armed Forces is comprised of Russian-origin equipment; Belarus's defense industry manufactures some equipment, including vehicles, guided weapons, and electronic warfare systems (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    contributes about 2,000 personnel to CSTO's Rapid Reaction Force (2019 est.)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18-27 years of age for compulsory military or alternative service; conscript service obligation is 12-18 months, depending on academic qualifications, and 24-36 months for alternative service, depending on academic qualifications; 17 year olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2017)
  • Transnational Issues :: Belarus
  • Disputes - international field listing

    boundary demarcated with Latvia and Lithuania; as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Poland has implemented strict Schengen border rules to restrict illegal immigration and trade along its border with Belarus

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    stateless persons: 6,466 (2019)
    Trafficking in persons field listing
    current situation: Belarus is a source, transit, and destination country for women, men, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; more victims are exploited within Belarus than abroad; Belarusians exploited abroad are primarily trafficked to Germany, Poland, Russian, and Turkey but also other European countries, the Middle East, Japan, Kazakhstan, and Mexico; Moldovans, Russians, Ukrainians, and Vietnamese are exploited in Belarus; state-sponsored forced labor is a continuing problem; students are forced to do farm labor without pay and military conscripts are forced to perform unpaid non-military work; the government has retained a decree forbidding workers in state-owned wood processing factories from leaving their jobs without their employers’ permission
    tier rating: Tier 3 – Belarus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and was placed on Tier 3 after being on the Tier 2 Watch List for two consecutive years without making progress; government efforts to repeal state-sponsored forced labor policies and domestic trafficking were inadequate; no trafficking offenders were convicted in 2014, and the number of investigations progressively declined from 2005-14; efforts to protect trafficking victims remain insufficient, with no identification and referral mechanism in place; care facilities were not trafficking-specific and were poorly equipped, leading most victims to seek assistance from private shelters (2015)
    Illicit drugs field listing
    limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for the domestic market; transshipment point for illicit drugs to and via Russia, and to the Baltics and Western Europe; a small and lightly regulated financial center; anti-money-laundering legislation does not meet international standards and was weakened further when know-your-customer requirements were curtailed in 2008; few investigations or prosecutions of money-laundering activities