Country Summary



After seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR, Belarus attained its independence in 1991. Government restrictions on political and civil freedoms, freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion have remained in place.



total: 207,600 sq km
land: 202,900 sq km
water: 4,700 sq km


cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between continental and maritime

Natural resources

timber, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas, granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, clay

People and Society


9,383,853 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Belarusian 83.7%, Russian 8.3%, Polish 3.1%, Ukrainian 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 0.9% (2009 est.)


Russian (official) 71.4%, Belarusian (official) 26%, other 0.3% (includes small Polish- and Ukrainian-speaking minorities), unspecified 2.3% (2009 est.)


Orthodox 48.3%, Catholic 7.1%, other 3.5%, non-believers 41.1% (2011 est.)

Population growth rate

-0.32% (2023 est.)


Government type

presidential republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship


name: Minsk

Executive branch

chief of state: President Alyaksandr LUKASHENKA (since 20 July 1994)
head of government: Prime Minister Roman GOLOVCHENKO (since 4 June 2020); First Deputy Prime Minister Mikalay SNAPKOW (since 4 June 2020); Deputy Prime Ministers Ihar PETRYSHENKA (since 18 August 2018), Anatol SIVAK (since 1 September 2020), Leanid ZAYATS (since 21 March 2022), Petr PARKHOMCHYK (since 16 August 2022)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Assembly or Natsyyalny Skhod consists of:
Council of the Republic or Savet Respubliki (64 seats statutory, current 60; 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 Pradstawnikow (110 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed; members serve 4-year terms)


Economic overview

declining Russian energy subsidies will end in 2024; growing public debt; strong currency pressures have led to higher inflation; recent price controls on basic food and drugs; public sector wage increases and fragile private sector threaten household income gains and economic growth

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$184.482 billion (2021 est.)
$180.335 billion (2020 est.)
$181.605 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$19,800 (2021 est.)
$19,200 (2020 est.)
$19,300 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, potatoes, sugar beets, wheat, triticale, barley, maize, rye, rapeseed, poultry


metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, synthetic fibers, fertilizer, textiles, refrigerators, washing machines and other household appliances


1.67% of GDP (2021 est.)
1.65% of GDP (2020 est.)
2.2% of GDP (2019 est.)


$49.425 billion (2021 est.)
$37.183 billion (2020 est.)
$41.975 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

Russia 42%, Ukraine 13%, United Kingdom 7% (2019)

Exports - commodities

fertilizers, refined petroleum, cheese, delivery trucks, lumber (2021)


$45.459 billion (2021 est.)
$35.236 billion (2020 est.)
$42.378 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

Russia 57%, China 7%, Poland 5%, Germany 5%, Ukraine 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

crude petroleum, natural gas, cars and vehicle parts, packaged medicines, broadcasting equipment (2019)

Exchange rates

Belarusian rubles (BYB/BYR) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
2.539 (2021 est.)
2.44 (2020 est.)
2.092 (2019 est.)
2.038 (2018 est.)
1.932 (2017 est.)

Page last updated: Tuesday, November 28, 2023