Belarus

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

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.

Geography

Area

total: 207,600 sq km

land: 202,900 sq km

water: 4,700 sq km

Climate

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

Population

9,413,505 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

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

Languages

Russian (official) 70.2%, Belarusian (official) 23.4%, other 3.1% (includes small Polish- and Ukrainian-speaking minorities), unspecified 3.3% (2009 est.)

Religions

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

Population growth rate

-0.31% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship

Capital

name: Minsk

Executive branch

chief of state: President Alyaksandr LUKASHENKA (since 20 July 1994)

head of government: Prime Minister Raman HALOWCHENKA (since 4 June 2020); First Deputy Prime Minister Mikalay SNAPKOW (since 4 June 2020); Deputy Prime Ministers Uladzimir KUKHARAW, Ihar PETRYSHENKA (since 18 August 2018), Yuryy NAZARAW (since 3 March 2020), Alyaksandr SUBOTSIN (since 4 June 2020)

Legislative branch

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

Economy

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)

$179.97 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$19,100 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

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

Industries

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

Exports

$37.04 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

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

Exports - commodities

refined petroleum, fertilizers, cheese, delivery trucks, crude petroleum (2019)

Imports

$35.16 billion (2020 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 -


Page last updated: Wednesday, November 16, 2022