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Belarus (2001)

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Belarus 2001 year

Administrative divisions 6 voblastsi (singular - voblasts') and one municipality* (harady, singular - horad); Brestskaya (Brest), Homyel'skaya (Homyel'), Horad Minsk*, Hrodzyenskaya (Hrodna), Mahilyowskaya (Mahilyow), Minskaya, Vitsyebskaya (Vitsyebsk); note - when using a place name with the adjectival ending 'skaya' the word voblasts' should be added to the place name

voblasti have the administrative center name following in parentheses
Age structure 0-14 years:
17.93% (male 947,820; female 908,210)

15-64 years:
68.21% (male 3,428,920; female 3,631,290)

65 years and over:
13.86% (male 473,992; female 959,962) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, flax; beef, milk
Airports 136 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

over 3,047 m:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

under 914 m:
11 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

over 3,047 m:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
65 (2000 est.)
Area total:
207,600 sq km

207,600 sq km

0 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Kansas
Background 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 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 but, to date, neither side has actively sought to implement the accord.
Birth rate 9.57 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$4 billion

$4.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $180 million (1997 est.)
Capital Minsk
Climate cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between continental and maritime
Coastline 0 km (landlocked)
Constitution 30 March 1994; revised by national referendum of 24 November 1996 giving the presidency greatly expanded powers and became effective 27 November 1996
Country name conventional long form:
Republic of Belarus

conventional short form:

local long form:
Respublika Byelarus'

local short form:

Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic
Currency Belarusian ruble (BYB/BYR)
Death rate 13.97 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $1 billion (2000 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Michael KOZAK

46 Starovilenskaya St., Minsk 220002

mailing address:
use embassy street address

[375] (17) 210-12-83

[375] (17) 234-7853
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Valeriy TSEPAKLO

1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

[1] (202) 986-1604

[1] (202) 986-1805

consulate(s) general:
New York
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $194.3 million (1995)
Economy - overview Belarus has seen little structural reform since 1995, when President LUKASHENKO launched the country on the path of "market socialism." In keeping with this policy, LUKASHENKO reimposed administrative controls over prices and currency exchange rates and expanded the state's right to intervene in the management of private enterprise. In addition to the burdens imposed by extremely high inflation, businesses have been subject to pressure on the part of central and local governments, e.g., arbitrary changes in regulations, numerous rigorous inspections, and retroactive application of new business regulations prohibiting practices that had been legal. Further economic problems are two consecutive bad harvests, 1998-99, and persistent trade deficits. Close relations with Russia, possibly leading to reunion, color the pattern of economic developments. For the time being, Belarus remains self-isolated from the West and its open-market economies.
Electricity - consumption 27.647 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 2.62 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 7.1 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 24.911 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Nyoman River 90 m

highest point:
Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m
Environment - current issues 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 party to:
Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified:
Law of the Sea
Ethnic groups Byelorussian 81.2%, Russian 11.4%, Polish, Ukrainian, and other 7.4%
Exchange rates Belarusian rubles per US dollar - 1,180 (yearend 2000), 730,000 (15 December 1999), 139,000 (25 January 1999), 46,080 (second quarter 1998), 25,964 (1997), 15,500 (yearend 1996); note - on 1 January 2000, the national currency was redenominated at one new ruble to 2,000 old rubles
Executive branch chief of state:
President Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994)

head of government:
Prime Minister Vladimir YERMOSHIN (since 18 February 2000); First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey KOBYAKOV (since 13 March 2000); Deputy Prime Ministers Mikhail DEMCHUK (since 14 July 2000), Mikhail KHORSTOV (since 27 November 2000), Valeriy KOKOREV (since 23 August 1994), Leonid KOZIK (since 4 February 1997), Gennadiy NOVITSKIY (since 11 February 1997), Aleksandr POPKOV (since 10 November 1998)

Council of Ministers

president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; first election took place 23 June and 10 July 1994 (next to be held NA; according to the 1994 constitution, the next election should have been held in 1999, however LUKASHENKO extended his term to 2001 via the November 1996 referendum); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president

election results:
Aleksandr LUKASHENKO elected president; percent of vote - Aleksandr LUKASHENKO 85%, Vyacheslav KEBICH 15%
Exports 2.62 billion kWh (1999)
Exports $7.4 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals, textiles, foodstuffs
Exports - partners Russia 66%, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Lithuania (1998)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description 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 the Belarusian national ornament in red
GDP purchasing power parity - $78.8 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


41% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $7,500 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 4% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 53 00 N, 28 00 E
Geography - note landlocked
Highways total:
63,355 km

60,567 km (these roads are said to be hard-surfaced, and include, in addition to conventionally paved roads, some that are surfaced with gravel or other coarse aggregate, making them trafficable in all weather)

2,788 km (these roads are made of unstabilized earth and are difficult to negotiate in wet weather) (1998)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
19.4% (1993)
Illicit drugs 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
Imports 7.1 billion kWh (1999)
Imports $8.3 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities mineral products, machinery and equipment, metals, chemicals, foodstuffs
Imports - partners Russia 54%, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, Lithuania (1998)
Independence 25 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Industrial production growth rate 5% (2000 est.)
Industries metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earth movers, motorcycles, television sets, chemical fibers, fertilizer, textiles, radios, refrigerators
Infant mortality rate 14.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 200% (2000 est.)
International organization participation CCC, CEI, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Inmarsat, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM, NSG, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 4 (2000)
Irrigated land 1,000 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president); Constitutional Court (half of the judges appointed by the president and half appointed by the Chamber of Representatives)
Labor force 4.8 million (2000)
Labor force - by occupation industry and construction NA%, agriculture and forestry NA%, services NA%
Land boundaries total:
3,098 km

border countries:
Latvia 141 km, Lithuania 502 km, Poland 605 km, Russia 959 km, Ukraine 891 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

21% (1993 est.)
Languages Byelorussian, Russian, other
Legal system based on civil law system
Legislative branch bicameral Parliament or Natsionalnoye Sobranie consists of the Council of the Republic or Soviet Respubliki (64 seats) and the Chamber of Representatives or Palata Pretsaviteley (110 seats)

last held October 2000 (next to be held NA)

election results:
party affiliation data unavailable; under present political conditions party designations are meaningless
Life expectancy at birth total population:
68.14 years

62.06 years

74.52 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


97% (1989 est.)
Location Eastern Europe, east of Poland
Map references Commonwealth of Independent States
Maritime claims none (landlocked)
Military branches Army, Air Force, Air Defense Force, Interior Ministry Troops, Border Guards
Military expenditures - dollar figure $156 million (FY98)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.2% (FY98)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
2,729,956 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
2,138,743 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:
86,396 (2001 est.)
National holiday 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
Nationality noun:

Natural hazards NA
Natural resources forests, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas
Net migration rate 2.89 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Pipelines crude oil 1,470 km; refined products 1,100 km; natural gas 1,980 km (1992)
Political parties and leaders Agrarian Party or AP [Semyon SHARETSKY, chairman]; Belarusian Communist Party or KPB [Viktor CHIKIN, chairman]; Belarusian Ecological Green Party (merger of Belarusian Ecological Party and Green Party of Belarus) [leader NA]; Belarusian Patriotic Movement (Belarusian Patriotic Party) or BPR [Anatoliy BARANKEVICH, chairman]; Belarusian Popular Front or BNF [Vintsuk VYACHORKA]; Belarusian Social-Democrat or SDBP [Nikolay STATKEVICH, chairman]; Belarusian Social-Democratic Party Hromada [Stanislav SHUSHKEVICH, chairman]; Belarusian Socialist Party [Vyacheslav KUZNETSOV]; Civic Accord Bloc (United Civic Party) or CAB [Stanislav BOGDANKEVICH, chairman]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDPB [Sergei GAYDUKEVICH, chairman]; Party of Communists Belarusian or PKB [Sergei KALYAKIN, chairman]; Republican Party of Labor and Justice or RPPS [Anatoliy NETYLKIN, chairman]; Social-Democrat Party of Popular Accord or PPA [Leanid SECHKA]; Women's Party Nadezhda [Valentina POLEVIKOVA, chairperson]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 10,350,194 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line 22% (1995 est.)
Population growth rate -0.15% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Mazyr
Radio broadcast stations AM 28, FM 37, shortwave 11 (1998)
Radios 3.02 million (1997)
Railways total:
5,523 km

broad gauge:
5,523 km 1.520-m gauge (875 km electrified) (2000)
Religions Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 20% (1997 est.)
Sex ratio at birth:
1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over:
0.49 male(s)/female

total population:
0.88 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:
the Ministry of Telecommunications controls all telecommunications through its carrier (a joint stock company) Beltelcom which is a monopoly

local - Minsk has a digital metropolitan network and a cellular NMT-450 network; waiting lists for telephones are long; local service outside Minsk is neglected and poor; intercity - Belarus has a partly developed fiber-optic backbone system presently serving at least 13 major cities (1998); Belarus's fiber optics form synchronous digital hierarchy rings through other countries' systems; an inadequate analog system remains operational

Belarus is a member of the Trans-European Line (TEL), Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line, and has access to the Trans-Siberia Line (TSL); three 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
Telephones - main lines in use 2.313 million (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 8,167 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 47 (plus 27 repeaters) (1995)
Terrain generally flat and contains much marshland
Total fertility rate 1.28 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 2.1% officially registered unemployed (December 2000); large number of underemployed workers
Waterways NA km; note - Belarus has extensive and widely used canal and river systems
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