Belarus Travel Information

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Facts About Belarus

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.
Government type: republic
Capital: Minsk
Currency: Belarusian rubel (BR)

Geography of Belarus

Location: Eastern Europe, east of Poland
Geographic coordinates: 53 00 N, 28 00 E
Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States
Area:
total: 207,600 sq km
land: 207,600 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 3,098 km
border countries: Latvia 141 km, Lithuania 502 km, Poland 605 km, Russia 959 km, Ukraine 891 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Climate: cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between continental and maritime
Terrain: generally flat and contains much marshland
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Nyoman River 90 m
highest point: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m
Natural resources: forests, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas
Land use:
arable land: 29%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 15%
forests and woodland: 34%
other: 21% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,000 sq km (1993 est.)
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
Geography - note: landlocked; glacial scouring accounts for the flatness of Belarusian terrain and for its 11,000 lakes; the country is geologically well endowed with extensive deposits of granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, and clay

More Geography

People of Belarus

Population: 10,300,483 (July 2005 est.)
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) 
Population growth rate: -0.15% 
Birth rate: 9.57 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 13.97 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 2.89 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 14.38 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  68.14 years
male:  62.06 years
female:  74.52 years 
Total fertility rate: 1.28 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Belarusian(s)
adjective: Belarusian
Ethnic groups: Byelorussian 81.2%, Russian 11.4%, Polish, Ukrainian, and other 7.4%
Religions: Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 20% (1997 est.)
Languages: Byelorussian, Russian, other
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 99%
female: 97% (1989 est.)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Belarus Map Economy History