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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. Although Belarus agreed to a framework to carry out the accord, serious implementation has yet to take place. Since his election in July 1994 as the country's first president, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means. Government restrictions on freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion remain in place.


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People And Society

Nationality
Noun Belarusian(s)
Adjective Belarusian

Ethnic groups
Belarusian 83.7%, Russian 8.3%, Polish 3.1%, Ukrainian 1.7%, other 3.2% (2009 census)

Languages
Belarusian (official) 23.4%, Russian (official) 70.2%, other 6.4% (includes small Polish- and Ukrainian-speaking minorities) (1999 census)

Religions
Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 20% (1997 est.)

Population World Ranking: 89
9,643,566 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
14.2% (male 699,048/female 660,130)
15-64 years
71.7% (male 3,328,548/female 3,542,359)
65 years and over
14.1% (male 427,086/female 920,381) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 39.3 years
Male 36.3 years
Female 42.3 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 215
-0.362% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 196
9.73 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 15
13.73 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 66
0.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urbanization
Urban population 75% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
0.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
MINSK (capital) 1.837 million (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.06 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.46 male(s)/female
Total population
0.87 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 57
190 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 172
Total 6.16 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 7.14 deaths/1,000 live births
Female
5.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 137
Total population 71.48 years
Male 65.88 years
Female 77.42 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 194
1.45 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 112
5.8% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
4.869 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital bed density
11.23 beds/1,000 population (2007)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 89
0.3% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 82
17,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 69
Fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 117
1.3% (2005)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 84
4.5% of GDP (2009)

Literacy
Definition
Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 99.6%
Male 99.8%
Female 99.5% (2009 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 15 years
Male 14 years
Female 15 years (2007)


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  Belarus (Minsk):


  GPS points from Belarus (Minsk)


Yerkhi Mahilyowskaya Voblasts'

Staraya Dubinka Horad Minsk

Pshekhody Vitsyebskaya Voblasts'

Jezioro Wygonowskie Brestskaya Voblasts'

Korchemka Homyel'skaya Voblasts'

Narejsze Hrodzyenskaya Voblasts'

Wojniuny Vitsyebskaya Voblasts'




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