Portrait in demographic interior
Belarus is among top five CIS states in number of population
By Yelena Ponomareva
The Deputy Chair of the National Statistical Committee of Belarus, Yelena Kukharevich, has told a press conference that Belarus is ranked between Sweden and Somalia in terms of population. Among CIS states, Belarus retains fifth place: behind Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
As of January 1st, 2012, Belarus’ population stood at 9,465,000 (9,461,000 as of March 1st). The average population density in Belarus is 46 people per square kilometre with cities obviously far more densely populated: the Vitebsk Region boasts just 30 people per square kilometre (the least populated) while Minsk has over 6,000.
In 2011, the Belarusian population fell by 16,000 people. “This is equivalent to a town such as Oshmyany or Stolbtsy disappearing from the map,” notes Ms. Kukharevich.
The trend of decline continues, since the number of those dying exceeds the number of newborns. The natural decline totalled 26,000 last year, with the recent trend for migration gain only partially compensating. In 2011, migration surplus reduced the natural decline by 38 percent. Most areas are seeing a similar situation, with a rise in population only registered in five districts: Minsk, Mozyr, Brest, Dzerzhinsk and Ostrovets.