Present-day portrait of woman seems rather demonstrative
National Statistical Committee paints portrait of modern woman of Belarus: aged 42, married, whose native language is Belarusian yet who tends to converse in Russian, prefers urban living and has higher or specialised secondary education, while becoming a mother at 25
By Yelena Prusova
On January 1st, 2013, the number of women in the country stood at 5.1 million (54 percent of the total). In fact, 76 percent live in urban settlements, while 24 percent reside in rural areas. Women outnumber men overall: 1,152 to 1,000. This ratio rises in cities and towns (1,166 women), and is less in rural areas (1,109).
Among the urban population, men outnumber women up to the age of 29 and, in rural areas, outnumber women until the age of 57. Clearly, young women from rural areas tend to leave to continue their education and to find employment. Additionally, men experience higher mortality, rarely reaching retirement age.
The greatest gender disparity is observed among the elderly: 1,475 women aged 60-69 years per thousand men in cities and towns, falling to 1,359 in rural areas. Over the age of 70, women outnumber men 2.3 fold in cities and towns, and 2.5 times in villages.
According to the UNDP, the ‘natural’ difference in expected life span between men and women is about five years. This figure is 10-12 years in Belarus and has been so for about two decades.
At the beginning of 2012, the average age of women in Belarus was 42: 47 in rural areas and 41 in urban environments.