Belarusian scientists from the Institute of Genetics and Cytology of the Academy of Sciences conducted a global study and have created a genetic portrait of the Belarusians. After studying about a thousand DNA samples of indigenous Belarusians of six geographic regions (Northern Dvina, the West-Eastern Polesie, central, eastern and north-western Belarus), they concluded that the formation of ethnic Belarusians began about 8.000 years ago.
The population of the Republic of Belarus, as of July 1, 2012, amounted to 9.457,5 thousand.
Belarus occupies the 5th place among CIS countries in population after Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. And the 14th place in Europe, ahead of the population of Austria, Bulgaria and Sweden.
The Belarusian diaspora abroad amounts to more than 3 million people.
7,078.809 people have voting rights in the country as of September 2012.
Belarus — home for 140 nations
The Belarusian government does everything possible to create comfortable conditions for the development of all ethnic groups of the Republic of Belarus as a single nation. Much time and effort is dedicated to the spiritual and cultural development of the Belarusian diaspora abroad.
Nationalities, living in Belarus:
- Belarusians – 83,4%
- Russians – 8,2%
- Poles – 3,1%;
- Ukrainians – 1,7%
- Jews – 0,13%
- other nationalities – 3,5% of the total population of the country.
Representatives of about 140 nations reside in Belarus. It is not surprising that the unique festival of national cultures, which is doesn’t have analogues in the world is held here. Preparations for the 10th anniversary festival will start in 2013; it is expected that more than 30 national cultural and educational associations will participate in this festival.
111 associations, representing 22 nationalities function in Belarus today. There are most of all Jewish, Polish, German, Lithuanian, Tatar and Ukrainian organizations.
There are more than 785.000 Russians in Belarus, according to the latest census. This figure is comparable with the population of “the capital of Kuban” — Krasnodar.
There are 29.000 Poles. The same number of people lives in Bialystok, the largest city in northeastern Poland and the cultural center of the Belarusian minority.
The number of Ukrainians in Belarus is close to 160.000 thousand. This figure is comparable with the population of Melitopol, an important transport junction of southern Ukraine and the sister city of the Belarusian Borisov.
13.000 Jews live in the country. The same number of inhabitants has the Israeli town of Ewen Yehuda, named after Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the “father of modern Hebrew”, the native of the Vitebsk region.
There are 8.500 Armenians, which is comparable with the population of the popular Armenian mountain resort of Jermuk.
The are more than 5.000 Lithuanians, the same number of people live in Trakai, a town, a former major political center of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania that historically links our nations.
There are about 2.500 Germans in Belarus. This figure is comparable with the number of residents of the German city Adenau, near which is the legendary Nürburgring.
In addition to the most numerous diasporas living in the republic there are nations, represented by only a few dozen of people. However, they zealously honor their traditions and pass them from generation to generation, enriching the Belarusian culture as well. Among them, for example, are the Assyrians, who lost their state even before the Christian era and have found a new home, including on the Belarusian land.