Exploring Belarus: The Heart of Eastern Europe

Geography and Climate

Belarus, nestled in Eastern Europe and lying east of Poland, spans an area of 207,600 sq km. This landlocked country borders Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine, collectively sharing a boundary of 3,642 km. Despite its sizeable landmass, Belarus has no coastline, attributing to its landlocked status. The terrain is predominantly flat with extensive marshlands, making it characteristic of the Eastern European plain.

The climate of Belarus is transitional between continental and maritime, featuring cold winters and cool, moist summers. This balanced climate supports a variety of natural resources, including timber, peat deposits, and small quantities of oil and natural gas. The highest elevation point, Dzyarzhynskaya Hara, stands at 346 m, while the lowest, Nyoman River, is at 90 m above sea level, underlining the country’s generally flat terrain.

Natural Resources and Land Use

With agriculture and forestry playing vital roles in the national economy, 43.70% of Belarus’ land is dedicated to agriculture, while forests cover 42.70%. The presence of granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, and clay further add to the nation’s wealth of natural resources. By 2012 estimates, Belarus had around 1,140 sq km of irrigated land, emphasizing its focus on agricultural efficiency.

Population and Urbanization

As of July 2020, Belarus has an estimated population of 9,477,918 people, with a distribution that sees denser populations in urban areas. Minsk, the capital, stands as the most significant urban center with over 2 million residents. The urban population accounts for 79.50% of the total, pointing towards a trend of urbanization.

Belarusians form the primary nationality, with Russian and Belarusian serving as the official languages. This bilingual environment reflects the country’s historical ties and cultural exchange with its neighbors.

Agriculture and Industry

The agricultural sector in Belarus produces a wide range of products including grain, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, and flax, alongside livestock products like beef and milk. These produce not only serve domestic needs but also contribute to the export market.

Industrially, Belarus has developed a robust manufacturing sector that includes metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, synthetic fibers, fertilizer, and various household appliances. This industrial diversity supports the nation’s economy and offers employment to a significant portion of the population.

Economy and Trade

Exports and Imports

In terms of trade, Russia emerges as Belarus’ principal export partner, accounting for 43.9% of exports, followed by Ukraine and the UK. Machinery and equipment, mineral products, chemicals, metals, textiles, and foodstuffs are among the key export goods. Conversely, Belarus predominantly imports from Russia, with mineral products, machinery, chemicals, foodstuffs, and metals being the primary imported goods. This trade dynamic underscores the interconnectedness of the region’s economies.

GDP and Electrification

The GDP per capita in Belarus was estimated to be $18,900 in 2017, reflecting a developing economy with growth potential. The country boasts a 100% electrification rate for its total population as of 2016, highlighting its commitment to ensuring access to electricity for all its citizens, thus supporting both domestic needs and industrial development.


Belarus represents a blend of Eastern European flat terrains, rich natural resources, and a robust agricultural and industrial economy. Its strategic location, coupled with a focus on development and modernization, makes Belarus a noteworthy country within the region. As it continues to evolve, its economic ties and production capabilities are likely to play a crucial role in the broader Eastern European economy. With a significant move towards urbanization and a stable population distribution, Belarus is on a path toward sustainable development and increased global integration.

Country data

Country Code BO
Region Europe
Surface 207600 sq km
Land Surface 202900 sq km
Water Surface 4700 sq km
Agricultural Surface 43.70%
Forest Surface 42.70%
Lowest Elevation Point Nyoman River 90 m
Highest Elevation Point Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m
GDP / capita $18,900 (2017 est.)