Your guide to being an expatriate in Belarus

Caffeinate Your Belarus Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Belarus (officially the Republic of Belarus) is a country located in Eastern Europe. It shares borders with Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania. As of 2021, its population is estimated at 9.4 million people, with a density of 41 people per square kilometer. The median age of Belarusians is 39 years old, and the largest ethnic group is Belarusian (84%), followed by Russian (12%). Belarusian and Russian are both official languages.


Expat destinations in Belarus

Demographics of Belarus:

Ethnic groups

Russian: 12%

Belarusian: 84%


Polish: Spoken by some in western regions

Russian: Official and commonly spoken

Ukrainian: Spoken by some in western regions

Belarusian: Official and commonly spoken

Religion Overview

Belarus is predominantly Orthodox Christian, but there are also significant numbers of Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Jews.

Major Religions


Belarus has a moderate continental climate, with cold winters (January average -7°C (19°F)) and warm summers (July average 18°C (64°F)). Precipitation is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year.

Economy Overview

Belarus has a planned mixed economy. The economy relies heavily on industrial production and agricultural output, while technology and services are gradually increasing their share. The importance of trade with Russia, Ukraine, and Poland has been declining since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Key Industries

  • Potash (a key ingredient in fertilizers) and other mineral resources
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Timber and paper products
  • Chemicals
  • Textiles
  • Leather and footwear
  • Food processing

Major Companies

  • Belaruskaliy (potash mining and production)
  • BelAZ (heavy machinery and equipment)
  • Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant (production of wheel tractors, harvesters)
  • BELSPETSCHNAS (state railway administration)
  • Belarusian Agrocomplex OJSC (specializes in agro-industrial complexes)
  • Narochanskie Kumlyniki Belorussia (confectionery)

Culture and Language Overview

Belarusian culture is rich and varied, characterized by traditional folk arts, music, and crafts. It also has a long and proud literary heritage.

Cultural Highlights

  • Harvest festivals and traditional crafts, including wood carvings, weaving, and embroidery
  • Orthodox Easter Week traditions, including floral sprays and beautiful painted eggs
  • Belarusian opera and ballet
  • The Belarusian National Philharmonic
  • Contemporary literature by authors such as Svetlana Alexievich and Siarhiej Sniadaws̄ki
  • Cuisine, including hearty soups, delicious blini, and homemade bread

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Belarus is predominantly agricultural, with dense forests covering nearly 40% of the land. There are also many lakes, rivers, and wetlands.

Notable Landmarks

  • Brest Fortress (a historical and military fortification)
  • Nesvizh Castle (a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the greatest architectural achievements of the Renaissance)
  • Mir Castle (a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an outstanding example of Renaissance architecture)
  • Berezina River (site of a significant battle in Napoleon's invasion of Russia)
  • Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park (acting as transboundary park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a site of significant biological importance)
  • Braslav Lakes (a complex of lakes in south-eastern Belarus, dotted with pretty islands and pebble beaches)

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Epiphany (January 19)
  • Defender of the Fatherland Day (February 23)
  • International Women's Day (March 8)
  • Spring arrived (March 25)
  • Orthodox Easter Sunday (may vary)

Political Stability

Belarus is a de facto dictatorship, ruled by President Aleksandr Lukashenko since 1994. There are reports of human rights violations and political oppression, and multiple rounds of elections have been criticized internationally for their fairness.

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