Belarusians constitute 81.2% of Belarus's total population.The next
largest ethnic groups are Russians (11.4%), Poles (3.9%), and Ukrainians
(2.4%). Belarus's two official languages are Russian and Belarusian;
Russian is the main language, used by 72% of the population, while Belarusian,
the second official language, is only used by 19.2%. Minorities also
speak Polish, Ukrainian and Eastern Yiddish.
has a population density of about 50 people per square kilometre (127
per sq mi); 71.7% of its total population is concentrated in urban areas.
Minsk, the nation's capital and largest city, is home to 1,741,400 of
Belarus's 9,724,700 residents. Gomel, with 481,000 people, is the second
largest city and serves as the capital of the Homel Oblast. Other large
cities are Mogilev (365,100), Vitebsk (342,400), Hrodna (314,800) and
other European countries, Belarus has a negative population growth rate
and a negative natural growth rate. In 2007, Belarus's population declined
by 0.41% and its fertility rate was 1.22, well below the replacement
rate. Its net migration rate is +0.38 per 1,000, indicating that Belarus
experiences slightly more immigration than emigration. As of 2007, 69.7%
of Belarus's population is aged 14 to 64; 16% is under 14, and 14.6%
is 65 or older. Its population is also aging: while the current median
age is 37, it is estimated that Belarusians' median age will be 51 in
2050. There are about 0.88 males per female in Belarus. The average
life expectancy is 68.7 years (63.0 years for males and 74.9 years for
females). Over 99% of Belarusians are literate.