Belarus, a landlocked country in eastern Europe, formerly part of the Soviet Union, and became independent in 1991. The estimated population in 2009 was about 9.6 million, with 14.3 percent of the population under age 14, and 14.5 percent 65 years and older. Population growth is minus 0.378 percent, with about 9.62 births per 1,000. About 70 percent of the population lives in urban areas. The total fertility rate was 1.2 in 2003, down from 1.6 in 1993. Overall, the male/female ratio is 0.87 males per female.

Life expectancy at birth is about 65 years for men and 77 years for females. This has actually declined since the mid-1980s, particularly for men, and is largely attributable to a very high rate of heart disease. The population ...

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