10,481,000 (1995). Formerly part of USSR. Capital: Minsk. 80,200 square miles. Literacy rate 99%. Also includes Lithuanian 10,031, Polish 403,000, Russian 1,134,000, Tatar 12,000, Ukrainian 291,000, possibly 112,000 to 231,000 Yiddish, Romani. Data accuracy estimate: B. The number of languages listed for Belarus is 1.
BELORUSSIAN (WHITE RUSSIAN, BIELORUSSIAN, WHITE RUTHENIAN, BYELORUSSIAN) [RUW] 7,905,000 in Belarus, 98% of the population (1993 Johnstone); 4,782 in Azerbaijan (1979); 183,000 in Kazakhstan; 7,676 in Kyrghyzstan; 105,000 in Latvia (1994); 63,000 in Lithuania; 1,206,000 in Russia; 5,289 in Turkmenistan; 440,000 in Ukraine; 29,000 in Uzbekistan; 10,000 in USA (1961); 2,280 in Canada; 200,000 in Poland (1985 Gunnemark and Kenrick); 9,144 in Estonia (1993); 20,000 in Moldova; 10,200,000 in all countries. Of those from the former USSR, 74% of those in the ethnic group speak it as mother tongue (1992 UBS). Also in Tajikistan. Indo-European, Slavic, East. Dialects: NORTHEAST BELORUSSIAN (POLOTS, VITEB-MOGILEV), SOUTHWEST BELORUSSIAN (GRODNEN-BARANOVICH, SLUTSKO-MOZYR), CENTRAL BELORUSSIAN. Cyrillic alphabet used. Linguistically between Russian and Ukrainian, with transitional dialects to both. Belorussian-speaking Tatar are Muslim. National language. Christian, Muslim (Tatar). Braille code available. Bible 1973. NT 1931. Bible portions 1517-1995.
Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
Copyright © 1996, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. All rights reserved.
If you have questions, comments, or updates on the Ethnologue, go to the Feedback page.
[Europe | Areas | Ethnologue Home | SIL Home]