Demographic situation: more pensioners, less children
The main problem is the excess of deaths over births, declining of the population, changes in demographic structure of the population in favor of the older age categories, the increase of births outside marriage, and migration to larger towns.
It is estimated that the population of the Republic of Belarus amounted to 9, 466, 000 people on December 1, 2011, and compared with the beginning of this year decreased by 152,000 people. The main issues remain - the excess of deaths over births, declining of the population, changes in demographic structure of the population in favor of the older age categories, the increase of births outside marriage, and migration to larger towns.
By regions the situation looks as follows. Population grew only in Minsk on 18 600 people to 1.8827 million. In all regions, the population declined, in the Minsk region on 7100 people (up to 1.4044 million), in the Mogilev region on 7400 (up to 1.0807 million), in the Vitebsk region on 7400 (up to 1.2144 million), in the Gomel region on 4800 (up to1.4302 million), in the Grodno region on 4100 (up to 1.0618 million), and in the Brest region on 3000 (up to 1.3918 million). The overall decline in the population of the regions was 33 800 people over 11 months.
The death rate exceeded the birth rate for the first time in Belarus in 1993, since 1996 the population decreased to 711 300 people, primarily - by reducing the number of inhabitants of the regions. In absolute terms, the population of regions in 1996 decreased: Minsk region - 184 700, Mogilev region - 500, Vitebsk region - 201 400, Gomel region - 136 100, Grodno region- 142 300 and Brest region- 102 500. On the contrary, the population of Minsk has increased to 213 200 since 1996.
Proportion of Minsk population in Belarus is 19.89%, proportion of the Minsk region is 14.84%, proportion of the Mogilev region is 11.42%, Vitebsk region – 12.83%, Gomel region - 15.11%, Grodno region - 11.21%, and Brest region - 14.70%.
Proportion of Minsk population in the Republic has been steadily increasing: in 1996 it amounted to 16.4%, in 2006 - 18.2%, and in 2010 - 19.4%, and in 2011 has actually reached 20%. Thus, every fifth inhabitant of the country is from Minsk.
Proportion of regions in the population in 1996 was: Minsk region - 15.6%, Mogilev region - 12.16%, Vitebsk region - 13.9%, Gomel region - 15.39%, Grodno region - 11.83%, and Brest region - 14.68% .In fact, the proportions of all regions have declined, except in Brest region, the least significant decline is in the proportions of Grodno and Gomel regions. The most significant decline is in Minsk and Vitebsk regions. Migration of people to Minsk looks quite natural for the Minsk region.
Urban population in Belarus comprises 74.5% and rural population – 25.5%.
In addition to reducing of the population, the authorities concern also the changing age structure of the population - the constant growth of people over 65 and senior citizens (55 years for women and 60 years for men) and a steady decline in the number of children. There were about a half million persons aged 65 years and older (1350.5 thousand), their share was 14.2% at the time of the Republican census in 2009. According to the census of 2009, the proportion of retirees was 20%, in rural areas about 25%. Number of children (under 15) amounted to 2.1319 million in 1999, according to the census of 2009 -1.5114 million.