According to the Belarusian population census, held in October 2009, the share of Russian population living in Belarus, has decreased by 3% to 8.3% (785 thousand) for ten years. In literal terms, Russians have decreased by 356 thousand people, which is almost a third. Also the number of Jews was considerably reduced (in 2.2 times) during this time in Belarus, as well as Ukrainians (by one third) and Gypsies (by 29%).
The National Statistics Committee of Belarus noted that the reduction in the absolute number of representatives of the most numerous nationalities of Belarus, as well as the country’s population as a whole, was due to the natural population loss, as well as the migration outflow.
In general, according to the census, representatives of nearly 140 nationalities lived in the territory of Belarus. 3% of the population of Belarus considered themselves the Poles, 1.7% classified themselves as Ukrainians. The ten most numerous nationalities of Belarus also include Armenians, Tatars, Azeri, and Lithuanians.
Simultaneously, the migration processes have led to a substantial increase in the number of members of other nationalities. Thus, the number of Chinese, residing in the territory of Belarus, has increased by more than 20 times in comparison with 1999, the Arabs — in 2.7 times, Turkmens — in 2.3 times. The percentage of these nationalities in the country’s total population is still insignificant.
At the same time, the share of the Belarusians in the overall composition of the population also has risen by 2.5% compared with the census of 1999. More than 7.9 million (83.7%) of 9.5 million people living in Belarus are the Belarusians.
The National Statistics Committee also noted that the national population of individual regions of Belarus is different from the republican. Thus, the top five most numerous nationalities include not the Jews, but Armenians in Brest and Minsk voblast, and Lithuanians in Hrodna voblast.
It should be noted that when conducting a census, the answers to the question of nationality were recorded from the words of the respondents at their request and self-determination. Ethnicity of children was determined by their parents. All the names of nationalities and ethnic groups, including the conventional ones and self-definitions were included in the questionnaire form.