8888 days with Lukashenka. How Belarus has changed

Illustrative images.

On 19 November 2018, the mythical concurrence of numbers occurred in Belarus' history, namely: 8888 days had passed since the inauguration of Aliaksandr Lukashenka as the president.

We will not argue what concusions may be drawn from this number by numerology fans. Instead, we can tell you how Belarus has changed over those 8888 days.

Minus 8 zeros

Belarus has weathered three denominations. One zero was removed from the banknotes in 1994 (23 days after Lukashenka's inauguration), three zeros - in 2000 and four more - just recently, in 2016.

Minus 5 Pinsk-size cities

The population of Belarus has decreased from 10 227 000 people in 1994 (World Bank data) down to 9 491 000 (BelStat data as of 1 January 2018). Belarus has lost 736 000 people or 82.8 persons daily. The number is comparable to such cities as Lviv or Frankfurt am Main. This is more than the population of Belarus' biggest regional center Homiel before the Chernobyl nuclear accident. 736 000 people is equal to the population of five cities like Pinsk.

We drank less alcohol...

A couple of years ago, Belarus hit the headlines as the world's leader of alcohol consumption. Most recently, we have dropped to the second place by neighboring Lithuania. But is it always like this? Alcohol consuption in 1994 was 9.9 liters per capita. In 2016, it was 11.2 liters (source: World Health Organization).

...there were more schools

In 1994, there were around 5000 schools. By 2018, 3067 remained. Over the past 8888 days, Belarus has lost almost 2000 schools or one school closed down every 4.5 days on average.

Foreign debt

In 1994, the foreign debt of Belarus amounted to $1.2 billion and rose to $16.5 billion as of October 2018.

Currently, Belarus' external debt is comparable to the annual budget of Slovakia. In the world foreign debt ranking, Belarus is 66th.

Child mortality

Infant mortality rate has decreased from 15.7 cases per 1000 people in 1994 down to 3 cases per1000 in 2018 году. It is a good result.


Belarus' gross domestic product (GDP) grew from $17.79 billion in 1994 up to $54.44 billion in 2017 (World Bank data).

Life expectancy

Average life expectancy was 68.7 years in 1994. In 2017, it was 74.3 years. Obviously, we live longer but the question remains: do we live better?


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