Minsk City Review


About This Report

Nov 2017

The capital of former Soviet republic Belarus, Minsk is still struggling to gain economic prosperity nearly three decades after the split from the Soviet Union. The city suffers from poor labour productivity compared with its Eastern European peers which pursued economic reforms. The authorities prevent extreme poverty by providing affordable housing and utilities.

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Minsk City Review


Minsk plays a leading role in the country, and serves as its economic and industrial centre. In 2016, Minsk's labour productivity exceeded that in the rest of the country by 61%. Among its Eastern European first-tier peers, however, only Kiev and Novosibirsk fared worse (yet only by 2%, in 2016).

Superior labour productivity contributes to higher household disposable income

Superior labour productivity is one of the main reasons behind 51% higher household disposable income in the city in 2016 compared with elsewhere in Belarus. This income inequality is surprisingly high, given the low unemployment rate (1.2% of the active population in 2016), and the regime's declared aim to eradicate poverty.

Fairly low living standards

Excluding transport and housing, consumer expenditure per household was 50% higher in Minsk than in the rest of the country in 2016. However, compared with other major Eastern European cities, Minsk's households allocated the highest share of spending to food and non-alcoholic beverages (32% in 2016), implying relatively low living standards in the city.

Extremely low share of budget allocated to housing and transport expenses

Minsk features an extremely low share of the household budget on housing and transport in urban Eastern Europe (and globally): 14% of total expenditure, versus 20% in Moscow. In the national context, living costs are 10% higher in Minsk than in the rest of the country, on average. Transport is particularly affordable in the city (only 7% higher than in the rest of the country in 2016), while housing is also not very expensive (16% more than elsewhere in Belarus in the same year), given the superior disposable incomes (+51%, in 2016).


Understanding Minsk Review structure
Chart 1 Overview
Key facts on Minsk
Summary 1 Key Facts On Minsk 2011, 2016, 2021


Delimitation of the metropolitan region
Chart 2 Map Of Minsk Metropolitan Area
Main business districts


Industrial make-up
Chart 3 Industrial Composition Of Minsk 2016
Chart 4 Labour Productivity: Selected Cities 2016
Recent developments and outlook
Chart 5 Dynamics Of Real GDP In Minsk, Belarus And Other Cities In CIS, 2011-2021
Summary 2 Labour Market Changes In Minsk 2011, 2016


City demographics
Chart 6 Population By Age 2016
Chart 7 Drivers Of Population Growth In Minsk 2011-2016
Household income
Chart 8 Household Distribution By Income In Minsk 2016 And 2021


Structure of household budget
Chart 9 Comparison Of Household Expenditure In Minsk And Belarus, 2016
Summary 3 Minsk Household Budget Structure By Consumer Expenditure Item, % of total, 2011, 2016, 2021
City lifestyle
Not A Major Tourism Destination
State Control Depresses Internet Penetration
City affordability
Chart 10 Household Expenditure On Housing: Selected Cities 2016
Chart 11 Household Expenditure On Transport: Selected Cities 2016



Summary 4 GDP Development, 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 5 GDP By Origin, Current Prices, US$, Million, 2011-2016
Summary 6 Population And Labour Force, 2011-2016
Summary 7 Employed Population By Economic Sector, % of total, 2011-2016
Summary 8 Population By Sex And Broad Age Groups, ‘000, 2011-2016
Summary 9 Population Growth, 2011-2016
Summary 10 Forecast Population Growth
Summary 11 Population By Educational Attainment, 2011-2016
Summary 12 Structure Of Consumer Expenditure By Main Category, 2011-2016
Summary 13 Consumer Expenditure By Main Category, Per Household, Constant (2016) Prices, US$, 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 14 Households By Income Band, % Of Total, Constant (2016) Prices 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 15 Households By Income Band, ‘000, Current Prices 2011-2016
Summary 16 Inflation, 2011-2016
Summary 17 Transport Indicators, 2011-2016
Summary 18 Air Pollution, Concentration In Micrograms Per Cubic Metre, 2011-2016
Summary 19 Possession of Consumer Durables, % of Households, 2011, 2016, 2021