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Belarus

Long Name: Republic of Belarus

Location: Eastern Europe, east of Poland

Area: 80,154 sq. mi. (207,600 sq. km)

Climate: cold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between continental and maritime

Terrain: generally flat and contains much marshland

Population: 9,685,768 Population Growth Rate: -0.393%

Birth Rate (per 1,000): 9.62

Death Rate (per 1,000): 13.92

Life Expectancy: 70.34 years

Ethnic Groups: Belarusian 81.2%, Russian 11.4%, Polish 3.9%, Ukrainian 2.4%, other 1.1%

Religion: Eastern Orthodox 80%, other (including Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim) 20%

Languages: Belarusian, Russian, other

Literacy: 99.6%

Government Type: republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship

Capital: Minsk

Independence: 25 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

GDP Per Capita: $10,600

Occupations: agriculture 14%, industry 34.7%, services 51.3%

Currency: Belarusian ruble (BYB/BYR)

Belgium

Long Name: Kingdom of Belgium

Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands

Area: 11,787 sq. mi. (30,528 sq. km)

Climate: temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy

Terrain: flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast

Population: 10,403,951

Population Growth Rate: 0.106%

Birth Rate (per 1,000): 10.22

Death Rate (per 1,000): 10.38

Life Expectancy: 79.07 years

Ethnic Groups: Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%

Religion: Roman Catholic 75%, other (includes Protestant) 25%

Languages: Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)

Literacy: 99%

Government Type: federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy

Capital: Brussels

Independence: 4 October 1830 (a provisional government declared independence from the Netherlands); 21 July 1831 (King Leopold I ascended to the throne)

GDP Per Capita: $36,200

Occupations: agriculture 2%, industry 25%, services 73%

Currency: euro (EUR)

Belize

Long Name: Belize

Location: Central America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico

Area: 8,867 sq. mi. (22,966 sq. km)

Climate: tropical; very hot and humid; rainy season (May to November); dry season (February to May)

Terrain: flat, swampy coastal plain; low mountains in south

Population: 301,270

Population Growth Rate: 2.207%

Birth Rate (per 1,000): 27.84

Death Rate (per 1,000): 5.77

Life Expectancy: 68.19 years

Ethnic Groups: mestizo 48.7%, Creole 24.9%, Maya 10.6%, Garifuna 6.1%, other 9.7%

Religion: Roman Catholic 49.6%, Protestant 27% (Pentecostal 7.4%, Anglican 5.3%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5.2%, Mennonite 4.1%, Methodist 3.5%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.5%), other 14%, none 9.4%

Languages: Spanish 46%, Creole 32.9%, Mayan dialects 8.9%, English 3.9% (official), Garifuna 3.4% (Carib), German 3.3%, other 1.4%, unknown 0.2%

Literacy: 76.9%

Government Type: parliamentary democracy

Capital: Belmopan

Independence: 21 September 1981 (from United Kingdom)

GDP Per Capita: $7,900

Occupations: agriculture 22.5%, industry 15.2%, services 62.3%

Currency: Belizean dollar (BZD)

Benin

Long Name: Republic of Benin

Location: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and

Togo

Area: 43,483 sq. mi. (112,620 sq. km)

Climate: tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north

Terrain: mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains

Population: 8,532,547 Population Growth Rate: 3.01%

Birth Rate (per 1,000): 39.8

Death Rate (per 1,000): 9.69

Life Expectancy: 58.56 years

Ethnic Groups: Fon and related 39.2%, Adja and related 15.2%, Yoruba and related 12.3%, Bariba and related 9.2%, Peulh and related 7%, Ottamari and related 6.1%, Yoa-Lokpa and related 4%, Dendi and related 2.5%, other 1.6% (includes Europeans), unspecified 2.9%

Religion: Christian 42.8% (Catholic 27.1%, Celestial 5%, Methodist 3.2%, other Protestant 2.2%, other 5.3%), Muslim 24.4%, Vodoun 17.3%, other 15.5%

Languages: French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)

Literacy: 34.7%

Government Type: republic

Capital: Porto-Novo

Independence: 1 August 1960 (from France)

GDP Per Capita: $1,400

Occupations: N/A

Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF)

 
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