Coordinates : 55°N 24°E / 55°N 24°E / 55; 24
LITHUANIA (/ˌlɪθuːˈeɪniə/ (_ listen ), Lithuanian :
Lietuva_ ), officially the REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA (Lithuanian:
_Lietuvos Respublika_), is a country in the
Baltic region of Northern
Europe . One of the three
Baltic states , it is situated along the
southeastern shore of the
Baltic Sea , to the east of
Denmark . It is bordered by
Latvia to the north,
Belarus to the east
Poland to the south, and
Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian
exclave ) to the southwest.
Lithuania has an estimated population of
2.8 million people as of 2017 , and its capital and largest city is
Lithuanians are a
Baltic people . The official language,
Lithuanian , along with Latvian , is one of only two living languages
in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family.
For centuries, the southeastern shores of the
Baltic Sea were
inhabited by various
Baltic tribes . In the 1230s, the Lithuanian
lands were united by
Mindaugas , the King of Lithuania, and the first
unified Lithuanian state, the
Kingdom of Lithuania , was created on 6
July 1253. During the 14th century, the
Grand Duchy of Lithuania was
the largest country in Europe; present-day Lithuania, Belarus,
Ukraine, and parts of
Russia were the territories of the
Grand Duchy. With the
Lublin Union of 1569,
Lithuania and Poland
formed a voluntary two-state union, the Polish–Lithuanian
Commonwealth . The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until
neighboring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772–95,
Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory.
World War I
World War I neared its end, Lithuania's Act of
signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the founding of the modern
Republic of Lithuania. In the midst of the
Second World War
Second World War ,
Lithuania was first occupied by the
Soviet Union and then by Nazi
Germany . As World War II neared its end and the
Soviet Union reoccupied
Lithuania . On 11 March 1990, a year
before the formal dissolution of the
Soviet Union ,
the first Soviet republic to declare itself independent, resulting in
the restoration of an independent State of
Lithuania is a member of the
European Union , the Council of
a full member of the
Schengen Agreement and
NATO . It is
also a member of the
Nordic Investment Bank , and part of
Nordic-Baltic cooperation of Northern European countries. The United
Human Development Index
Human Development Index lists
Lithuania as a "very high human
Lithuania has been among the fastest growing
economies in the
European Union and is ranked 21st in the world in the
Ease of Doing Business Index .
* 1 History
* 1.1 Prehistoric
* 1.2 Medieval
* 1.3 Modern
* 1.4 20th and 21st centuries
* 1.4.1 1939–1941
* 1.4.2 1941–1944
* 1.4.3 1944–1991
* 1.4.4 1991–present
* 2 Geography
* 2.1 Climate
* 3 Politics
* 3.1 Administrative divisions
* 3.2 Foreign relations
* 3.3 Military
* 4 Economy
* 5 Infrastructure
* 5.1 Communication
* 5.2 Transport
* 5.3 Energy
* 6 Demographics
* 6.3 Functional urban areas
* 6.4 Health
* 6.5 Religion
* 6.6 Education
* 7 Culture
* 7.2 Literature
* 7.3 Arts and museums
* 7.4 Music
* 7.5 Cuisine
* 7.6 Sports
* 8 International rankings
* 9 See also
* 10 References
* 11 External links
Map showing changes in the territory of
Lithuania from the 13th
century to the present day. Main article:
History of Lithuania
The first people settled in the territory of
Lithuania after the last
glacial period in the 10th millennium BC. Over a millennium, the
Indo-Europeans , who arrived in the 3rd – 2nd millennium BC, mixed
with the local population and formed various
Baltic tribes . The first
written mention of
Lithuania is found in a medieval German manuscript,
Annals of Quedlinburg _, in an entry dated 9 March 1009.
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Initially inhabited by fragmented Baltic tribes, in the 1230s the
Lithuanian lands were united by
Mindaugas , who was crowned as King of
Lithuania on 6 July 1253. After his assassination in 1263, pagan
Lithuania was a target of the Christian crusades of the Teutonic
Knights and the
Livonian Order . Despite the devastating century-long
struggle with the Orders, the
Grand Duchy of Lithuania expanded
rapidly, overtaking former Slavic principalities of Kievan Rus\' .
By the end of the 14th century,
Lithuania was one of the largest
Europe and included present-day
Ukraine , and
Russia . The geopolitical situation between the
west and the east determined the multicultural and multi-confessional
character of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The ruling elite practised
religious tolerance and
Chancery Slavonic language was used as an
auxiliary language to the
Latin for official documents. Trakai
Battle of Grunwald
Battle of Grunwald and
Vytautas the Great
Vytautas the Great in the
In 1385, the Grand Duke
Jogaila accepted Poland's offer to become its
Jogaila embarked on gradual
Christianization of Lithuania and
established a personal union between
Poland and Lithuania. It implied
that Lithuania, the fiercely independent land, was one of the last
pagan areas of
Europe to adopt Christianity.
After two civil wars,
Vytautas the Great
Vytautas the Great became the Grand Duke of
Lithuania in 1392. During his reign,
Lithuania reached the peak of its
territorial expansion, centralization of the state began, and the
Lithuanian nobility became increasingly prominent in state politics.
In the great
Battle of the Vorskla River
Battle of the Vorskla River in 1399, the combined forces
Tokhtamysh and Vytautas were defeated by the Mongols . Thanks to
close cooperation, the armies of
Poland achieved a great
victory over the
Teutonic Knights in 1410 at the
Battle of Grunwald
Battle of Grunwald ,
one of the largest battles of medieval Europe.
After the deaths of
Jogaila and Vytautas, the Lithuanian nobility
attempted to break the union between
Poland and Lithuania,
independently selecting Grand Dukes from the
Jagiellon dynasty . But,
at the end of the 15th century,
Lithuania was forced to seek a closer
Poland when the growing power of the Grand Duchy of
Moscow threatened Lithuania's Russian principalities and sparked the
Muscovite–Lithuanian Wars and the
Livonian War .
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was created in 1569. As a member
of the Commonwealth,
Lithuania retained its institutions, including a
separate army, currency, and statutory laws. Eventually Polonization
affected all aspects of Lithuanian life: politics, language, culture,
and national identity. From the mid-16th to the mid-17th centuries,
culture, arts, and education flourished, fueled by the
Protestant Reformation . From 1573, the Kings of
Poland and Grand
Lithuania were elected by the nobility , who were granted
ever increasing Golden Liberties . These liberties, especially the
_liberum veto _, led to anarchy and the eventual dissolution of the
Northern Wars (1655–1661), the Lithuanian territory and
economy were devastated by the Swedish army. Before it could fully
Lithuania was ravaged during the Great Northern War
(1700–1721). The war, a plague , and a famine caused the deaths of
approximately 40% of the country's population. Foreign powers,
especially Russia, became dominant in the domestic politics of the
Commonwealth. Numerous factions among the nobility used the Golden
Liberties to prevent any reforms. Eventually, the Commonwealth was
partitioned in 1772, 1792, and 1795 by the
Russian Empire ,
Habsburg Austria .
The largest area of Lithuanian territory became part of the Russian
Empire. After unsuccessful uprisings in 1831 and 1863 , the Tsarist
authorities implemented a number of
Russification policies. They
banned the Lithuanian press , closed cultural and educational
institutions, and made
Lithuania part of a new administrative region
Northwestern Krai . The
Russification failed owing to an
extensive network of book smugglers and secret Lithuanian home
Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) , when German diplomats
assigned what were seen as Russian spoils of war to Turkey, the
Russia and the
German Empire became complicated.
Russian Empire resumed the construction of fortresses at its
western borders for defence against a potential invasion from Germany
in the West. On 7 July 1879 the Russian Emperor Alexander II approved
of a proposal from the Russian military leadership to build the
largest "first-class" defensive structure in the entire state – the
65 km2 (25 sq mi)
Kaunas Fortress . Large numbers of
United States in 1867–1868 after a famine . A Lithuanian
National Revival laid the foundations of the modern Lithuanian nation
and independent Lithuania.
20TH AND 21ST CENTURIES
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The original 20 members of the
Council of Lithuania after
Act of Independence of Lithuania , 16 February 1918.
World War I
World War I , the
Council of Lithuania (_Lietuvos Taryba_)
declared the independence of
Lithuania and the re-establishment of the
Lithuanian State on 16 February 1918. Lithuania's foreign policy was
dominated by territorial disputes with
Poland and Germany. The Vilnius
Vilnius , the historical capital of
Lithuania (and so
designated in the Constitution of Lithuania), were seized by the
Polish army during Żeligowski\'s Mutiny in October 1920 and
incorporated two years later into Poland. For 19 years,
the temporary capital of
Lithuania . The Polish control over Vilnius
was greatly resented by Lithuania; there were no diplomatic relations
between the two states for most of the period between the two World
Acquired during the
Klaipėda Revolt of 1923, the
(German : _
Memelland _) was ceded to Nazi
Germany after a German
ultimatum of March 1939 . During the interwar period, the domestic
Lithuania were controlled by the authoritarian President
Antanas Smetona and his party, the
Lithuanian Nationalist Union ,
which came to power after the Lithuanian coup d\'état of 1926 .
Main article: Occupation of the
Soviet Union returned
Lithuania after the Soviet
invasion of Eastern
Poland in September 1939. In June 1940, the
Soviet Union occupied and annexed
Lithuania in accordance to the
secret protocols of
Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact . The occupation was
followed by mass arrests and deportations with
Lithuania having 34,000
citizens removed. According to a Lithuanian government official, this
was the start of a planned removal of 700,000 from Lithuania. :48
German occupation of Lithuania during World War II
The Holocaust in Lithuania
A year later, the
Soviet Union was attacked by Nazi
Germany , leading
to the Nazi occupation of
Lithuania . The
Germans and their
collaborators :54–56 immediately began to round up and murder
civilians, including intellectuals, army officers,
Romani people and
Jews. By 1 December 1941, over 120,000
Lithuanian Jews , or 91–95%
of Lithuania's pre-war Jewish community, had been killed. :110
10 of the 25 Lithuanian police battalions, working with the Nazi
Einsatzkommando , were involved in the mass killings and are thought
to have executed 78,000 people. :148
Lithuanian partisans did exist, but few supported the communists.
Lithuanian army soldiers, who had been assigned to the 29th Rifle
Corps of the Red Army, deserted or surrendered to the
Germans in June
1941, resulting in the unit being disbanded in August 1941.
Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic Monument in
Naujoji Vilnia in memory of the
Soviet deportations from Lithuania .
After the retreat of the German armed forces , the Soviets
reestablished the annexation of
Lithuania in 1944. Under border
changes promulgated at the
Potsdam Conference of 1945, the former
Memelland , with its Baltic port Memel (Lithuanian :
_Klaipėda_), was again transferred to Lithuania, which was now
referred to as the Lithuanian SSR . Most of Memelland's German
residents had fled the area in the final months of World War II.
As part of their program of nationalisation, collectivization and
general sovietization of everyday life, the Soviets deported large
Siberia . From 1944 to 1952, approximately
Lithuanian partisans fought a guerrilla war against the Soviet
system. An estimated 30,000 partisans and their supporters were
killed; many more were arrested and deported to Siberian gulags . It
is estimated that during World War II and the subsequent Soviet
Lithuania lost 780,000 people.
The advent of _perestroika _ and _glasnost _ in the late 1980s
allowed the establishment of
Sąjūdis , an anti-Communist
independence movement. After a landslide victory in elections to the
Supreme Soviet , members of
Sąjūdis proclaimed Lithuania\'s
independence on 11 March 1990, making
Lithuania the first Soviet
republic to do so. The
Soviet Union attempted to suppress the
secession by imposing an economic blockade. On the night of 13 January
1991 , Soviet troops attacked the
Vilnius TV Tower , killing 14
Lithuanian civilians and wounding 600 others. On 31 July 1991,
Soviet paramilitaries killed seven Lithuanian border guards on the
Belarusian border in what became known as the
Medininkai Massacre .
On 4 February 1991,
Iceland became the first country to recognise
Lithuania's independence. After the Soviet August Coup , independent
Lithuania received wide official recognition, and joined the United
Nations on 17 September 1991.
The last Russian troops left
Lithuania on 31 August 1993, even
earlier than they departed from East
Germany . Lithuania, seeking
closer ties with the West, applied for
NATO membership in 1994. After
a transition from a planned economy to a free market , Lithuania
became a full member of
NATO and the
European Union in the spring of
2004 and a member of the
Schengen Agreement on 21 December 2007.
Geography of Lithuania The Geographic Centre of
Europe is in
Lithuania is located in Northern
Europe and covers an area of 65,200
km2 (25,200 sq mi). It lies between latitudes 53° and 57° N , and
mostly between longitudes 21° and 27° E (part of the Curonian Spit
lies west of 21°). It has around 99 kilometres (61.5 mi) of sandy
coastline, only about 38 kilometres (24 mi) of which face the open
Baltic Sea , less than the other two
Baltic Sea countries . The rest
of the coast is sheltered by the Curonian sand peninsula. Lithuania's
major warm-water port ,
Klaipėda , lies at the narrow mouth of the
Curonian Lagoon (Lithuanian: _Kuršių marios_), a shallow lagoon
extending south to
Kaliningrad . The country's main and largest river,
Nemunas River , and some of its tributaries carry international
shipping. The Nemunas (Nieman) River between
Kaliningrad Oblast .
Lithuania lies at the edge of the
North European Plain . Its
landscape was smoothed by the glaciers of the last ice age , and is a
combination of moderate lowlands and highlands. Its highest point is
Aukštojas Hill at 294 metres (965 ft) in the eastern part of the
country. The terrain features numerous lakes (
Lake Vištytis , for
example) and wetlands, and a mixed forest zone covers over 33% of the
After a re-estimation of the boundaries of the continent of
1989, Jean-George Affholder, a scientist at the Institut Géographique
National (French National Geographic Institute), determined that the
geographic centre of
Europe was in Lithuania, at 54°54′N
25°19′E / 54.900°N 25.317°E / 54.900; 25.317
(Purnuškės (centre of gravity)) , 26 kilometres (16 mi) north of
Lithuania's capital city of
Vilnius . Affholder accomplished this by
calculating the centre of gravity of the geometrical figure of Europe.
Geography of Lithuania § Climate Aukštaitija
National Park Sand dunes of
Curonian Spit (
Heritage Site )
Lithuania's climate, which ranges between maritime and continental ,
is relatively mild. Average temperatures on the coast are −2.5 °C
(27.5 °F) in January and 16 °C (61 °F) in July. In
average temperatures are −6 °C (21 °F) in January and 17 °C (63
°F) in July. During the summer, 20 °C (68 °F) is common during the
day while 14 °C (57 °F) is common at night; in the past,
temperatures have reached as high as 30 or 35 °C (86 or 95 °F). Some
winters can be very cold. −20 °C (−4 °F) occurs almost every
winter. Winter extremes are −34 °C (−29 °F) in coastal areas and
−43 °C (−45 °F) in the east of Lithuania.
The average annual precipitation is 800 mm (31.5 in) on the coast,
900 mm (35.4 in) in the Samogitia highlands and 600 mm (23.6 in) in
the eastern part of the country. Snow occurs every year, it can snow
from October to April. In some years sleet can fall in September or
May. The growing season lasts 202 days in the western part of the
country and 169 days in the eastern part. Severe storms are rare in
the eastern part of
Lithuania but common in the coastal areas.
The longest records of measured temperature in the Baltic area cover
about 250 years. The data show warm periods during the latter half of
the 18th century, and that the 19th century was a relatively cool
period. An early 20th century warming culminated in the 1930s,
followed by a smaller cooling that lasted until the 1960s. A warming
trend has persisted since then.
Lithuania experienced a drought in 2002, causing forest and peat bog
fires. The country suffered along with the rest of Northwestern
Europe during a heat wave in the summer of 2006.
Climate data for
RECORD HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
DAILY MEAN °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
RECORD LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES)
Source #1: Records of Lithuanian climate
Source #2: Weatherbase
Politics of Lithuania and
Elections in Lithuania
Lithuania declared the restoration of its independence on 11
March 1990, it has maintained strong democratic traditions. It held
its first independent general elections on 25 October 1992, in which
56.75% of voters supported the new constitution . There were intense
debates concerning the constitution, particularly the role of the
president. A separate referendum was held on 23 May 1992 to gauge
public opinion on the matter, and 41% of voters supported the
restoration of the
President of Lithuania . Through compromise, a
semi-presidential system was agreed on.
The Lithuanian head of state is the president, directly elected for a
five-year term and serving a maximum of two terms. The president
oversees foreign affairs and national security, and is the
commander-in-chief of the military. The president also appoints the
prime minister and, on the latter's nomination, the rest of the
cabinet, as well as a number of other top civil servants and the
judges for all courts.
The current Lithuanian head of state,
Dalia Grybauskaitė was elected
on 17 May 2009 , becoming the first female president in the country's
history, and the second female head of state in the Baltic States
Latvia elected their first female political leader in 1999.
Dalia Grybauskaitė was re-elected for a second term in 2014 .
The judges of the Constitutional Court (_Konstitucinis Teismas_)
serve nine-year terms. They are appointed by the President, the
Chairman of the Seimas, and the Chairman of the Supreme Court, each of
whom appoint three judges. The unicameral Lithuanian parliament, the
Seimas , has 141 members who are elected to four-year terms. 71 of the
members of its members are elected in single member constituencies,
and the others in a nationwide vote by proportional representation . A
party must receive at least 5% of the national vote to be eligible for
any of the 70 national seats in the Seimas.
(Parliament of Lithuania)
Administrative divisions of Lithuania See also:
Counties of Lithuania ,
Municipalities of Lithuania
Municipalities of Lithuania , and Elderships
Vilnius County _
Baltic sea _ _
Latvia _ _
Belarus _ _
Poland _ _Russia
The current system of administrative division was established in 1994
and modified in 2000 to meet the requirements of the European Union.
The country's 10 counties (Lithuanian: singular – _apskritis_,
plural – _apskritys_) are subdivided into 60 municipalities
(Lithuanian: singular – _savivaldybė_, plural – _savivaldybės_),
and further divided into 500 elderships (Lithuanian: singular –
_seniūnija_, plural – _seniūnijos_).
Municipalities have been the most important unit of administration in
Lithuania since the system of county governorship (_apskrities
viršininkas_) was dissolved in 2010. Some municipalities are
historically called "district municipalities" (often shortened to
"district"), while others are called "city municipalities" (sometimes
shortened to "city"). Each has its own elected government. The
election of municipality councils originally occurred every three
years, but now takes place every four years. The council appoints
elders to govern the elderships. Mayors have been directly elected
since 2015; prior to that, they were appointed by the council.
Elderships, numbering over 500, are the smallest administrative units
and do not play a role in national politics. They provide necessary
local public services—for example, registering births and deaths in
rural areas. They are most active in the social sector, identifying
needy individuals or families and organizing and distributing welfare
and other forms of relief. Some citizens feel that elderships have no
real power and receive too little attention, and that they could
otherwise become a source of local initiative for addressing rural
POPULATION(THOUSANDS) IN 2015
NOMINAL GDP BILLIONS
EUR IN 2015
NOMINAL GDP BILLIONS
USD IN 2015
NOMINAL GDP PER CAPITA
EUR IN 2015
NOMINAL GDP PER CAPITA
USD IN 2015
Foreign relations of Lithuania
Foreign relations of Lithuania
Lithuania is a
member of the
Lithuania became a member of the
United Nations on 18 September 1991,
and is a signatory to a number of its organizations and other
international agreements. It is also a member of the
European Union ,
the Council of
Europe , Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe , as well as
NATO and its adjunct North Atlantic Coordinating
Lithuania gained membership in the World Trade Organization
on 31 May 2001, and currently seeks membership in the
OECD and other
Lithuania has established diplomatic relations with 149 countries.
Lithuania hosted the Organization for Security and
Europe Ministerial Council Meeting. During the second
half of 2013,
Lithuania assumed the role of the presidency of the
European Union . The stamp is dedicated to Lithuania's presidency
of the European Union. Post of Lithuania, 2013.
Lithuania is also active in developing cooperation among northern
European countries. It has been a member of the Baltic Council since
its establishment in 1993. The Baltic Council, located in
Tallinn , is
a permanent organisation of international cooperation that operates
Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers.
Lithuania also cooperates with Nordic and the two other Baltic
countries through the
NB8 format. A similar format, NB6, unites Nordic
and Baltic members of EU. NB6's focus is to discuss and agree on
positions before presenting them to the Council of the European Union
and at the meetings of EU foreign affairs ministers.
The Council of the
Baltic Sea States (CBSS) was established in
Copenhagen in 1992 as an informal regional political forum. Its main
aim is to promote integration and to close contacts between the
region's countries. The members of CBSS are Iceland, Sweden, Denmark,
Norway, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia,
and the European Commission. Its observer states are Belarus, France,
Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, the United States, the
United Kingdom, and Ukraine.
Lithuania was recently a member of
United Nations Security Council
Nordic Council of Ministers and
Lithuania engage in political
cooperation to attain mutual goals and to determine new trends and
possibilities for joint cooperation. The Council's information office
aims to disseminate Nordic concepts and to demonstrate and promote
Lithuania, together with the five
Nordic countries and the two other
Baltic countries, is a member of the
Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and
cooperates in its NORDPLUS programme, which is committed to education.
The Baltic Development Forum (BDF) is an independent nonprofit
organization that unites large companies, cities, business
associations and institutions in the
Baltic Sea region. In 2010 the
BDF's 12th summit was held in Vilnius.
Lithuania was elected to the
United Nations Security Council
for a two-year term, becoming the first Baltic country elected to
Lithuanian Armed Forces Soldier of the Lithuanian
National Defence Volunteer Forces
Lithuanian Armed Forces is the name for the unified armed forces
Lithuanian Land Force ,
Lithuanian Air Force , Lithuanian Naval
Lithuanian Special Operations Force and other units: Logistics
Command, Training and Doctrine Command, Headquarters Battalion,
Military Police . Directly subordinated to the
Chief of Defence are
Special Operations Forces
Special Operations Forces and Military Police. The Reserve Forces
are under command of the Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces
Lithuanian Armed Forces consist of some 15,000 active personnel,
which may be supported by reserve forces . Compulsory conscription
ended in 2008 but was reintroduced in 2015. The Lithuanian Armed
Forces currently have deployed personnel on international missions in
Mali and Somalia. Lithuanian soldiers on
NATO mission in
In March 2004,
Lithuania became a full member of the
NATO . Since
then, fighter jets of
NATO members are deployed in
Zokniai airport and
provide safety for the Baltic airspace .
Since the summer of 2005
Lithuania has been part of the International
Security Assistance Force in
Afghanistan (ISAF), leading a Provincial
Reconstruction Team (PRT) in the town of
Chaghcharan in the province
Ghor . The PRT includes personnel from
Iceland and USA.
There are also special operation forces units in Afghanistan, placed
Kandahar Province . Since joining international operations in 1994,
Lithuania has lost two soldiers: 1st Lt. Normundas Valteris fell in
Bosnia , as his patrol vehicle drove over a mine. Sgt. Arūnas
Jarmalavičius was fatally wounded during an attack on the camp of his
Provincial Reconstruction Team
Provincial Reconstruction Team in
The Lithuanian National Defence Policy aims to guarantee the
preservation of the independence and sovereignty of the state, the
integrity of its land, territorial waters and airspace, and its
constitutional order. Its main strategic goals are to defend the
country's interests, and to maintain and expand the capabilities of
its armed forces so they may contribute to and participate in the
European Union member states.
The defense ministry is responsible for combat forces, search and
rescue , and intelligence operations. The 5,000 border guards fall
Interior Ministry 's supervision and are responsible for
border protection, passport and customs duties, and share
responsibility with the navy for smuggling and drug trafficking
interdiction. A special security department handles VIP protection and
communications security .
Economy of Lithuania GNI per capita
Regional GDP per capita
Labour productivity level of Lithuania
is one of the lowest in EU .
OECD , 2015 Confirmed state
budget revenue projections in
EUR per capita for 2016 in
Latvia and Lithuania. Average monthly gross salaries in Estonia
Latvia and Lithuania. Time period: 2016, 2nd quarter.
Graphical depiction of Lithuania's product exports in 28 color-coded
Lithuanian GDP experienced very high real growth rates in the decade
before 2009, peaking at 11.1% in 2007. As a result, the country was
often termed as a
Baltic Tiger . However, 2009 marked a dramatic
decline in GDP at −14.9% attributed to overheating of the economy.
The economy resumed growth in the following years at a lower but more
sustainable pace, driven by domestic demand and exports rather than
housing and financial bubbles. The unemployment rate was 9.1% at the
end of 2015, down from 17.8% in 2010.
Swedbank headquarters in
Lithuania is part of a monetary union, the eurozone
(dark blue), and of the EU single market .
Lithuania has a flat tax rate rather than a progressive scheme .
According to Eurostat, the personal income tax (15%) and corporate
tax (15%) rates in
Lithuania are among the lowest in the EU. The
country has the lowest implicit rate of tax on capital (9.8%) in the
Lithuania also has the lowest overall taxation as a percentage of
GDP (27.2) in the European Union.
Lithuanian income levels are somewhat lower than in older EU Member
States but higher than in most new EU Member States that have joined
in the last decade. According to
Eurostat data, Lithuanian GDP per
capita(PPP) stood at 75% of the EU average in 2015. Average annual
wage (before taxes, for full-time employees) in
Lithuania stood at
around $10,000, still around 1/5 of that in the richest EU member
states in 2015. As of 2016,
Lithuania had average wealth per adult, at
Structurally, there is a gradual but consistent shift towards a
knowledge-based economy with special emphasis on biotechnology
(industrial and diagnostic). The major biotechnology companies and
laser manufacturers (
Ekspla , Šviesos Konversija) of the
concentrated in Lithuania. Also mechatronics and information
technology (IT) are seen as prospective knowledge-based economy
Barclays established Technology Centre
Lithuania – one of
four strategic engineering centres supporting the
Banking businesses across the globe. In 2011, Western Union
officially opened their new European Regional Operating Centre in
Vilnius. The stated position of the Lithuanian government is that the
focus of Lithuanian economy is high added-value products and services.
Among other international companies operating in
Ernst & Young ,
Societe Generale , UniCredit
Thermo Fisher Scientific , Phillip Morris ,
Kraft Foods , Mars ,
Marks "> Major highways in
Lithuania Construction of the
dual-gauge railway track in
Rail Baltica project)
The country boasts a well-developed modern infrastructure of
railways, airports and four-lane highways.
Lithuania has an extensive
network of motorways. The best known motorways are A1 , connecting
Klaipėda via Kaunas, as well as A2 , connecting Vilnius
Panevėžys . One of the most used is the European route E67
highway running from
Tallinn , via
The Port of
Klaipėda is the only commercial port in Lithuania. In a
record year for the port, in 2011 45.5 million tons of cargo were
Būtingė oil terminal figures), making it one of
the biggest in the
Baltic Sea .
Vilnius International Airport is the largest airport. It served 3.8
million passengers in 2016. Other international airports include
Kaunas International Airport ,
Palanga International Airport and
Šiauliai International Airport .
Lithuania received its first railway connection in the middle of the
19th century, when the
Warsaw – Saint Petersburg Railway was
constructed. It included a stretch from
Kaunas to Virbalis. The first and only still operating in the Baltic
Kaunas Railway Tunnel was completed in 1860. Lithuanian
Railways ' main network consists of 1,762 km (1,095 mi) of 1,520 mm (4
ft 11.8 in) broad gauge railway of which 122 km (76 mi) are
electrified. They also operate 115 km (71 mi) of standard gauge lines.
The Trans-European standard gauge
Rail Baltica railway, linking
Warsaw and continuing on to
Berlin is under construction.
Energy in Lithuania
Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant was a Soviet-era nuclear station. Unit
No. 1 was closed in December 2004, as a condition of Lithuania's entry
into the European Union; the plant is similar to the Chernobyl Nuclear
Power Plant in its lack of a robust containment structure. The
remaining unit, as of 2006 , supplied about 70% of Lithuania's
electrical demand. Unit No. 2 was closed down on 31 December 2009.
Proposals have been made to construct another –
Power Plant in Lithuania. However, a non-binding referendum held in
October 2012 clouded the prospects for the
Visaginas project, as 63%
of voters said no to a new nuclear power plant.
The country's main primary source of electrical power is Elektrėnai
Power Plant . Other primary sources of Lithuania's electrical power
Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant and
Kaunas Hydroelectric Power Plant
Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant is the only in the
Baltic states power
plant to be used for regulation of the power system's operation with
generating capacity of 900 MW for at least 12 hours. As of 2015 , 66%
of electrical power was imported.
Demographics of Lithuania Population of Lithuania
(in millions), 1950–2016 Population density
Neolithic period the native inhabitants of the Lithuanian
territory have not been replaced by any other ethnic group, so there
is a high probability that the inhabitants of present-day Lithuania
have preserved the genetic composition of their forebears relatively
undisturbed by the major demographic movements, although without
being actually isolated from them. The Lithuanian population appears
to be relatively homogeneous, without apparent genetic differences
among ethnic subgroups.
A 2004 analysis of
MtDNA in the Lithuanian population revealed that
Lithuanians are close to the Slavic and Finno-Ugric speaking
populations of Northern and Eastern Europe. Y-chromosome SNP
haplogroup analysis showed
Lithuanians to be closest to
According to 2014 estimates, the age structure of the population was
as follows: 0–14 years, 13.5% (male 243,001/female 230,674); 15–64
years: 69.5% (male 1,200,196/female 1,235,300); 65 years and over:
16.8% (male 207,222/female 389,345). The median age was 41.2 years
(male: 38.5, female: 43.7).
Lithuania has a sub-replacement fertility rate : the total fertility
rate (TFR) in
Lithuania is 1.59 children born/woman (2015 estimates).
As of 2014 , 29% of births were to unmarried women. The age at first
marriage in 2013 was 27 years for women and 29.3 years for men.
Ethnic minorities in Lithuania
RESIDENTS OF LITHUANIA BY ETHNICITY (2015)
Lithuanians make up about five-sixths of the country's
Lithuania has the most homogenous population in the
Baltic States. In 2015, the population of
Lithuania stands at
2,921,262, 86.7% of whom are ethnic
Lithuanians who speak Lithuanian ,
which is the official language of the country. Several sizable
minorities exist, such as
Russians (4.8%), Belarusians
Poles are the largest minority, concentrated in southeast Lithuania
Vilnius region ).
Russians are the second largest minority,
concentrated mostly in two cities. They constitute sizeable minorities
Vilnius (12%) and
Klaipėda (19.6%), and a majority in the town
Visaginas (52%). About 3,000 Roma live in Lithuania, mostly in
Kaunas and Panevėžys; their organizations are supported by
the National Minority and Emigration Department. For centuries a
small Tatar community has flourished in Lithuania.
The official language is Lithuanian . Other languages, such as
Russian , Polish , Belarusian and Ukrainian , are spoken in the larger
cities, in the
Šalčininkai District Municipality and the Vilnius
District Municipality .
Yiddish is spoken by members of the tiny
remaining Jewish community in Lithuania. According to the Lithuanian
population census of 2011, about 85% of the country's population
speak Lithuanian as their native language, 7,2% are native speakers of
Russian and 5,3% of Polish. According to the
conducted in 2012, 80% of
Lithuanians can speak Russian and 38% can
speak English. Most Lithuanian schools teach English as the first
foreign language, but students may also study German, or, in some
schools, French or Russian. Schools where Russian or Polish are the
primary languages of education exist in the areas populated by these
List of cities in Lithuania
There has been a steady movement of population to the cities since
the 1990s, encouraged by the planning of regional centres, such as
Plungė , and
Mažeikiai . By the
early 21st century, about two-thirds of the total population lived in
urban areas. As of 2015 , 66.5% of the total population lives in urban
areas. The largest city is
Vilnius , followed by
Šiauliai , and
Largest cities or towns in Lithuania
Statistics Lithuania (2015)
Map of the 20 largest cities or towns in
FUNCTIONAL URBAN AREAS
FUNCTIONAL URBAN AREAS
Health in Lithuania
As of 2015 Lithuanian life expectancy at birth was 73.4 (67.4 years
for males and 78.8 for females) and the infant mortality rate was 6.2
per 1,000 births. The annual population growth rate increased by 0.3%
in 2007. At 33.5 people per 100,000 in 2012,
Lithuania has seen a
dramatic rise in suicides in the post-Soviet years, and now records
the fourth highest age-standardized suicide rate in the world,
Lithuania also has the highest homicide rate in
Religion in Lithuania
Hill of Crosses near
As per the 2011 census, 77.2% of
Lithuanians belonged to the Roman
Catholic Church. The Church has been the majority denomination since
Christianisation of Lithuania at the end of the 14th century. The
Reformation did not impact
Lithuania to a great extent as seen in
Latvia as generally only local
Germans in the
Klaipėda/Memel area turned Protestant, while
Lithuanians and Poles
remained Catholic, and Russians,
Belarusians and Ukrainians—Eastern
Orthodox. Some priests actively led the resistance against the
Communist regime (symbolised by the
Hill of Crosses ).
RESIDENTS OF LITHUANIA BY RELIGION (2011)
Old Believers )
Did not specify
4.1% are Eastern Orthodox , mainly among the Russian minority. This
group is distinguishable into the
Eastern Orthodox Church and Old
Protestants are 0.8%, of which 0.6% are Lutheran and 0.2% are
Reformed . According to Losch (1932), the Lutherans were 3.3% of the
total population; they were mainly
Germans in the Memel territory
(now Klaipėda). There was also a tiny Reformed community (0,5%)
which still persists. Protestantism has declined with the removal of
the German population , and today it is mainly represented by ethnic
Lithuanians throughout the northern and western parts of the country,
as well as in large urban areas. Believers and clergy suffered greatly
during the Soviet occupation, with many killed, tortured or deported
to Siberia. Newly arriving evangelical churches have established
Lithuania since 1990.
6.1% have no religion .
Lithuania was historically home to a significant Jewish community and
was an important center of Jewish scholarship and culture from the
18th century until the eve of World War II. Prior to the war, the
Jewish population, outside of the
Vilnius region (which was then in
Poland), numbered about 160,000. In September 1939, tens of thousands
of Polish Jews became Lithuanian subjects when the Soviets transferred
Vilnius region (of the former Polish state) to
additional Jewish refugees arrived in
Lithuania during the period
prior to June 1941. Of the approximately 220,000 Jews who lived in the
Lithuania in June 1941, almost all were entirely
annihilated during the Holocaust . The community numbered about
4,000 at the end of 2009. Wooden church in
Lithuania has strong
Roman Catholic traditions. Cathedral of the
Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church . Choral Synagogue of
Vilnius , the only synagogue in the city to survive the Nazi
According to the most recent
Eurobarometer Poll in 2010, 47% of
Lithuanian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", 37%
answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force
", and 12% said that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit
, god, or life force ".
Education in Lithuania
Vilnius University , one
of the oldest universities in Eastern and Central
The first documented school in
Lithuania was established in 1387 at
Vilnius Cathedral . The school network was influenced by the
Christianization of Lithuania . Several types of schools were present
Lithuania – cathedral schools, where pupils were
prepared for priesthood ; parish schools, offering elementary
education; and home schools dedicated to educating the children of the
Lithuanian nobility . Before
Vilnius University was established in
Lithuanians seeking higher education attended universities in
foreign cities, including
Prague , and
Leipzig , among
others. During the Interbellum a national university – Vytautas
Magnus University was founded in Kaunas.
The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania
proposes national educational policies and goals. These are sent to
Seimas for ratification. Laws govern long-term educational
strategy along with general laws on standards for higher education,
vocational training, law and science, adult education, and special
education. County administrators, municipal administrators, and
school founders (including non-governmental organizations, religious
organizations, and individuals) are responsible for implementing these
policies. By constitutional mandate, ten years of formal enrollment
in an educational institution is mandatory, ending at age 16.
Raudonė Basic School, located in
14.7% of the 2014 state budget was allocated to education expenses.
Primary and secondary schools receive funding from the state via their
municipal or county administrations. The Constitution of Lithuania
guarantees tuition-free attendance at public institutions of higher
education for students deemed 'good'; the number of such students has
varied over the past decade, with 53.5% exempted from tuition fees in
World Bank designates the literacy rate of Lithuanian persons
aged 15 years and older as 100% and, according to
leads among other countries of EU by people with secondary education
(93.3%). As of 2012 , 34% of the population aged 25 to 64 had
completed tertiary education; 59.1% had completed upper secondary and
post-secondary (non-tertiary) education. According to _Invest in
Lithuania has twice as many people with higher education
EU-15 average and the proportion is the highest in the
Baltic. Also, 90% of
Lithuanians speak at least one foreign language
and half of the population speaks two foreign languages, mostly
Russian and English.
As with other Baltic nations, in particular
Latvia , the large volume
of higher education graduates within the country, coupled with the
high rate of spoken second languages is contributing to an education
brain drain . Many
Lithuanians are choosing to emigrate seeking higher
earning employment and studies throughout Europe. Since their
inclusion into the
European Union in 2004, Lithuania's population has
fallen by approximately 180,000 people.
As of 2008 , there were 15 public universities in Lithuania, 6
private institutions, 16 public colleges, and 11 private colleges.
Vilnius University is one of the oldest universities in Northern
Europe and the largest university in
Kaunas University of
Technology is the largest technical university in the Baltic States
and the 2nd largest university in Lithuania. Other universities
Lithuanian University of Health Sciences , Lithuanian Academy
of Music and Theatre ,
Lithuanian University of Educology , Vytautas
Magnus University ,
Mykolas Romeris University , Lithuanian Academy of
Physical Education ,
Vilnius Gediminas Technical University , The
General Jonas Zemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania , Klaipėda
Lithuanian Veterinary Academy , Lithuanian University of
Šiauliai University ,
Vilnius Academy of Art , and LCC
International University .
Culture of Lithuania
Lithuanian language (_lietuvių kalba_) is the official state
Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official
languages of the
European Union . There are about 2.96 million native
Lithuanian speakers in
Lithuania and about 0.2 million abroad.
Lithuanian is a Baltic language , closely related to Latvian ,
although they are not mutually intelligible . It is written in an
adapted version of the Roman script . Lithuanian is believed to be the
linguistically most conservative living Indo-European tongue ,
retaining many features of Proto Indo-European .
Lithuanian literature _ The first Lithuanian
Catechism of Martynas Mažvydas _ (1547, Königsberg)
There is a great deal of
Lithuanian literature written in
Latin , the
main scholarly language of the Middle Ages. The edicts of the
Mindaugas is the prime example of the literature of
this kind. The
Letters of Gediminas are another crucial heritage of
Lithuanian literary works in the
Lithuanian language started being
first published in the 16th century. In 1547 Martynas Mažvydas
compiled and published the first printed Lithuanian book _The Simple
Words of Catechism_, which marks the beginning of printed Lithuanian
literature. He was followed by
Mikalojus Daukša with _Katechizmas_.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, as in the whole Christian Europe,
Lithuanian literature was primarily religious.
The evolution of the old (14th–18th century) Lithuanian literature
Kristijonas Donelaitis , one of the most prominent authors
Age of Enlightenment . Donelaitis' poem _The Seasons _ is a
landmark of the Lithuanian fiction literature.
With a mix of
Classicism , Sentimentalism and
Romanticism , the
Lithuanian literature of the first half of the 19th century is
Antanas Baranauskas ,
Simonas Daukantas and
Simonas Stanevičius . During the Tsarist annexation of
the 19th century, the
Lithuanian press ban was implemented, which led
to the formation of the
Book smugglers) movement. This
movement is thought to be the very reason the
Lithuanian language and
literature survived until today.
Lithuanian literature is represented by Juozas
Antanas Vienuolis ,
Bernardas Brazdžionis ,
Vytautas Mačernis and
Justinas Marcinkevičius .
ARTS AND MUSEUMS
List of museums in Lithuania
Jonas Mekas is
regarded as godfather of American avant-garde cinema
Lithuanian Art Museum was founded in 1933 and is the largest
museum of art conservation and display in Lithuania. Among other
important museums is the
Palanga Amber Museum , where amber pieces
comprise a major part of the collection.
Perhaps the most renowned figure in Lithuania's art community was the
Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875–1911), an
internationally renowned musician. The
2420 Čiurlionis asteroid ,
identified in 1975, honors his achievements. The M. K. Čiurlionis
National Art Museum , as well as the only military museum in
Vytautas the Great
Vytautas the Great War Museum , are located in Kaunas.
Music of Lithuania
Lithuanian folk music belongs to Baltic music branch which is
connected with neolithic corded ware culture. Two instrument cultures
meet in the areas inhabited by Lithuanians: stringed (kanklių ) and
wind instrument cultures. Lithuanian folk music is archaic, mostly
used for ritual purposes, containing elements of paganism faith. There
are three ancient styles of singing in
Lithuania connected with
ethnographical regions: monophony , heterophony and polyphony . Folk
song genres: Sutartinės, Wedding Songs, War-Historical Time Songs,
Calendar Cycle and Ritual Songs and Work Songs.
Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis is the most renowned Lithuanian
painter and composer. During his short life he created about 200
pieces of music. His works have had profound influence on modern
Lithuanian culture. His symphonic poems _In the Forest_ (_Miške_) and
_The Sea_ (_Jūra_) were performed only posthumously . Čiurlionis
contributed to symbolism and art nouveau and was representative of the
fin de siècle epoch. He has been considered one of the pioneers of
abstract art in Europe.
Vytautas Miškinis (born 1954) is a professor, composer and choir
director of the famous Lithuanian boys' choir
Ąžuoliukas . He is
very popular in
Lithuania and abroad. He has written over 400 secular
and about 160 religious works.
In Lithuania, choral music is very important.
Vilnius is the only
city with three choirs laureates (Brevis, Jauna Muzika and Chamber
Choir of the Conservatoire) at the European Grand Prix for Choral
Singing . There is a long-standing tradition of the Lithuanian Song
and Dance Festival (Dainų Šventė). The first one took place in
Kaunas in 1924. Since 1990, the festival has been organised every four
years and summons roughly 30,000 singers and folk dancers of various
professional levels and age groups from across the country. In 2008,
Lithuanian Song and Dance Festival together with its Latvian and
Estonian versions was inscribed as
UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and
Intangible Heritage of Humanity .
Marijonas Mikutavičius is famous for creating unofficial Lithuania
sport anthem "Trys milijonai" (English: Three million).
Lithuanian cuisine _
Cepelinai _, a potato -based
dumpling dish characteristic of
Lithuanian cuisine features the products suited to the cool and moist
northern climate of Lithuania: barley , potatoes , rye , beets ,
greens, berries, and mushrooms are locally grown, and dairy products
are one of its specialties. Since it shares its climate and
agricultural practices with Northern Europe,
Lithuanian cuisine has
some similarities to
Scandinavian cuisine . Nevertheless, it has its
own distinguishing features, which were formed by a variety of
influences during the country's long and difficult history.
Because of their common heritage, Lithuanians, Poles, and Ashkenazi
Jews share many dishes and beverages. Namely, similar versions of:
dumplings (koldūnai, kreplach or pierogi ), doughnuts spurgos or
(pączki), and blynai crêpes (blintzes ). German traditions also
influenced Lithuanian cuisine, introducing pork and potato dishes,
such as potato pudding (kugelis or kugel) and potato sausages
(vėdarai), as well as the baroque tree cake known as
Šakotis . The
most exotic of all the influences is Eastern (Karaite) cuisine, and
the dishes kibinai and čeburekai are popular in Lithuania. Torte
Napoleon was introduced during
Napoleon 's passage through Lithuania
in the 19th century.
Sport in Lithuania
Lithuania men\'s national
basketball team is ranked 5th worldwide in
FIBA Rankings .
Rūta Meilutytė – Olympic , multiple World and European champion.
Basketball is the most popular and national sport of Lithuania. The
Lithuania national basketball team has had significant success in
international basketball events, having won the
EuroBasket on three
occasions (1937 , 1939 and 2003 ), as well a total of 8 other medals
in the Eurobasket, the World Championships and the Olympic Games . The
men's national team also has extremely high TV ratings as about 76% of
the country's population watched their games live in 2014. Lithuania
hosted the Eurobasket in 1939 and 2011 . The historic Lithuanian
BC Žalgiris , from Kaunas, won the European
Euroleague in 1999.
Lithuania has produced a number
of NBA players, including Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Arvydas Sabonis and
Šarūnas Marčiulionis and current
Donatas Motiejūnas ,
Jonas Valančiūnas , Domantas
Mindaugas Kuzminskas .
Lithuania has won a total of 25 medals at the Olympic Games ,
including 6 gold medals in athletics , modern pentathlon , shooting ,
and swimming . Numerous other
Lithuanians won Olympic medals
representing Soviet Union. Discus thrower
Virgilijus Alekna is the
most successful Olympic athlete of independent Lithuania, having won
gold medals in the 2000 Sydney and
2004 Athens games, as well as a
2008 Beijing Olympics and numerous World Championship
medals. More recently, the gold medal won by a then 15-year-old
Rūta Meilutytė at the
2012 Summer Olympics in London sparked
a rise in popularity for the sport in Lithuania. Druskininkai
Lithuania has produced prominent athletes in athletics, modern
pentathlon, road and track cycling , chess , rowing , aerobatics ,
strongman , wrestling , boxing , mixed martial arts ,
and other sports.
Few Lithuanian athletes have found success in winter sports ,
although facilities are provided by several ice rinks and skiing
Snow Arena , the first indoor ski slope in the
The following are links to international rankings of
selected research institutes and foundations including economic output
and various composite indices.
Human Development Index
Human Development Index 2016
Human Development Index
Human Development Index 2016
Ease of Doing Business Index 2017
Index of Economic Freedom 2017
Corruption Perceptions Index 2015
Global Peace Index
Global Peace Index 2016
Globalization Index 2015
Privacy International 2007
Reporters Without Borders
Press Freedom Index 2016
Networked Readiness Index 2015
Legatum Prosperity Index 2015
EF English Proficiency Index
EF English Proficiency Index 2015
Logistics Performance Index 2016
Index of Lithuania-related articles
* List of
Outline of Lithuania
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French construction does not correspond to either parliamentary or the
presidential form of government, and then develops the distinction of
'système politique' and 'régime constitutionnel'. While the former
comprises the exercise of power that results from the dominant
institutional practice, the latter is the totality of the rules for
the dominant institutional practice of the power. In this way, France
appears as 'presidentialist system' endowed with a 'semi-presidential
regime' (1983: 587). By this standard he recognizes Duverger's
_pléiade_ as semi-presidential regimes, as well as Poland, Romania,
Bulgaria and LITHUANIA (1993: 87).
* ^ Matthew Shugart Søberg (September 2005). "Semi-Presidential
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* ^ Lithuania. American Heritage Dictionary.
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pronunciation and instead lists /ˌlɪθəˈweɪniə/ as the most
common US pronunciation. The Oxford Online Dictionaries also mention
the UK variant /ˌlɪθjuːˈeɪniə/
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