Introduction    Lithuania Top of Page
Lithuanian lands were united under MINDAUGAS in 1236; over the next century, through alliances and conquest, Lithuania extended its territory to include most of present-day Belarus and Ukraine. By the end of the 14th century Lithuania was the largest state in Europe. An alliance with Poland in 1386 led the two countries into a union through the person of a common ruler. In 1569, Lithuania and Poland formally united into a single dual state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This entity survived until 1795, when its remnants were partitioned by surrounding countries. Lithuania regained its independence following World War I but was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence, but Moscow did not recognize this proclamation until September of 1991 (following the abortive coup in Moscow). The last Russian troops withdrew in 1993. Lithuania subsequently restructured its economy for integration into Western European institutions; it joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.
   Geography    Lithuania Top of Page
Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Russia
Geographic coordinates:
56 00 N, 24 00 E
Map references:
total: 65,300 sq km
land: 62,680 sq km
water: 2,620 sq km4,620 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than West Virginia
Land boundaries:
total: 1,574 km
border countries: Belarus 680 km, Latvia 576 km, Poland 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad) 227 km
90 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
transitional, between maritime and continental; wet, moderate winters and summers
lowland, many scattered small lakes, fertile soil
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Juozapines Kalnas 294 m
Natural resources:
peat, arable land, amber
Land use:
arable land: 44.81%
permanent crops: 0.9%
other: 54.29% (2005)
Irrigated land:
70 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
24.5 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 3.33 cu km/yr (78%/15%/7%)
per capita: 971 cu m/yr (2003)
Natural hazards:
Environment - current issues:
contamination of soil and groundwater with petroleum products and chemicals at military bases
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
fertile central plains are separated by hilly uplands that are ancient glacial deposits
   People    Lithuania Top of Page
3,555,179 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.2% (male 258,423/female 245,115)
15-64 years: 69.6% (male 1,214,743/female 1,261,413)
65 years and over: 16.2% (male 198,714/female 376,771) (2009 est.)
Median age:
total: 39.3 years
male: 36.8 years
female: 41.9 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.279% (2009 est.)
Birth rate:
9.11 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate:
11.18 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
urban population: 67% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: -0.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.53 male(s)/female
total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 6.47 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.73 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.9 years
male: 69.98 years
female: 80.1 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.23 children born/woman (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
2,200 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 200 (2007 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne disease: tickborne encephalitis (2009)
noun: Lithuanian(s)
adjective: Lithuanian
Ethnic groups:
Lithuanian 83.4%, Polish 6.7%, Russian 6.3%, other or unspecified 3.6% (2001 census)
Roman Catholic 79%, Russian Orthodox 4.1%, Protestant (including Lutheran and Evangelical Christian Baptist) 1.9%, other or unspecified 5.5%, none 9.5% (2001 census)
Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other and unspecified 4.4% (2001 census)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.6%
male: 99.6%
female: female: 99.6% (2001 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 16 years
male: 15 years
female: 17 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
5% of GDP (2005)
   Government    Lithuania Top of Page
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Lithuania
conventional short form: Lithuania
former: Lietuvos Respublika
abbreviation: Lietuva
former: Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
name: Vilnius
geographic coordinates: 54 41 N, 25 19 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
10 counties (apskritys, singular - apskritis); Alytaus, Kauno, Klaipedos, Marijampoles, Panevezio, Siauliu, Taurages, Telsiu, Utenos, Vilniaus
11 March 1990 (declared); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 16 February (1918); note - 16 February 1918 was the date Lithuania declared its independence from Soviet Russia and established its statehood; 11 March 1990 was the date it declared its independence from the Soviet Union
adopted 25 October 1992; last amended 13 July 2004
Legal system:
based on civil law system; legislative acts can be appealed to the constitutional court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE (since 12 July 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Andrius KUBILIUS (since 27 November 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the nomination of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 17 May 2009 (next to be held in May 2014); prime minister appointed by the president on the approval of the Parliament
election results: Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE elected president; percent of vote - Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE 69.1%, Algirdas BUTKEVICIUS 11.8%, Valentinas MAZURONIS 6.2%, others 12.9%; Andrius KUBILIUS' government approved by Parliament 83-40 with 5 abstentions
Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament or Seimas (141 seats; 71 members are elected by popular vote, 70 are elected by proportional representation; serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 12 and 26 October 2008 (next to be held October 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - TS-LKD 19.7%, TPP 15.1%, TT 12.7%, LSDP 11.7%, KDP+J 9%, LRLS 5.7%, LCS 5.3%, LLRA 4.8%, LVLS 3.7%, NS 3.6%, other 8.7%; seats by faction - TS-LKD 44, LSDP 26, TPP 16, TT 15, LRLS 11, KDP+J 10, LCS 8, LLRA 3, LVLS 3, NS 1, independent 4
Judicial branch:
Constitutional Court; Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; judges for all courts appointed by the president
Political parties and leaders:
Civil Democracy Party or PDP [Viktor MUNTIANAS]; Coalition of Labor Party and Youth or KDP+J [Viktor USPASKICH]; Electoral Action of Lithuanian Poles or LLRA [Valdemar TOMASZEVSKI]; Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats or TS-LKD [Andrius KUBILIUS]; Lithuanian Peasant Popular Union or LVLS [Kazimiera PRUNSKIENE]; Liberal and Center Union or LCS [Arturas ZUOKAS]; Liberal Movement or LRLS [Eligijus MASIULIS]; National Revival or TPP [Arunas VALINSKAS]; New Union (Social Liberal) or NS [Arturas PAULAUSKAS]; Order and Justice Party or TT [Rolandas PAKSAS]; Social Democratic Party or LSDP [Gediminas KIRKILAS]; Young Lithuania and New Nationalists [Stanislovas BUSKEVICIUS]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Europe House (promotes the EU); European Movement (promotes the EU); Lithuanian Future Forum (promotes the EU)
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Audrius BRUZGA
chancery: 2622 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 234-5860
FAX: [1] (202) 328-0466
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador John A. CLOUD
embassy: Akmenu gatve 6, Vilnius, LT-03106
mailing address: American Embassy, Akmenu Gatve 6, Vilnius LT-03106
telephone: [370] (5) 266 5500
FAX: [370] (5) 266 5510
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), green, and red
   Economy    Lithuania Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Lithuania's economy grew on average 8% per year for the four years prior to 2008, driven by exports and domestic consumer demand. Unemployment stood at 4.8% in 2008, while wages grew at double digit rates. The current account deficit rose to roughly 15% of GDP in 2007-08. Lithuania has gained membership in the World Trade Organization and joined the EU in May 2004. Despite Lithuania's EU accession, Lithuania's trade with its Central and Eastern European neighbors, and Russia in particular, accounts for a growing percentage of total trade. Privatization of the large, state-owned utilities is nearly complete. Foreign government and business support have helped in the transition from the old command economy to a market economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$63.25 billion (2008 est.)
$61.29 billion (2007)
$56.28 billion (2006)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$48.75 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3.2% (2008 est.)
8.9% (2007 est.)
7.8% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$17,700 (2008 est.)
$17,100 (2007 est.)
$15,700 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 4.3%
industry: 32.8%
services: 62.8% (2008 est.)
Labor force:
1.601 million (2008 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 14%
industry: 29.1%
services: 56.9% (2005)
Unemployment rate:
4.8% (2008 est.) 3.5% (2007 est.)
note: based on survey data, official registered unemployment of 5.7%
Population below poverty line:
4% (2003)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 27.7% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
36 (2005)
Investment (gross fixed):
27.8% of GDP (2008 est.)
revenues: $15.4 billion
expenditures: $15.86 billion (2008 est.)
Public debt:
11.9% of GDP (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
11% (2008 est.) 5.7% (2007 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
4.73% (31 December 2008) 4.85% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
6.29% (31 December 2008) 6.86% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money:
$9.519 billion (31 December 2008) $11.84 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money:
$8.419 billion (31 December 2008) $6.917 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit:
$29.21 billion (31 December 2008) $25.05 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$10.13 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products:
grain, potatoes, sugar beets, flax, vegetables; beef, milk, eggs; fish
metal-cutting machine tools, electric motors, television sets, refrigerators and freezers, petroleum refining, shipbuilding (small ships), furniture making, textiles, food processing, fertilizers, agricultural machinery, optical equipment, electronic components, computers, amber jewelry
Industrial production growth rate:
4.6% (2008 est.)
Electricity - production:
11.91 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - consumption:
10.4 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - exports:
7.217 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports:
5.846 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
8,250 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption:
57,170 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports:
148,400 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports:
206,700 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves:
12 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
3.44 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
3.44 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
$-6.775 billion (2008 est.)
$23.48 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
mineral products 23%, textiles and clothing 16%, machinery and equipment 11%, chemicals 6%, wood and wood products 5%, foodstuffs 5% (2001)
Exports - partners:
Russia 15%, Latvia 12.9%, Germany 10.5%, Poland 6.3%, Estonia 5.8%, UK 4.6%, Denmark 4.1%, Belarus 4% (2007)
$30.26 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities:
mineral products, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, chemicals, textiles and clothing, metals
Imports - partners:
Russia 18%, Germany 15%, Poland 10.6%, Latvia 5.5%, Netherlands 4.3% (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$8.397 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Debt - external:
$35.46 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$16.43 billion (2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$2.142 billion (2008 est.)
Exchange rates:
litai (LTL) per US dollar - 2.3251 (2008 est.), 2.5362 (2007), 2.7498 (2006), 2.774 (2005), 2.7806 (2004)
   Communications    Lithuania Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
799,400 (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
4.912 million (2007)
Telephone system:
general assessment: adequate; being modernized to provide improved international capability and better residential access
domestic: rapid expansion of mobile-cellular services has resulted in a steady decline in the number of main line subscriptions; mobile-cellular teledensity has increased to about 135 per 100 persons while fixed-line teledensity has dropped to 22 per 100 persons
international: country code - 370; major international connections to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway by submarine cable for further transmission by satellite; landline connections to Latvia and Poland (2007)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 29, FM 142, shortwave 1 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
44 (may have as many as 100 transmitters, including repeater stations) (2008)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
812,083 (2008)
Internet users:
1.333 million (2007)
   Transportation    Lithuania Top of Page
87 (2008)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 31
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 18 (2008)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 56
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 52 (2008)
gas 1,695 km; refined products 114 km (2008)
total: 1,765 km
broad gauge: 1,743 km 1.524-m gauge (122 km electrified)
standard gauge: 22 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
total: 80,715 km
paved: 71,301 km (includes 309 km of expressways)
unpaved: 9,414 km (2007)
Merchant marine:
total: 45
by type: cargo 23, container 2, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 13
foreign-owned: 6 (Denmark 5, Ukraine 1)
registered in other countries: 28 (Antigua and Barbuda 5, Cook Islands 1, North Korea 1, Malta 1, Norway 1, Panama 7, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 9, unknown 3) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
   Military    Lithuania Top of Page
Military branches:
Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Air Forces (Karines Oro Pajegos), National Defense Volunteer Forces (2009)
Military service age and obligation:
19-26 years of age for compulsory military service; 18 years of age for volunteers; 12-month conscript service obligation; male registration required at age 16 (2009)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 915,187
females age 16-49: 906,097 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 677,689
females age 16-49: 743,468 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 23,556
female: 22,404 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Lithuania Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Lithuania and Russia committed to demarcating their boundary in 2006 in accordance with the land and maritime treaty ratified by Russia in May 2003 and by Lithuania in 1999; Lithuania operates a simplified transit regime for Russian nationals traveling from the Kaliningrad coastal exclave into Russia, while still conforming, as a EU member state having an external border with a non-EU member, to strict Schengen border rules; the Latvian parliament has not ratified its 1998 maritime boundary treaty with Lithuania, primarily due to concerns over potential hydrocarbons; as of January 2007, ground demarcation of the boundary with Belarus was complete and mapped with final ratification documents in preparation
Illicit drugs:
transshipment and destination point for cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, and opiates from Southwest Asia, Latin America, Western Europe, and neighboring Baltic countries; growing production of high-quality amphetamines, but limited production of cannabis, methamphetamines; susceptible to money laundering despite changes to banking legislation

This page was last updated on 14 May 2009


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