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. In January 2014, Lithuania assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2014-15 term.

Lithuanian Flag

Lithuanian Flag


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
country comparison to the world: 123
land: 62,680 sq km
water: 2,620 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: Aukstojas 294 m

Natural resources:
peat, arable land, amber

Land use:
arable land: 33.48%
permanent crops: 0.47%
other: 66.05% (2011)

Irrigated land:
13.4 sq km (2007)

Total renewable water resources:

24.9 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 2.38 cu km/yr (7%/90%/3%)
per capita: 703.8 cu m/yr (2009)

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

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People & Society

noun: Lithuanian(s)
adjective: Lithuanian

Ethnic groups:
Lithuanian 84.1%, Polish 6.6%, Russian 5.8%, Belarusian 1.2%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.2% (2011 est.)

Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other 0.9%, unspecified 3.5% (2011 est.)


Roman Catholic 77.2%, Russian Orthodox 4.1%, Old Believer 0.8%, Evangelical Lutheran 0.6%, Evangelical Reformist 0.2%, other (including Sunni Muslim, Jewish, Greek Catholic, and Karaite) 0.8%, none 6.1%, unspecified 10.1% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 134
note: Statistics Lithuania (the national statistical agency of Lithuania) estimates the country’s total population at the start of 2013 to be 2,971,905, which takes into account the findings of Lithuania’s 2011 census and the high rate of net outmigration since the country joined the EU in 2004 (July 2014 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 13.5% (male 243,001/female 230,674)
15-24 years: 12.5% (male 224,584/female 214,184)
25-54 years: 44.7% (male 782,238/female 785,521)
55-64 years: 17% (male 193,374/female 235,595)
65 years and over: 16.8% (male 207,222/female 389,345) (2014 est.)

Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 44.9 %
youth dependency ratio: 22.1 %
elderly dependency ratio: 22.7 %
potential support ratio: 4.4 (2014 est.)

Median age:
total: 41.2 years
male: 38.5 years
female: 43.7 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate:
-0.29% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 218

Birth rate:
9.36 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205

Death rate:

11.55 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 30

Net migration rate:
-0.73 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143


urban population: 67.1% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: -0.27% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas – population:
VILNIUS (capital) 546,000 (2011)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.53 male(s)/female
total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Mother’s mean age at first birth:
26.7 (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:

8 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
country comparison to the world: 163

Infant mortality rate:
total: 6 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 171
male: 7.14 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.98 years
country comparison to the world: 87
male: 71.2 years
female: 81.02 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.29 children born/woman (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 217

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
note: percent of women aged 18-49 (2006)

Health expenditures:
7% of GDP (2010)
country comparison to the world: 85

Physicians density:

3.64 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density:

6.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source:
urban: 97.6% of population
rural: 80.7% of population
total: 92% of population
urban: 2.4% of population
rural: 19.3% of population
total: 8% of population (2009 est.)

Sanitation facility access:

urban: 95.4% of population
rural: 69.1% of population
total: 86.7% of population
urban: 4.6% of population
rural: 30.9% of population
total: 13.3% of population (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:
1,200 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142

HIV/AIDS – deaths:
fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
vectorborne diseases: tickborne encephalitis (2013)

Obesity – adult prevalence rate:

27.6% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 38

Education expenditures:
5.4% of GDP (2010)
country comparison to the world: 61

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.7% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 17 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

total: 26.4%
country comparison to the world: 37
male: 29.9%
female: 21.8% (2012)

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Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Lithuania
conventional short form: Lithuania
local long form: Lietuvos Respublika
local short form: 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); notable earlier dates: 6 July 1253 (coronation of MINDAUGAS, traditional founding date), 1 July 1569 (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth created)

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

several previous; latest adopted by referendum 25 October 1992, entered into force 2 November 1992; amended 2003 (2012)

Legal system:
civil law system; legislative acts can be appealed to the constitutional court

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE (since 12 July 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Algirdas BUTKEVICIUS (since 22 November 2012)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the nomination of the prime minister and approval of the Parliament
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 11 and 25 May 2014 (next to be held in May 2019); prime minister appointed by the president on the approval of the Parliament
election results: Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE reelected president; percent of vote – Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE 59%, Zigmantas BALCYTIS 41%; Algirdas BUTKEVICIUS approved by Parliament 90-40

Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament or Seimas (141 seats; 71 members elected in single-member districts, 70 elected by proportional representation; members to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 14 and 28 October 2012 (next to be held in October 2016)
election results: percent of vote by party (proportional vote) – DP 19.8%, LSDP 18.4%, TS-LKD 15.1%, LS 8.6%, DK 8%, TT 7.3%, LLRA 5.8%, LVZS 3.9%, other parties 13.1%; seats by party – LSDP 38, TS-LKD 33, DP 29, TT 11, LS 10, LLRA 8, DK 7, unaffiliated 4, vacant 1

Judicial branch:

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 37 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the president and appointed by the Seimas; judges serve 5-year renewable terms; Constitutional Court judges selected by Seimas from among nominations by the president, by the Seimas chairperson, and Supreme Court chairperson; judges serve 9-year, nonrenewable terms; note – one-third of court judges reconstituted every 3 years
subordinate courts: Court of Appeals; district and local courts

Political parties and leaders:
Christian Party or KP [Gediminas VAGNORIUS]
Civil Democracy Party or PDP [Algimantas MATULEVICIUS]
Democratic Labor and Unity Party or DDVP [Kristina BRAZAUSKIENE]
Electoral Action of Lithuanian Poles or LLRA [Valdemar TOMASEVSKI]
Emigrants Party or EP [Juozas MURAUSKAS]
Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats or TS-LKD [Andrius KUBILIUS]
Labor Party or DP [Loreta GRAUZINIENE]
Liberal and Center Union or LCS [Arturas MELIANAS]
Liberal Movement or LS or LRLS [Eligijus MASIULIS]
Lithuanian People’s Party or LLP [Kazimiera PRUNSKIENE]
Lithuanian People’s Party or LZP [Joana SIMANAUSKIENE]
Lithuanian Russian Union or LRS [Sergejus DMITRIJEVAS]
Lithuanian Social Democratic Party or LSDP [Algirdas BUTKEVICIUS]
Nationalist Union or TS [Gintaras SONGAILA]
Order and Justice Party or TT [Rolandas PAKSAS]
Peasant and Greens Union or LVZS [Ramunas KARBAUSKIS]
Republican Party or RP [Valdemaras VALKIUNAS]
Russian Alliance or RA [Tamara LOCHANKINA]
Socialist People’s Front or SLF [Algirdas PALECKIS]
Way of Courage or DK [Jonas VARKALA]
YES-Homeland Revival and Perspective or YES Union or TAIP Union or TAIP [Arturas ZUOKAS]
Young Lithuania Party or PJL [Stanislovas BUSKEVICIUS]

International organization participation:
Australia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Zygimantas PAVILIONIS (since 5 August 2010)
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 Deborah A. MCCARTHY (since 5 February 2013)
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; yellow symbolizes golden fields, as well as the sun, light, and goodness; green represents the forests of the countryside, in addition to nature, freedom, and hope; red stands for courage and the blood spilled in defense of the homeland

National symbol(s):
mounted knight known as Vytis (the Chaser)

National anthem:

name: “Tautiska giesme” (The National Song)

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Economy – overview:
Lithuania gained membership in the World Trade Organization and joined the EU in May 2004. Despite its EU accession, Lithuania’s trade with its Central and Eastern European neighbors, and Russia in particular, accounts for a significant share of total trade. Foreign investment and business support have helped in the transition from the old command economy to a market economy. The three former Soviet Baltic republics were among the hardest hit by the 2008-09 financial crisis.

The government’s efforts to attract foreign investment, to develop export markets, and to pursue broad economic reforms has been key to Lithuania’s quick recovery from a deep recession, making Lithuania one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. Lithuania is committed to meeting the Maastricht criteria to join the euro zone, which the government expects to achieve by 2015. Under the Conservative Party’s leadership, Lithuania raised the monthly minimum wage in January 2012 nearly 25% over 2011. In January 2013, the new Social Democrat-led government increased the minimum wage another 25% over January 2012. Despite government efforts, unemployment remains high.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$67.43 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
$65.19 billion (2012 est.)
$62.92 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$46.71 billion (2013 est.)

GDP – real growth rate:
3.4% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
3.6% (2012 est.)
5.9% (2011 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP):

$22,600 (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
$21,700 (2012 est.)
$20,800 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

Gross national saving:
16.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
17.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
18.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

GDP – composition, by end use:
household consumption: 64.4%
government consumption: 17.2%
investment in fixed capital: 16.8%
investment in inventories: 0.9%
exports of goods and services: 85.4%
imports of goods and services: -84.7%
(2013 est.)

GDP – composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 3.7%
industry: 28.3%
services: 68% (2013 est.)

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:
2% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126

Labor force:
1.452 million (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131

Labor force – by occupation:
agriculture: 7.9%
industry: 19.6%
services: 72.5% (2012 est.)

Unemployment rate:
12.4% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126
13.2% (2012 est.)

Population below poverty line:
4% (2008)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 29.1% (2008)

Distribution of family income – Gini index:

35.5 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 88
34 (1999)

revenues: $14.5 billion
expenditures: $15.43 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
31% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-2% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87

Public debt:
40.2% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
41% of GDP (2012 est.)
note: official data; data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities, debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are sold at public auctions

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.2% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
3.1% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

3% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
2.06% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

4.5% (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
5.28% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$13.83 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
$13.77 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$20.59 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
$20.58 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$22.02 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
$22.69 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$3.964 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
$4.075 billion (31 December 2011)
$5.661 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance:
-$567 million (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
-$231 million (2012 est.)

$30.4 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
$28.76 billion (2012 est.)

Exports – commodities:

mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles , foodstuffs, plastics

Exports – partners:
Russia 19.8%, Latvia 9.9%, Estonia 7.5%, Poland 7.3%, Germany 7.1%, Belarus 5.1%, United Kingdom 4.9%, Netherlands 4.3% (2013 est.)


$32.52 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
$30.44 billion (2012 est.)

Imports – commodities:
mineral products, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, chemicals, textiles and clothing, metals

Imports – partners:
Russia 29.3%, Germany 10.3%, Poland 9.3%, Latvia 6.1% (2013 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$10.37 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
$8.529 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Debt – external:
$29.55 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
$32.84 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment – at home:
$16.57 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
$15.56 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad:
$3.029 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
$2.729 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates:
litai (LTL) per US dollar –
2.658 (2013 est.)
2.685 (2012 est.)
2.6063 (2010 est.)
2.4787 (2009)
2.3251 (2008)

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