Country Information Database


Lithuania Country Information

Flag of Lithuania
Map of Lithuania
Introduction Lithuania
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
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: NA sq km
water: NA 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 293.6 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, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Endangered Species, 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
3,565,205 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.5% (male 264,668/female 250,997)
15-64 years: 69.5% (male 1,214,236/female 1,263,198)
65 years and over: 16% (male 197,498/female 374,608) (2008 est.)
Median age:
total: 39 years
male: 36.4 years
female: 41.6 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.284% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
9 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
11.12 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 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 (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 6.57 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.86 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.67 years
male: 69.72 years
female: 79.89 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.22 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
1,300 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: tickborne encephalitis (2008)
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: 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
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 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
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 Valdas ADAMKUS (since 12 July 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Gediminas KIRKILAS (since 4 July 2006)
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 13 and 27 June 2004 (next to be held in June 2009); prime minister appointed by the president on the approval of the Parliament
election results: Valdas ADAMKUS elected president; percent of vote - Valdas ADAMKUS 52.2%, Kazimiera PRUNSKIENE 47.8%; Gediminas KIRKILAS approved by Parliament 85-13 with five 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 10 and 24 October 2004 (next to be held in October 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - Labor 28.6%, Working for Lithuania (Social Democrats and Social Liberals) 20.7%, TS 14.6%, For Order and Justice (Liberal Democrats and Lithuanian People's Union) 11.4%, Liberal and Center Union 9.1%, Farmers and New Democracy Union 6.6%, other 9%; seats by faction - Social Democrats 38, TS 25, Labor 23, Farmers National Union 13 (combined with Civil Democracy), Liberal Democrats/Order and Justice 11, New Union Social Liberals 10, Liberal and Center Union 10, Liberal Movement 9, independent 2 (as of April 2008)
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]; Electoral Action of Lithuanian Poles [Valdemar TOMASZEVSKI]; National Farmer's Union or VLS [Kazimiera PRUNSKIENE]; Homeland Union/Conservative Party or TS [Andrius KUBILIUS]; Labor Party or DP [Viktor USPASKICH]; Liberal and Center Union [Arturas ZUOKAS]; Liberal Democrats/Order and Justice Party or TT [Rolandas PAKSAS]; Liberal Movement or LLS [Petras AUSTREVICIUS]; Social Democratic Party or LSDP [Gediminas KIRKILAS]; Social Liberal/New Union [Arturas PAULAUSKAS]; 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: 4590 MacArthur Blvd. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20007
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
Economy - overview:
Lithuania, the Baltic state that has conducted the most trade with Russia, has grown rapidly since rebounding from the 1998 Russian financial crisis. Unemployment fell to 3.2% in 2007 while wages continued to grow at double digit rates, contributing to rising inflation. Exports and imports also grew strongly, and the current account deficit rose to nearly 15% of GDP in 2007. Trade has been increasingly oriented toward the West. Lithuania has gained membership in the World Trade Organization and joined the EU in May 2004. 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):
$59.98 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$38.35 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
8.8% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$16,800 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5.3%
industry: 33.3%
services: 61.4% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
1.603 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 15.8%
industry: 28.2%
services: 56% (2004)
Unemployment rate:
note: based on survey data, official registered unemployment of 5.7% (2007 est.)
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)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5.7% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
26.6% of GDP (2007 est.)
revenues: $13.28 billion
expenditures: $13.75 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:
17.3% of GDP (2007 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:
7.4% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
13.48 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 16.5%
hydro: 5.7%
nuclear: 77.7%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
9.296 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
8.607 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
5.641 billion kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
13,160 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
57,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
145,100 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
187,800 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
12 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - consumption:
2.916 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
2.916 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
-$5.26 billion (2007 est.)
$17.18 billion f.o.b. (2007 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 12.8%, Germany 10.5%, Poland 6.3%, Estonia 5.8%, UK 4.6%, Denmark 4.1%, Belarus 4% (2007)
$22.8 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
mineral products, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, chemicals, textiles and clothing, metals
Imports - partners:
Russia 18.1%, Germany 14.9%, Poland 10.6%, Latvia 5.5%, Netherlands 4.2% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
$249.7 million (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$7.721 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
$27.19 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$14.63 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$1.642 billion (2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$10.19 billion (2006)
Currency (code):
litas (LTL)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
litai per US dollar - 2.5362 (2007), 2.7498 (2006), 2.774 (2005), 2.7806 (2004), 3.0609 (2003)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Lithuania
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
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 29, FM 142, shortwave 1 (2001)
1.9 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
27 (may have as many as 100 transmitters, including repeater stations) (2001)
1.7 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
1.301 million (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
32 (2001)
Internet users:
1.333 million (2007)
Transportation Lithuania
87 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 30
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: 17 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 57
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 53 (2007)
gas 1,695 km; oil 228 km; refined products 121 km (2007)
total: 1,771 km
broad gauge: 1,749 km 1.524-m gauge (122 km electrified)
standard gauge: 22 km 1.435-m gauge (2006)
total: 79,984 km
paved: 70,997 km (includes 309 km of expressways)
unpaved: 8,987 km (2006)
441 km (2006)
Merchant marine:
total: 48 ships (1000 GRT or over) 329,587 GRT/320,501 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 24, chemical tanker 1, container 1, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 15
foreign-owned: 5 (Denmark 5)
registered in other countries: 26 (Antigua and Barbuda 5, Cook Islands 1, Malta 1, North Korea 1, Norway 1, Panama 5, St Vincent and the Grenadines 9, unknown 3) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Military Lithuania
Military branches:
Ground Forces, Naval Force, Lithuanian Military Air Forces, National Defense Volunteer Forces (2005)
Military service age and obligation:
19-45 years of age for compulsory military service; 18 years of age for volunteers; 12-month conscript service obligation (2006)
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: 678,434
females age 16-49: 749,483 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 25,907
female: 24,735 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.2% of GDP (2006; 1.23% 2007 est.)
Transnational Issues Lithuania
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 2 October, 2008 Access Time: Tue, 26 Sep 2023 03:48:23 +0000