About  |   Contact  |  Mongabay on Facebook  |  Mongabay on Twitter  |  Subscribe
Rainforests | Tropical fish | Environmental news | For kids | Madagascar | Photos

Lithuania Historical and Political Profile

Mongabay.com seeks to raise interest in and appreciation of wild lands and wildlife, while examining the impact of emerging trends in climate, technology, economics, and finance on conservation and development (more)


Lithuania Index

  • Lithuania-Foreign Economic Relations
  • Lithuania-Introduction
  • Lithuania-Structure of the Economy
  • Lithuania-Economy Education
  • Lithuania-Economic Reforms
  • Lithuania-Government and Politics Reform Yields Results
  • Lithuania-Physical Environment The Move Toward Independence, 1987-91
  • Lithuania-National Security
  • Lithuania-Historical Setting
  • Lithuania-Economy
  • Lithuania-Society Natural Resources
  • Lithuania-Lithuania
  • Lithuania-Acknowledgments
  • Lithuania-Crime and Law Enforcement
  • Lithuania-The Constitutional System
  • Lithuania -National Security
  • Lithuania-Population
  • Lithuania-Labor Force
  • Lithuania-Independence, 1918-40
  • Lithuania-Outlook
  • Lithuania-Politics
  • Lithuania-Topography, Drainage, and Climate
  • Lithuania-Foreign Relations Mass Media
  • Lithuania-Geography Country
  • Lithuania -Chapter 3 - Lithuania
  • Lithuania
  • Lithuania-Foreword
  • Lithuania-Society
  • Lithuania-Table A - Chronology of Important Events
  • Lithuania-Preface
  • Lithuania
  • BackgroundLithuanian 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.
    LocationEastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Russia
    Area(sq km)total: 65,300 sq km
    land: 62,680 sq km
    water: 2,620 sq km
    Geographic coordinates56 00 N, 24 00 E
    Land boundaries(km)total: 1,574 km
    border countries: Belarus 680 km, Latvia 576 km, Poland 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad) 227 km

    Coastline(km)90 km

    Climatetransitional, between maritime and continental; wet, moderate winters and summers

    Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
    highest point: Juozapines Kalnas 294 m
    Natural resourcespeat, arable land, amber
    Land use(%)arable land: 44.81%
    permanent crops: 0.9%
    other: 54.29% (2005)

    Irrigated land(sq km)70 sq km (2003)
    Total renewable water resources(cu km)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 hazardsNA
    Environment - current issuescontamination of soil and groundwater with petroleum products and chemicals at military bases
    Environment - international agreementsparty 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 - notefertile central plains are separated by hilly uplands that are ancient glacial deposits
    Population3,555,179 (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(years)total: 39.3 years
    male: 36.8 years
    female: 41.9 years (2009 est.)
    Population growth rate(%)-0.279% (2009 est.)
    Birth rate(births/1,000 population)9.11 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)11.18 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

    Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-0.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Urbanization(%)urban population: 67% of total population (2008)
    rate of urbanization: -0.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
    Sex ratio(male(s)/female)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(deaths/1,000 live births)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(years)total population: 74.9 years
    male: 69.98 years
    female: 80.1 years (2009 est.)

    Total fertility rate(children born/woman)1.23 children born/woman (2009 est.)
    Nationalitynoun: Lithuanian(s)
    adjective: Lithuanian
    Ethnic groups(%)Lithuanian 83.4%, Polish 6.7%, Russian 6.3%, other or unspecified 3.6% (2001 census)

    Religions(%)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)
    Languages(%)Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other and unspecified 4.4% (2001 census)

    Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Lithuania
    conventional short form: Lithuania
    local long form: Lietuvos Respublika
    local short form: Lietuva
    former: Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic
    Government typeparliamentary democracy
    Capitalname: 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 divisions10 counties (apskritys, singular - apskritis); Alytaus, Kauno, Klaipedos, Marijampoles, Panevezio, Siauliu, Taurages, Telsiu, Utenos, Vilniaus
    Constitutionadopted 25 October 1992; last amended 13 July 2004

    Legal systembased on civil law system; legislative acts can be appealed to the constitutional court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage18 years of age; universal
    Executive branchchief 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 branchunicameral 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 branchConstitutional Court; Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; judges for all courts appointed by the president

    Political pressure groups and leadersEurope House (promotes the EU); European Movement (promotes the EU); Lithuanian Future Forum (promotes the EU)
    International organization participationAustralia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (associate partner), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), green, and red

    Economy - overviewLithuania'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)$63.37 billion (2008 est.)
    $61.52 billion (2007 est.)
    $56.49 billion (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP (official exchange rate)$47.3 billion (2008 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate(%)3% (2008 est.)
    8.9% (2007 est.)
    7.8% (2006 est.)
    GDP - per capita (PPP)$17,800 (2008 est.)
    $17,200 (2007 est.)
    $15,800 (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 4.5%
    industry: 32.2%
    services: 63.3% (2008 est.)
    Labor force1.614 million (2008 est.)

    Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 14%
    industry: 29.1%
    services: 56.9% (2005)
    Unemployment rate(%)5.8% (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%: 27.4% (2003)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index36 (2005)
    34 (1999)
    Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)24.8% of GDP (2008 est.)
    Budgetrevenues: $15.15 billion
    expenditures: $16.66 billion (2008 est.)
    Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)10.9% (2008 est.)
    5.7% (2007 est.)

    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$3.625 billion (31 December 2008)
    $10.13 billion (31 December 2007)
    $10.19 billion (31 December 2006)
    Economic aid - recipient$249.7 million (2004)

    Public debt(% of GDP)15.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
    25.2% of GDP (2004 est.)
    Agriculture - productsgrain, potatoes, sugar beets, flax, vegetables; beef, milk, eggs; fish
    Industriesmetal-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(%)1.5% (2008 est.)

    Current account balance-$5.629 billion (2008 est.)
    -$5.692 billion (2007 est.)
    Exports$23.74 billion (2008 est.)
    $17.16 billion (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 16%, Latvia 11.6%, Germany 7.2%, Poland 5.8%, Estonia 5.7%, France 4.9%, UK 4.7%, Denmark 4.7%, Belarus 4.5% (2008)
    Imports$29.3 billion (2008 est.)
    $23.04 billion (2007 est.)

    Imports - commodities(%)mineral products, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, chemicals, textiles and clothing, metals
    Imports - partners(%)Russia 30.1%, Germany 11.8%, Poland 10%, Latvia 5.2% (2008)

    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$6.441 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $7.721 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Debt - external$32.47 billion (31 December 2008)
    $30.1 billion (31 December 2007)

    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$12.85 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $15.06 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.985 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $1.65 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Exchange rateslitai (LTL) per US dollar - 2.3251 (2008 est.), 2.5362 (2007), 2.7498 (2006), 2.774 (2005), 2.7806 (2004)

    Currency (code)litas (LTL)

    Telephones - main lines in use784,900 (2008)
    Telephones - mobile cellular5.023 million (2008)
    Telephone systemgeneral 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 140 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 (2008)
    Internet country code.lt
    Internet users1.777 million (2008)
    Airports87 (2009)
    Pipelines(km)gas 1,695 km; refined products 114 km (2008)
    Roadways(km)total: 80,715 km
    paved: 71,301 km (includes 309 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 9,414 km (2007)

    Ports and terminalsKlaipeda
    Military branchesGround Forces, Naval Forces, Air Forces (Karines Oro Pajegos, KOP), National Defense Volunteer Forces (2009)
    Military service age and obligation(years of age)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 servicemales age 16-49: 915,187
    females age 16-49: 906,097 (2008 est.)
    Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 677,689
    females age 16-49: 743,468 (2009 est.)
    Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 23,556
    female: 22,404 (2009 est.)
    Military expenditures(% of GDP)1.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
    Disputes - internationalLithuania 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

    Electricity - production(kWh)12.09 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 16.5%
    hydro: 5.7%
    nuclear: 77.7%
    other: 0% (2001)
    Electricity - consumption(kWh)9.612 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - exports(kWh)6.606 billion kWh (2008 est.)
    Electricity - imports(kWh)5.649 billion kWh (2008 est.)
    Oil - production(bbl/day)8,247 bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - consumption(bbl/day)73,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - exports(bbl/day)137,200 bbl/day (2007 est.)
    Oil - imports(bbl/day)204,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)
    Oil - proved reserves(bbl)12 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
    Natural gas - production(cu m)0 cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - consumption(cu m)3.53 billion cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
    Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)0.1% (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS2,200 (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - deathsfewer than 200 (2007 est.)
    Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
    vectorborne diseases: tickborne encephalitis (2009)
    Literacy(%)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)(years)total: 16 years
    male: 15 years
    female: 17 years (2006)
    Education expenditures(% of GDP)5% of GDP (2005)

    Copyright mongabay 2000-2013