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Independent between the two World Wars, Lithuania was annexed by the USSR in 1940. 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 has restructured its economy for eventual integration into Western European institutions. It will accede to the EU in May 2004 and to NATO in the summer 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: 65,200 sq km
water: NA sq km
land: NA sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than West Virginia
Land boundaries:
total: 1,273 km
border countries: Belarus 502 km, Latvia 453 km, Poland 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad) 227 km
99 km
Maritime claims - as described in UNCLOS 1982 (see Notes and Definitions):
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 292 m
Natural resources:
peat, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 45.46%
permanent crops: 0.93%
other: 53.61% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
90 sq km (1998 est.)
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, 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: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography - note:
fertile central plains are separated by hilly uplands that are ancient glacial deposits
People Lithuania
3,607,899 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 16.7% (male 309,736; female 294,129)
15-64 years: 68.4% (male 1,202,603; female 1,262,784)
65 years and over: 14.9% (male 184,145; female 354,502) (2004 est.)
Median age:
total: 37.4 years
male: 34.8 years
female: 40.1 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.33% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
8.49 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
11.03 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.71 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.52 male(s)/female
total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 7.13 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
male: 8.61 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.46 years
male: 68.22 years
female: 79 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.17 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 1,300 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (2001 est.)
noun: Lithuanian(s)
adjective: Lithuanian
Ethnic groups:
Lithuanian 80.6%, Russian 8.7%, Polish 7%, Belarusian 1.6%, other 2.1%
Roman Catholic (primarily), Lutheran, Russian Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical Christian Baptist, Muslim, Jewish
Lithuanian (official), Polish, Russian
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.6%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.6% (2003 est.)
Government Lithuania
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Lithuania
conventional short form: Lithuania
local short form: Lietuva
former: Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic
local long form: Lietuvos Respublika
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
Administrative divisions:
10 counties (apskritys, singular - apskritis); Alytaus, Kauno, Klaipedos, Marijampoles, Panevezio, Siauliu, Taurages, Telsiu, Utenos, Vilniaus
11 March 1990 (independence declared from Soviet Union); 6 September 1991 (Soviet Union recognizes Lithuania's independence)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 16 February (1918); note - 16 February 1918 is the date Lithuania declared its independence from Soviet Russia and established its statehood; 11 March 1990 is 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
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Arturas PAULAUSKAS (acting since 6 April 2004); note - Rolandas PAKSAS, president since 26 February 2003, was ousted on 6 April 2004 on charges of abuse of office
head of government: Premier Algirdas Mykolas BRAZAUSKAS (since 3 July 2001)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the nomination of the premier
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 22 December 2002 and 5 January 2003 (next normally would be held in late 2007 but, following the removal of President Rolandas PASKAS on 6 April 2004, a new election has now been scheduled for 13 June 2004 ); premier appointed by the president on the approval of the Parliament
election results: Rolandas PAKSAS elected president; percent of vote - Rolandas PAKSAS 54.9%, Valdas ADAMKUS 45.1%
Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament or Seimas (141 seats, 71 members are directly elected by popular vote, 70 are elected by proportional representation; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 8 October 2000 (next to be held NA October 2004)
note: the voting results from the 2000 elections do not correspond to the make up of the Seimas, which has evolved into a number of factions, each made up of members of several parties
election results: percent of vote by party - Social Democratic Coalition 31.1%, New Union-Social Liberals 19.6%, Liberal Union 17.2%, TS 8.6%, remaining parties all less than 5%; seats by faction - Social Democratic Coalition 51, New Union-Social Liberals 25, United Political Group-Group of Liberals 24, Liberal Democrats 13, Conservatives 9, Farmers and New Democracy Parties 8, Mixed Group 6, independent 1 (four seats unfilled as of 1 June 2003)
Judicial branch:
Constitutional Court; Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; judges for all courts appointed by the President
Political parties and leaders:
Electoral Action of Lithuanian Poles [Valdemar TOMASZEVSKI, chairman]; Homeland Union/Conservative Party or TS [Andrius KUBILIUS, chairman]; Lithuanian Center Union or LCS [Kestutis GLAVECKAS, chairman]; Lithuanian Christian Democrats or LKD [Kazys BOBELIS]; Lithuanian Farmer's Party or LUP [Ramunas KARBAUSKIS, chairman]; Lithuanian Green Party [Rimantas BRAZIULIS]; Lithuanian Liberal Youth [Neringa MOROZAITE]; Lithuanian National Democratic Party [Vygintas GONTIS]; Lithuanian Social Democratic Coalition [Algirdas BRAZAUSKAS, chairman] consists of the Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party or LDDP, the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party or LSDP, and New Democracy; Moderate Conservative Union [Gediminas VAGNORIUS]; Modern Christian Democratic Union [Vytautas BOGUSIS, chairman]; New Democracy and Farmer's Union [Kazimiera PRUNSKIENE, chairman]; New Union-Social Liberals [Arturas PAULAUSKAS, chairman]; Young Lithuania [Arnoldas PLATELIS]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
ACCT (observer), BIS, CBSS, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EU (new member), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIK, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Vygaudas USACKAS
chancery: 2622 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
consulate(s) general: Chicago and New York
FAX: [1] (202) 328-0466
telephone: [1] (202) 234-5860
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Stephen D. MULL
embassy: Akmenu 6, 2600 Vilnius
mailing address: American Embassy, Vilnius, PSC 78, Box V, APO AE 09723
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 slowly rebounded from the 1998 Russian financial crisis. Unemployment remains high, still 10.7% in 2003, but is improving. Growing domestic consumption and increased investment have furthered recovery. Trade has been increasingly oriented toward the West. Lithuania has gained membership in the World Trade Organization and has moved ahead with plans to join the EU. Privatization of the large, state-owned utilities, particularly in the energy sector, is nearing completion. Overall, more than 80% of enterprises have been privatized. Foreign government and business support have helped in the transition from the old command economy to a market economy.
purchasing power parity - $40.17 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
7.1% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $11,200 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 7.1%
industry: 26.6%
services: 66.3% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.1%
highest 10%: 25.6% (1996)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
34 (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
-1% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
1.5 million (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
industry 30%, agriculture 20%, services 50% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
10.7% (2003 est.)
revenues: $1.59 billion
expenditures: $1.77 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
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
Industrial production growth rate:
5% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
14.62 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 16.5%
hydro: 5.7%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 77.7%
Electricity - consumption:
8.683 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
6.3 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
1.389 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
4,594 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
72,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Oil - imports:
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
2.76 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
2.76 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products:
grain, potatoes, sugar beets, flax, vegetables; beef, milk, eggs; fish
$7.89 billion f.o.b. (2003 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:
UK 13.4%, Russia 12.1%, Germany 10.4%, Latvia 9.7%, Denmark 5.1%, Sweden 4.2%, France 4.1% (2002)
$9.2 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
mineral products 21%, machinery and equipment 17%, transport equipment 11%, chemicals 9%, textiles and clothing 9%, metals 5% (2001)
Imports - partners:
Russia 22.2%, Germany 17.8%, Italy 5.1%, Poland 5% (2002)
Debt - external:
$6.5 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$228.5 million (1995)
litas (LTL)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
litai per US dollar - 3.06 (2003), 3.68 (2002), 4 (2001), 4 (2000), 4 (1999)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Lithuania
Telephones - main lines in use:
935,900 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
1,645,600 (2002)
Telephone system:
general assessment: inadequate, but is being modernized to provide an improved international capability and better residential access
domestic: a national, fiber-optic cable, interurban, trunk system is nearing completion; rural exchanges are being improved and expanded; mobile cellular systems are being installed; access to the Internet is available; still many unsatisfied telephone subscriber applications
international: country code - 370; landline connections to Latvia and Poland; major international connections to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway by submarine cable for further transmission by satellite
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 29, FM 142, shortwave 1 (2001)
1.9 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
note: Lithuania has approximately 27 broadcasting stations, but may have as many as 100 transmitters, including repeater stations (2001)
1.7 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
54,605 (2002)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
32 (2001)
Internet users:
500,000 (2002)
Transportation Lithuania
total: 1,998 km
broad gauge: 1,807 km 1.524-m gauge (122 km electrified)
standard gauge: 22 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 169 km 0.750-m gauge (all service suspended) (2002)
total: 75,243 km
paved: 68,697 km (including 417 km of expressways)
unpaved: 6,546 km (2000)
600 km (perennially navigable)
gas 1,698 km; oil 331 km; refined products 109 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Butinge, Kaunas, Klaipeda
Merchant marine:
total: 49 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 296,856 GRT/317,731 DWT
foreign-owned: Denmark 12, Netherlands 1
registered in other countries: 11 (2003 est.)
by type: cargo 20, chemical tanker 1, combination bulk 8, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 12, roll on/roll off 2, short-sea/passenger 4
102 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 28
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 14 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 74
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 67 (2003 est.)
Military Lithuania
Military branches:
National Defense Volunteer Forces (SKAT), Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force
Military manpower - military age:
16 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 943,063 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 738,602 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 28,300 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$230.8 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.9% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Lithuania
Disputes - international:
in May 2003, the Russian Parliament ratified the 1997 land and maritime boundary treaty with Lithuania, which ratified the treaty in 1999, legalizing limits of former Soviet republic borders; both states also implement a simplified transit regime for Russian nationals transiting Lithuania to and from the Russian Kaliningrad coastal enclave; the Latvian Parliament has not ratified its 1998 maritime boundary treaty with Lithuania, primarily due to concerns over oil exploration rights
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for opiates and other illicit drugs from Southwest Asia, Latin America, and Western Europe to Western Europe and Scandinavia; limited production of methamphetamine and ecstasy; susceptible to money laundering despite changes to banking legislation