country in northeastern Europe
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Lithuania is a country in Europe. It borders Latvia to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland to the south and Russia to the southwest. It is one of the Baltic states. The country's area is 65,300 km² and there are about 2.8 million people who live in Lithuania. The national language is the Lithuanian language, which is spoken by around 3 million people. Vilnius is the capital and largest city. Lithuania is a member of the European Union, NATO, and several other organizations.[10]

Republic of Lithuania
Lietuvos Respublika  (Lithuanian)
Anthem: Tautiška giesmė
National Hymn
Locator map of Lithuania
Location of  Lithuania  (dark green)

– on the European continent  (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union  (green)  —  [Legend]

and largest city
54°41′N 25°19′E / 54.683°N 25.317°E / 54.683; 25.317
Official languagesLithuanian
Other languages
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary semi-presidential republic[2][3][4][5]
• President
Gitanas Nausėda
Ingrida Šimonytė
Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen
Independence from Russia / Germany (1918)
9 March 1009
• Coronation of Mindaugas
6 July 1253
2 February 1386
1 July 1569
24 October 1795
16 February 1918
15 June 1940
22 June 1941
• Liberation from the Nazi occupation
July 1944
11 March 1990
• Independence recognized by the Soviet Union
6 September 1991
17 September 1991
1 May 2004
• Total
65,300 km2 (25,200 sq mi) (121st)
• Water (%)
• 2020 estimate
Increase2,794,329[6] (137th)
• Density
43/km2 (111.4/sq mi) (173rd)
GDP (PPP)2020 estimate
• Total
$107 billion[7] (83rd)
• Per capita
$38,751[7] (38th)
GDP (nominal)2020 estimate
• Total
$56 billion[7] (80th)
• Per capita
$20,355[7] (42nd)
Gini (2018)Positive decrease 36.9[8]
HDI (2018)Increase 0.869[9]
very high · 34th
CurrencyEuro (€) (EUR)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
• Summer (DST)
Date formatyyyy-mm-dd (CE)
Driving sideright
Calling code+370
ISO 3166 codeLT
Internet TLD.lta
  1. Also .eu, shared with other European Union member states.

The colors of the Lithuanian flag are yellow (at the top), for the sun, green (in the middle), for the fields, and red (at the bottom), for the blood of Lithuanians fighting for its independence.



Lithuania began to turn into a country in the 7th9th centuries from Baltic nations group. The Balts, the ancestors of Lithuanians and Latvians, came to the area between Nemunas, Daugava rivers and the Baltic Sea, from a supposed original homeland of the Proto-Indo-European languages. Many scientists think they came there sometime in the 3rd millennium BC.

The traditional date of the beginning of the country is 1236 when the Lithuanians won the Battle of Šiauliai (Battle of Sun).

Lithuania (at that time - The Grand Duchy of Lithuania) made a Treaty with Poland in 1569. The country was taken over by the Russian Empire in 1795, ending the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It got back its independence on February 16, 1918. In 1940 the country became a Soviet republic and joined to the Soviet Union. On June 22, 1941, after German invasion, the republic was occupied. It continued until 1944. Lithuania re-declared its independence on March 11, 1990. Currently, Lithuania is an independent, semi-presidential, democratic republic.


Valdas Adamkus, a former president and US vice-president Dick Cheney in Vilnius

Lithuania has been a member of NATO and the European Union since 2004.

Lithuania is a semi presidential republic, that restored its independence and democracy in 1990. Since then, very important reforms were made and Lithuania is now declared as a democratic state that grants the human rights.

The Constitution that was adopted in 1992 declares that the leader of the country is the President, who must be elected to take office. The elections are held every 5 years. If the President breaks their oath, they can be forced to resign by the Parliament. The President also represents Lithuania abroad and is the commander-in-chief.

The legislative power of Lithuania is called the Seimas, or Parliament. There are 141 members of Seimas who are elected for 4-year-terms. Seimas passes the laws that must be executed by the government, that is formed in Seimas, and it must be accepted by the President. The Prime Minister is set and fired by the President.

The justice is under the power of the courts. The supreme court in Lithuania is the Constitutional Court.

Administrative subdivisions

The counties and municipalities in Lithuania

Lithuania is divided into 10 counties, 60 municipalities and 500 elderates. The counties are:

The county governor rules the county. He or she must be appointed by the central government. Municipalities are governed by the Municipal Councils that are elected for 4 year terms. The head of a municipality is the mayor. The elderates are governed by the elders. The elders are appointed by the municipal councils.


Physical map of Lithuania

Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe. Its neighbours are Poland in the southwest, Russia (Kaliningrad) in west, Latvia in north and Belarus in the east. Lithuania borders the Baltic Sea and 99 kilometres of its coast belong to Lithuania. The highest hill is Aukštojas (294 metres high), the largest lake is Drūkšiai. 31% of the land is suitable for farms.

Lithuania is divided into 5 cultural regions according to their past and traditions:

  • Aukštaitija
  • Dzūkija
  • Mažoji Lietuva (Lithuania Minor)
  • Suvalkija
  • Žemaitija (Samogitia)


Extreme temperatures in Lithuania (°C)
Highest Temperatures
Lowest Temperatures



Lithuania has a fast growing economy. It grew up to 7% in the first quarter of 2008.

GDP per capita, based on purchasing power parity is estimated to be $19,730 in 2008. The nominal GDP per capita is estimated to be $14,213 at the same year. According to these numbers, Lithuanian per capita GDP reaches only 61% of EU average. However, it is impressive that only in 8 years, since 2000 it grew up from 30% of EU average.

Emigration still creates a problem. According to the official data, emigration in 2006 was 30% lower than the previous year, with 3,483 people leaving in four months.


Kaunas old town

About 80% of people in Lithuania are Lithuanians. There are large national minorities:

  • The Poles, (6.3%), mainly live in Vilnius County, which was taken over by Poland in 1920.
  • The Russians, (5.1%), mainly live in Vilnius County and Utena County, as workers at the Ignalina nuclear plant.
  • The Belorussians, (1.1%), most of them live in Vilnius County.

Main minorities in Lithuania include Poles 234,989 (6.7%), Russians 219,789 (6.3%), Belarusians 42,866 (1.2%), Ukrainians 22,488 (0.7%) and Jews 4,007 (2001 census data). There are smaller populations of Armenians, Azeris, Germans, Karaims (Karaites), Latvians, Moldovans, Roma, Tatars and Uzbeks in Lithuania.[11]

Lithuanian is spoken by 82% of the people and it is the only official language. Polish is used mostly in Vilnius County where Polish politicians are elected to represent the Polish minority. The documents and street names must be in Lithuanian.

The biggest cities are Vilnius, 542,287 people, Kaunas, 358,107 people, and Klaipėda, 185,899 people.

Largest cities

City Region Population Density* (/km2) Area (km2)
  Vilnius East &&&&&&&&&&544206.&&&&&0544,206 &&&&&&&&&&&&1354.&&&&&01,354 401
  Kaunas Middle &&&&&&&&&&355586.&&&&&0355,586 &&&&&&&&&&&&2281.&&&&&02,281 157
  Klaipėda West &&&&&&&&&&184657.&&&&&0184,657 &&&&&&&&&&&&1926.&&&&&01,926 98
  Šiauliai North &&&&&&&&&&127059.&&&&&0127,059 &&&&&&&&&&&&1605.&&&&&01,605 81
  Panevėžys North &&&&&&&&&&113653.&&&&&0113,653 &&&&&&&&&&&&2236.&&&&&02,236 52
  Alytus South &&&&&&&&&&&68304.&&&&&068,304 &&&&&&&&&&&&1747.&&&&&01,747 40
  Marijampolė South &&&&&&&&&&&47010.&&&&&047,010 &&&&&&&&&&&&2271.&&&&&02,271 21
  Mažeikiai North &&&&&&&&&&&40572.&&&&&040,572 &&&&&&&&&&&&2956.&&&&&02,956 14
  Jonava Middle &&&&&&&&&&&34446.&&&&&034,446 n/d n/d
  Utena East &&&&&&&&&&&32572.&&&&&032,572 &&&&&&&&&&&&2191.&&&&&02,191 15,1
  Kėdainiai Middle &&&&&&&&&&&31055.&&&&&031,055 n/d 44


Vilnius University Great Yard in 2006

The nursery schools and the kindergartens are the first-level education forms. However, they are not compulsory. The children start attending the primary school at age 7, where educational programs last for 4 years; then they must start attending secondary school (5th to 10th grades). After finishing 8th or 10th grade, the student can continue learning at the high school or choose courses at the vocational college. The students who finish the high school can join colleges and universities. Higher education is free for the students whose annual median of grades is 8 or higher. The others have to pay ~1300 Euros per semester at least.

The higher education schools are universities and colleges. The main universities are:

  • Vilnius University (the oldest university in northeastern Europe, founded in 1579);
  • University of Vytautas the Great, in Kaunas;
  • The University of Technology of Gediminas, in Vilnius;
  • The Klaipėda University.
The Geographic Centre of Europe is in Lithuania

Radio and Television


Lithuanians can choose from many television and radio stations. The first radio station was started in 1926 in Kaunas. The first television station started in 1957. The main radio stations are:

  • Public broadcaster: LRT Radijas (talk station), LRT Klasika (classical music), LRT Opus (alternative music)
  • M-1 (TOP 40)
  • Lietus (Lithuanian pop)
  • Radiocentras (TOP 40)
  • Power Hit Radio (dance)
  • ZIP FM (TOP 40)
  • M-1 Plius (adult contemporary)
  • Žinių Radijas (talk station)

The most popular TV stations are:

  • Public broadcaster: LRT Televizija (main programme), LRT Plius (culture, sports, movies)
  • TV3 (national)
  • LNK (national)
  • BTV (national)
  • Lrytas TV (national)
  • TV1 (women-oriented)
  • TV8 (women-oriented)
  • TV6 (men-oriented)
  • Info TV (news)

Printed Media and Internet


The oldest legal newspaper in Lithuania is the Polish Kurier Wilenski. It was first published in the 18th century and is now only popular with the Polish community. The biggest selling newspapers are:

  • Lietuvos Rytas (national)
  • Verslo žinios (business)
  • Kauno diena (regional)
  • Vakaro žinios (tabloid)
  • Vakarų ekspresas (regional)

Internet news portals are very popular in Lithuania. They have the latest information and also let people make comments. The most popular Internet sites with news and information are:


Notes and references

  1. "Lietuvos gyventojų tautinė sudėtis 2014–2015 m." 16 December 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  2. Kulikauskienė, Lina (2002). Lietuvos Respublikos Konstitucija [The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania] (in Lithuanian). Native History, CD. ISBN 9986-9216-7-8.
  3. Veser, Ernst (23 September 1997). "Semi-Presidentialism-Duverger's Concept—A New Political System Model" (PDF) (in English and Chinese). Department of Education, School of Education, University of Cologne: 39–60. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 April 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2017. Duhamel has developed the approach further: He stresses that the French construction does not correspond to either parliamentary or the presidential form of government, and then develops the distinction of 'système politique' and 'régime constitutionnel'. While the former comprises the exercise of power that results from the dominant institutional practice, the latter is the totality of the rules for the dominant institutional practice of the power. In this way, France appears as 'presidentialist system' endowed with a 'semi-presidential regime' (1983: 587). By this standard he recognizes Duverger's pléiade as semi-presidential regimes, as well as Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Lithuania (1993: 87). {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. Shugart, Matthew Søberg (September 2005). "Semi-Presidential Systems: Dual Executive and Mixed Authority Patterns" (PDF). Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. United States: University of California, San Diego. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  5. Shugart, Matthew Søberg (December 2005). "Semi-Presidential Systems: Dual Executive And Mixed Authority Patterns". French Politics. 3 (3). Palgrave Macmillan Journals: 323–351. doi:10.1057/palgrave.fp.8200087. A pattern similar to the French case of compatible majorities alternating with periods of cohabitation emerged in Lithuania, where Talat-Kelpsa (2001) notes that the ability of the Lithuanian president to influence government formation and policy declined abruptly when he lost the sympathetic majority in parliament.
  6. "Pradžia – Oficialiosios statistikos portalas".
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Lithuania". International Monetary Fund.
  8. "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income – EU-SILC survey". Eurostat. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  9. "2017 Human Development Report". United Nations Development Programme. 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  10. "Lithuania - The World Factbook". Retrieved 2021-04-17.
  11. "Lithuania - World Directory of Minorities & Indigenous Peoples". 2 November 2023.

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