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Map of Lithuania
Introduction Lithuania
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 this proclamation was not generally recognized 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.
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:
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: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note:
fertile central plains are separated by hilly uplands that are ancient glacial deposits
People Lithuania
3,601,138 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.2% (male 333,966; female 319,992)
15-64 years: 68% (male 1,184,969; female 1,265,711)
65 years and over: 13.8% (male 167,789; female 328,711) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.25% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
10.22 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
12.87 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
0.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.51 male(s)/female
total population: 0.88 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
14.34 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 69.42 years
female: 75.6 years (2002 est.)
male: 63.54 years
Total fertility rate:
1.4 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.02% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 500 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (1999 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: 98%
male: 99%
female: 98% (1989 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 of independence from German, Austrian, Prussian, and Russian occupation, 11 March 1990 is the date of 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 Rolandas PAKSAS (since 26 February 2003)
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 to be held in late 2007); 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)
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 party - Social Democratic Coalition 52, Liberal Union 34, New Union-Social Liberals 29, TS 9, Farmer's Party 4, Center Union 2, Poles' Electoral Action 2, Modern Christian Democratic Union 1, independents 3, others 5
Judicial branch:
Constitutional Court; Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; judges for all courts appointed by the President
Political parties and leaders:
Christian Democratic Party or LKDP [Kazys BOBELIS, chairman]; Electoral Action of Lithuanian Poles [Valdemar TOMASZEVSKI, chairman]; Homeland Union/Conservative Party or TS [Vytautas LANDSBERGIS, chairman]; Lithuanian Center Union or LCS [Kestutis GLAVECKAS, chairman]; Lithuanian Farmer's Party or LUP [Ramunas KARBAUSKIS, chairman]; Lithuanian Green Party [Rimantas BRAZIULIS]; Lithuanian Liberal Union [Eugenijus GENTVILAS, chairman]; 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 LSPD, 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, CCC, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIK, UPU, WCL, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Vygaudas USACKAS
consulate(s) general: Chicago and New York
FAX: [1] (202) 328-0466
telephone: [1] (202) 234-5860
chancery: 2622 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador John F. TEFFT
embassy: 2600 Akmenu 6, Vilnius
mailing address: American Embassy, Vilnius, PSC 78, Box V, APO AE 09723
telephone: [370] (2) 665-500
FAX: [370] (2) 665-510
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 been slowly rebounding from the 1998 Russian financial crisis. High unemployment, still 12% in 2002, and weak consumption have held back 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 underway. Overall, more than 80% of enterprises have been privatized. The US government and business aid have helped in the transition from the old command economy to a market economy.
purchasing power parity - $29.2 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.5% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $8,400 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 8%
industry: 31%
services: 61% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 26% (1996) (1996)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
34 (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
0.8% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
1.5 million (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
industry 30%, agriculture 20%, services 50% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
12.5% (2001 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:
6% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
10.966 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 20%
hydro: 3%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 77%
Electricity - consumption:
6.898 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
6.3 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
3 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
grain, potatoes, sugar beets, flax, vegetables; beef, milk, eggs; fish
$5.4 billion f.o.b. (2002 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 13.8%, Latvia 12.6%, Germany 12.6%, Russia 11%, Poland 6.3% (2001)
$6.8 billion f.o.b. (2002 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 25.3%, Germany 17.2%, Poland 4.9%, Italy 4.2%, France 3.8% (2001)
Debt - external:
$5.8 billion (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$228.5 million (1995) (1995)
litas (LTL)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
litai per US dollar - 3.4946 (15 October 2002), 3.4794 (1 July 2002), 4.000 (fixed rate between 1 May 1994 and 1 February 2002); note - litai is the plural of litas; effective 1 February 2002 the litas was pegged to the euro at a rate of 3.4528
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Lithuania
Telephones - main lines in use:
1.142 million (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
500,000 (2001)
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: 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 Service Providers (ISPs):
32 (2001)
Internet users:
341,000 (2001)
Transportation Lithuania
total: 1,998 km
broad gauge: 1,807 km 1.524-m gauge (122 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 169 km 0.750-m gauge (2001)
standard gauge: 22 km 1.435-m gauge
total: 44,000 km
paved: 35,500 km
unpaved: 8,500 km (2001)
600 km (perennially navigable)
crude oil, 105 km; natural gas 760 km (1992)
Ports and harbors:
Butinge, Kaunas, Klaipeda
Merchant marine:
total: 47 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 279,743 GRT/304,156 DWT
ships by type: cargo 25, combination bulk 8, petroleum tanker 2, railcar carrier 1, refrigerated cargo 6, roll on/roll off 2, short-sea passenger 3
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Denmark 13 (2002 est.)
72 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 9
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
under 914 m: 3 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 63
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 55 (2002)
Military Lithuania
Military branches:
Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Force, National Volunteer Defense Forces (SKAT)
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 933,638 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 733,415 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 28,506 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$230.8 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.9% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Lithuania
Disputes - international:
the Russian Duma has not ratified 1997 boundary treaty; 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

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003