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. In 2015, Lithuania joined the euro zone, and it joined the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2018.

Country Facts


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

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, amber

Land use:
agricultural land: 44.8% (arable land 34.9%; permanent crops 0.5%; permanent pasture 9.4%)
forest: 34.6%
other: 20.6% (2018est.)

Irrigated land:
44 sq km (2012)

Environment – current issues:
water pollution; air pollution; deforestation; threatened animal and plant species; chemicals and waste materials released into the environment contaminate soil and groundwater; soil degradation and erosion

Environment – international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Heavy Metals, Air Pollution-Multi-effect Protocol, 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, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling
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 and Society

noun: Lithuanian(s)
adjective: Lithuanian

Ethnic groups:
Lithuanian 84.1%, Polish 6.6%, Russian 5.8%, Belarusian 1.2%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.2% (2011 est.)

Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other 0.9%, unspecified 3.5% (2011 est.)

Roman Catholic 77.2%, Russian Orthodox 4.1%, Old Believer 0.8%, Evangelical Lutheran 0.6%, Evangelical Reformist 0.2%, other (including Sunni Muslim, Jewish, Greek Catholic, and Karaite) 0.8%, none 6.1%, unspecified 10.1% (2011 est.)

2,884,433 (July 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140

Age structure:
0-14 years: 15.26% (male 213,802/female 202,948)
15-24 years: 10.23% (male 144,679/female 134,822)
25-54 years: 38.96% (male 528,706/female 535,485)
55-64 years: 15.1% (male 183,854/female 228,585)
65 years and over: 20.45% (male 190,025/female 368,558) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 56.5
youth dependency ratio: 24.2
elderly dependency ratio: 32.3
potential support ratio: 3.1 (2020 est.)

Median age:
total: 44.5 years
male: 40.2 years
female: 48.2 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

Population growth rate:
-1.04% (2021 est.)
country comparison to the world: 230

Birth rate:
9.42 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195

Death rate:
15.05 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
country comparison to the world: 1

Net migration rate:
-4.75 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198

urban population: 68.2% of total population (2021)
rate of urbanization: -0.12% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas – population:
VILNIUS (capital) 540,000 (2021)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.8 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.52 male(s)/female
total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother’s mean age at first birth:
27.5 years (2019 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
5 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167

Infant mortality rate:
total: 3.66 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.12 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.61 years
male: 70.23 years
female: 81.29 years (2021 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117

Total fertility rate:
1.61 children born/woman (2021 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

Current Health expenditures:
6.6% (2018)

Physicians density:
6.4 beds/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density:
6.4 beds/1,000 population (2018)

Drinking water source:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 92.8% of population
total: 97.5% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 7.2% of population
total: 2.5% of population (2017 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
urban: 99.3% of population
rural: 87.5% of population
total: 95.5% of population
urban: 0.7% of population
rural: 12.5% of population
total: 4.5% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:
3,400 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130

HIV/AIDS – deaths:
<100 (2019 est.)

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
vectorborne diseases: tickborne encephalitis

Obesity – adult prevalence rate:
26.3% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 43

Education expenditures:
3.9% of GDP (2018)
country comparison to the world: 109

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.8% (2015 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 17 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2018)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 19.6%
male: 21,5%
female: 17,3% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79


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
etymology: meaning of the name “Lietuva” remains unclear; it may derive from the Lietava, a stream in east central Lithuania

Government type:
semi-presidential republic


Administrative divisions:
60 municipalities (savivaldybe, singular – savivaldybe); Akmene, Alytaus Miestas, Alytus, Anksciai, Birstonas, Birzai, Druskininkai, Elektrenai, Ignalina, Jonava, Joniskis, Jurbarkas, Kaisiadorys, Kalvarija, Kauno Miestas, Kaunas, Kazlu Rudos, Kedainiai, Kelme, Klaipedos Miestas, Klaipeda, Kretinga, Kupiskis, Lazdijai, Marijampole, Mazeikiai, Moletai, Neringa, Pagegiai, Pakruojis, Palangos Miestas, Panevezio Miestas, Panevezys, Pasvalys, Plunge, Prienai, Radviliskis, Raseiniai, Rietavas, Rokiskis, Sakiai, Salcininkai, Siauliu Miestas, Siauliai, Silale, Silute, Sirvintos, Skuodas, Svencionys, Taurage, Telsiai, Trakai, Ukmerge, Utena, Varena, Vilkaviskis, Vilniaus Miestas, Vilnius, Visaginas, Zarasai

16 February 1918 (from Soviet Russia and Germany); 11 March 1990 (declared from the Soviet Union); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union); notable earlier dates: 6 July 1253 (coronation of MINDAUGAS, traditional founding date); 1 July 1569 (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth created)

National holiday:
Independence Day (or National Day), 16 February (1918); note – 16 February 1918 was the date Lithuania established its statehood and its concomitant independence from Soviet Russia and Germany; 11 March 1990 was the date it declared the restoration of Lithuanian statehood and its concomitant independence from the Soviet Union

history: several previous; latest adopted by referendum 25 October 1992, entered into force 2 November 1992

amendments: proposed by at least one fourth of all Parliament members or by petition of at least 300,000 voters; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of Parliament in each of two readings three months apart and a presidential signature; amendments to constitutional articles on national sovereignty and constitutional amendment procedure also require three-fourths voter approval in a referendum; amended many times, last in 2019

Legal system:
civil law system; legislative acts can be appealed to the Constitutional Court

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Gitanas NAUSEDA (since 12 July 2019)
head of governmente: Prime Minister Ingrida SIMONYTE (since 24 November 2020)

cabinete: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, appointed by the president, and approved by Parliament

elections/appointmentse: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 12 and 26 May 2019 (next to be held in May 2024); prime minister appointed by the president, approved by Parliament

election results: Gitanas NAUSEDA elected president in second round; percent of vote – Gitanas NAUSEDA (independent) 66.7%, Ingrida SIMONYTE (independent) 33.3%; Saulius SKVERNELIS (LVZS) approved as prime minister by Parliament vote – 62 to 10

Legislative branch:
description: unicameral Parliament or Seimas (141 seats; 71 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote and 70 directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 11 and 25 October 2020 (next to be held in October 2024)

election results: percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – TS-LKD 50, LVZS 32, LSDP 13, LRLS 13, Freedom 11, DP 10, AWPL 3, LSDDP 3, LT 1, Greens 1, independent 4; composition – men 102, women 39, percent of women 27.7%

Judicial branch:
highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of 37 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the president and appointed by the Seimas; judges serve 5-year renewable terms; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the Seimas from nominations – 3 each by the president of the republic, the Seimas chairperson, and the Supreme Court president; judges serve 9-year, nonrenewable terms; one-third of membership reconstituted every 3 years

subordinate courts: Court of Appeals; district and local courts

Political parties and leaders:
Electoral Action of Lithuanian Poles or LLRA [Valdemar TOMASEVSKI] Farmers and Greens Union or LVZS [Ramunas KARBAUSKIS] Freedom Party or LP [Ausrine ARMONAITE] Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats or TS-LKD [Gabrielius LANDSBERGIS] Labor Party or DP [Viktor USPASKICH] Lithuanian Center Party or LCP [Naglis PUTEIKIS] Lithuanian Green Party or LZP [Remigijus LAPINSKAS]] Lithuanian Liberal Movement or LS or LRLS [Viktorija CMILYTE] Lithuanian List or LL [Darius KUOLYS] Lithuanian Social Democratic Party or LSDP [Gintautas PALUCKAS] Lithuanian Social Democratic Labor Party or LSDDP [Gediminas KIRKILAS] Freedom and Justice Party or LT [Remigijus ZEMAITAITIS]

International organization participation:
Australia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), green, and red; yellow symbolizes golden fields, as well as the sun, light, and goodness; green represents the forests of the countryside, in addition to nature, freedom, and hope; red stands for courage and the blood spilled in defense of the homeland


Economy – overview:
Lithuania gained membership in the WTO in May 2001 and joined the EU in May 2004. Lithuania’s trade with the EU and CIS countries accounts for approximately 87.3% of total trade. Foreign investment and EU funding have aided in the transition from the former planned economy to a market economy. The three former Soviet Baltic republics were severely hit by the 2008-09 financial crisis, but Lithuania has rebounded and become one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. Lithuania’s ongoing recovery hinges on export growth, which is being hampered by economic slowdowns in the EU and Russia. Lithuania joined the euro zone on 1 January 2015 and is under review for membership in the OECD.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity):
$102.66 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)
$103.56 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)
$99.25 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 88

GDP (official exchange rate):
$54.597 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP – growth rate:
4.33% (2019 est.)
3.99% (2018 est.)
4.37% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64

Real GDP – per capita (PPP):
$36,700 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)
$37,100 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)
$35,400 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars
country comparison to the world: 51

GDP – composition, by end use:
household consumption: 63.9% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 16.6% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 18.8% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: -1.3% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 81.6% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -79.3% (2017 est.)

GDP – composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 3.5% (2017 est.)
industry: 29.4% (2017 est.)
services: 67.2% (2017 est.)

Agriculture – products:
wheat, milk, sugar beet, rapeseed, barley, triticale, potatoes, oats, peas, beans

metal-cutting machine tools, electric motors, televisions, refrigerators and freezers, petroleum refining, shipbuilding (small ships), furniture, textiles, food processing, fertilizer, agricultural machinery, optical equipment, lasers, electronic components, computers, amber jewelry, information technology, video game development, app/software development, biotechnology

Industrial production growth rate:
5.9% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43

Labor force:
1.333 million (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130

Labor force – by occupation:
agriculture: 9.1%
industry: 25.2%
services: 65.8% (2015 est.)

Unemployment rate:
8.4% (2019 est.)
8.5% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130

Population below poverty line:
20.6% (2018 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 28.8% (2015)

Distribution of family income – Gini index:
37.3 (2017 est.)
35 (2014)
country comparison to the world: 81

revenues: 15.92 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 15.7 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
33.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
0.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38

Public debt:
39.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
40.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: official data; data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities, debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are sold at public auctions

country comparison to the world: 129

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.3% (2019 est.)
2.7% (2018 est.)
3.7% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122

Current account balance:
$1.817 billion (2019 est.)
$131 million (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42

$41.48 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2020 est.)
$42.3 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2019 est.)
$40.36 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61

Exports – commodities:
refined petroleum, furniture, cigarettes, wheat, polyethylene (2019)

Exports – partners:
Russia 13%, Latvia 9%, Poland 8%, Germany 7%, Estonia 5% (2019)

$36.06 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2020 est.)
$39.46 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2019 est.)
$39.38 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67

Imports – commodities:
crude petroleum, cars, packaged medicines, refined petroleum, electricity (2019)

Imports – partners:
Poland 12%, Russia 12%, Germany 12%, Latvia 7%, Netherlands 5% (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$4.45 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.697 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98

Debt – external:
$37.859 billion (2019 est.)
$41.999 billion (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78

Exchange rates:
litai (LTL) per US dollar –
0.9091 (2015 est.)
0.7525 (2014 est.)
0.7525 (2013 est.)
2.69 (2012 est.)
2.481 (2011 est.)


Telephones – fixed lines:
total subscriptions: 368,213
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13.3 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 103

Telephones – mobile cellular:
total: 4,658,823
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 168.29 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

Telephone system:
general assessment

Broadcast media:
public broadcaster operates 3 channels with the third channel – a satellite channel – introduced in 2007; various privately owned commercial TV broadcasters operate national and multiple regional channels; many privately owned local TV stations; multi-channel cable and satellite TV services available; publicly owned broadcaster operates 3 radio networks; many privately owned commercial broadcasters, with repeater stations in various regions throughout the country

Internet country code:

Internet hosts:
1.205 million (2012)
country comparison to the world: 43

Internet users:
total: 2,226,806
percent of population: 79.72% (July 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 116

Broadband – fixed subscriptions:
total: 791,826
percent of population: 28.6 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77


61 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 80

Airports – with paved runways:
total: 22
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: 9 (2017)

Airports – with unpaved runways:
total: 39
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 36 (2013)

gas 1,921 km; refined products 121 km (2013)

total: 1,768 km
broad gauge: 1,746 km 1.520-m gauge (122 km electrified)
standard gauge: 22 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
country comparison to the world: 79

total: 84,166 km
paved: 72,297 km (includes 312 km of expressways)
unpaved: 11,869 km (2012)
country comparison to the world: 60

441 km (navigable year round) (2007)
country comparison to the world: 86

Merchant marine:
total: 64
by type: container ship 4, general cargo 24, oil tanker 2, other 34 (2021)
country comparison to the world: 109

Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Klaipeda
oil terminals: Butinge oil terminal
LNG terminal(s) (import): Klaipeda

Military and Security

Military and security forces:
Lithuanian Armed Forces (Lietuvos Ginkluotosios Pajegos): Land Forces (Sausumos Pajegos), Naval Forces (Karines Juru Pajegos), Air Forces (Karines Oro Pajegos), Special Operations Forces (Specialiuju Operaciju Pajegos); National Defense Volunteer Forces (Savanoriu Pajegos); National Riflemen’s Union (paramilitary force that acts as an additional reserve force) (2021)

Military service age and obligation:
19-26 years of age for conscripted military service (males); 9-month service obligation; in 2015, Lithuania reinstated conscription after having converted to a professional military in 2008; 18-38 for voluntary service (male and female) (2019)

Military expenditures:
2.03% of GDP (2021 est.)
2.13% of GDP (2020 est.)
2% of GDP (2019)
1.97% of GDP (2018)
1.71% of GDP (2017)
country comparison to the world: 55

Facts from CIA Factbook