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Republic of Lithuania Lietuvos Respublika / - / Flag - Coat of arms Motto: "Tautos jėga vienybėje" ]
"The strength of the nation lies in unity" Anthem: Tautiška giesmė Location of Lithuania (dark green)– on the European continent (light green & dark grey)– in the European Union (light green) — [Legend] Location of Lithuania ( dark green )

– on the European continent ( light green & dark grey )
– in the European Union ( light green ) — Legend ] Capital
(and largest city) - Vilnius
54°41′N 25°19′E  /  54.683°N 25.317°E  / 54.683; 25.317 Official language(s) : Lithuanian Ethnic groups - 84.0 % Lithuanians
6.1 % Poles
4.9 % Russians
5.0 % others 1 Demonym : Lithuanian Government : Semi-presidential republic President - Dalia Grybauskaitė Prime Minister - Andrius Kubilius Seimas Speaker - Irena Degutienė Independence : from Russia and Germany (1918 First mention of Lithuania - 14 February 1009 Coronation of Mindaugas - 6 July 1253 Personal union with Poland - 2 February 1386 Creation of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth - 1569 Partitions of the Commonwealth - 1795 Independence declared - 16 February 1918 1st Soviet occupation - 15 June 1940 2nd Soviet occupation - 1944 Independence restored - 11 March 1990 EUaccession - 1 May 2004 Area Total - 65,200 km 2 (123rd)
25,173 sq mi Water (%) - 1.35% Population 2009 estimate - 3,341,966 2 (130th Density - 53.5/km 2 (120th)
141.2/sq mi GDP (PPP) - 2009 estimate Total - $55.162 billion 3 Per capita - $16,542 3 GDP (nominal) - 2009 estimate Total - $37.254 billion 3 Per capita - $11,172 3 Gini (2003) - 36 ( medium HDI (2008) - UP 0.870 ( high ) (46th Currency : Lithuanian litas (Lt) (LTL Time zone : EET (UTC+2 Summer (DST) - EEST (UTC+3 Date formats : yyyy-mm-dd (CE Drives on the : right Internet TLD : .lt 1 Calling code : 370 1 - Also .eu, shared with other European Union member states. Lithuania (/ˌlɪθjuːˈeɪniə/, U.S. usually en-us-Lithuania.ogg/ˌlɪθuːˈeɪniə/

During the 14th century, Lithuania was the largest country in Europe: present-day Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were territories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. With the Lublin Union of 1569, Poland and Lithuania formed a new state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighboring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772 to 1795, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory.

In the aftermath of World War I, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the re-establishment of a sovereign state. Starting in 1940, Lithuania was occupied first by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end in 1944 and the Nazis retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare independence.

Prior to the global financial crisis of 2008–2009, Lithuania had one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union. Lithuania is a member of NATO, the Council of Europe, and the European Union. Lithuania became a full member of the Schengen Agreement on 21 December 2007. In 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture and Lithuania celebrated the millennium of its name. Contents 1 - History 1.1 - 20th century 2 - Geography and climate 2.1 - Physical features 2.2 - Climate 3 - Administration and politics 3.1 - Constitutional system 3.2 - Administrative division 4 - Military of Lithuania 5 - Economy 6 - Infrastructure 7 - Education 8 - Demographics 8.1 - Genetics 8.2 - Ethnic composition 8.3 - Largest cities 8.4 - Health 8.5 - Age structure 8.6 - Religion 9 - Culture 9.1 - Art and museums 9.2 - Literature 9.3 - Music 9.4 - Sports 10 - International rankings 11 - See also 12 - References 12.1 - Notes 13 History References: History of Lithuania The first people settled in the territory of Lithuania after the last glacial period in the 10th millennium BC. Over a millennium, the Proto-Indo-Europeans, who arrived in the 3rd – 2nd millennium BC, mixed with the local population and formed various Baltic tribes. The first written mention of Lithuania is found in a medieval German manuscript, the Quedlinburg Chronicle, on 14 February 1009.

Initially inhabited by fragmented Baltic tribes, in the 1230s the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, who was crowned as King of Lithuania on 6 July 1253. 6 After his assassination in 1263, pagan Lithuania was a target of the Christian crusades of the Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Order. Despite the devastating century-long struggle with the Orders, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania expanded rapidly overtaking former Slavic principalities of Kievan Rus'.

By the end of the 14th century, Lithuania was the largest country in Europe and included present-day Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia. 7 The geopolitical situation between the west and the east determined the multi-cultural and multi-confessional character of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Lithuanian ruling elite practiced religious tolerance and borrowed Slavic state traditions, such as using the Chancery Slavonic language for official documents.

/ Vytautas the Great. Lithuania reached the height of its power under his reign. (17th century painting In 1385, the Grand Duke Jogaila accepted Poland's offer to become its king. He converted Lithuania to Christianity and established a personal union between Poland and Lithuania. After two civil wars Vytautas the Great became the Grand Duke of Lithuania in 1392. During his reign Lithuania reached the peak of its territorial expansion, centralization of the state was begun, and the Lithuanian nobility became increasingly prominent in state politics. Thanks to close cooperation, the armies of Poland and Lithuania achieved a great victory over the Teutonic Knights in 1410 at the Battle of Grunwald, one of the largest battles of medieval Europe. 8 9 10

After the deaths of Jogaila and Vytautas, the Lithuanian nobility attempted to break the union between Poland and Lithuania, independently selecting Grand Dukes from the Jagiellon dynasty. However, Lithuania was forced to seek a closer alliance with Poland when, at the end of the 15th century, the growing power of the Grand Duchy of Moscow threatened Lithuania's Russian principalities and sparked the Muscovite–Lithuanian Wars and the Livonian War.

The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was created in 1569. As a member of the Commonwealth, Lithuania retained its institutions, including a separate army, currency, and statutory laws. 11 However, eventually Polonization affected all aspects of Lithuanian life: politics, language, culture, even national identity. From the mid-16th to the mid-17th centuries culture, arts, and education flourished, fueled by the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation. From 1573, Kings of Poland and Grand Dukes of Lithuania were elected by the nobility, who were granted ever increasing Golden Liberties. These liberties, especially the liberum veto , led to anarchy and the eventual dissolution of the state.

During the Northern Wars (1655–1661), the Lithuanian territory and economy were devastated by the Swedish army. Before it could fully recover, Lithuania was again ravaged during the Great Northern War (1700–1721). The war, plague, and famine resulted in the loss of approximately 40% of the country's inhabitants. 12 Foreign powers, especially Russia, became dominant players in the domestic politics of the Commonwealth. Numerous factions among the nobility used the Golden Liberties to prevent any reforms. Eventually, the Commonwealth was partitioned in 1772, 1792, and 1795 by the Russian Empire, Prussia, and Habsburg Austria.

The largest area of Lithuanian territory became part of Russia. After unsuccessful uprisings in 1831 and 1863, the Tsarist authorities implemented a number of Russification policies, including a ban on the Lithuanian press and the closing of cultural and educational institutions, and Lithuania became part of a new administrative region called Northwest Territory (per Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1953 Ed., "Lithuania"). Between 1868 and 1914, approximately 635,000 people, almost 20% of the population, left Lithuania. 13 Large numbers of Lithuanians went to the United States first in 1867-1868 after a famine in Lithuania. 14 Nevertheless, a Lithuanian National Revival laid the foundations of the modern Lithuanian nation and independent Lithuania.

20th century

/ The original 20 members of the Council of Lithuania after signing the Act of Independence of Lithuania, 16 February 1918. During World War I, the Council of Lithuania declared the independence of Lithuania on 16 February 1918, and the re-establishment of the Lithuanian State. Lithuania's foreign policy was dominated by territorial disputes with Poland and Germany. The Vilnius Region, and Vilnius, the historical capital of Lithuania, (and so designated in the Constitution of Lithuania,) were seized by the Polish army during Żeligowski's Mutiny in October 1920 and annexed two years later by Poland. Acquired during the Klaipėda Revolt of 1923, the Klaipėda Region was ceded back to Germany after a German ultimatum in March 1939. Domestic affairs were controlled by the authoritarian President, Antanas Smetona and his party, the Lithuanian National Union, who came to power after the coup d'état of 1926. / Map showing changes in the territory of Lithuania from the 13th century to the present day. In June 1940, the Soviet Union occupied and annexed Lithuania in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. 15 16 A year later Russia was attacked by Nazi Germany leading to the Nazi occupation of Lithuania. The Nazis and their Lithuanian collaborators murdered around 190,000 Lithuanian Jews 17 (91% of the pre-war Jewish community) during the Holocaust.

After the retreat of the German armed forces, the Soviets re-established the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1944. From 1944 to 1952 approximately 100,000 Lithuanian partisans fought a guerrilla war against the Soviet system. An estimated 30,000 partisans and their supporters were killed and many more were arrested and deported to SiberianGULAGs. It is estimated that Lithuania lost 780,000 people during World War II. 18

The advent of perestroika and glasnost in the late 1980s allowed the establishment of Sąjūdis, an anti-communist independence movement. After a landslide victory in elections to the Supreme Soviet, members of Sąjūdis proclaimed Lithuania's renewed independence on 11 March 1990, becoming the first Soviet republic to do so. The Soviet Union attempted to suppress this secession by imposing an economic blockade. Soviet troops attacked the Vilnius TV Tower and killed 13 Lithuanian civilians on the night of 13 January 1991. 19

On 4 February 1991, Iceland became the first country to recognize Lithuanian independence. After the Soviet August Coup, independent Lithuania received wide official recognition and joined the United Nations on 17 September 1991. The last Soviet troops left Lithuania on 31 August 1993 – even earlier than they departed from East Germany. Lithuania, seeking closer ties with the West, applied for NATO membership in 1994. After a difficult transition from a planned economy to a free market one, Lithuania became a full member of NATO and the European Union in spring 2004. Geography and climate Physical features References: Geography of Lithuania / Topographic map of Lithuania. Lithuania is situated in Northern Europe. It has around 99 kilometres (61.5 mi) of sandy coastline, of which only about 38 kilometres (24 mi) face the open Baltic Sea and which is the shortest among the Baltic Sea countries; the rest of the coast is sheltered by the Curonian sand peninsula. Lithuania's major warm-water port, Klaipėda, lies at the narrow mouth of the Curonian Lagoon (Lithuanian: Kuršių marios ), a shallow lagoon extending south to Kaliningrad. The main river, the Neman River, and some of its tributaries carry international shipping.

The Lithuanian landscape has been smoothed by glaciers. The highest areas are the moraines in the western uplands and eastern highlands, with the maximum elevation being Aukštojas Hill at 294 metres (965 ft). The terrain features numerous lakes, Lake Vištytis for example, and wetlands; a mixed forest zone covers nearly 33% of the country. The climate lies between maritime and continental, with wet, moderate winters and summers. According to one geographical computation method, Lithuania's capital, Vilnius, lies only a few kilometres south of the geographical centre of Europe.

Phytogeographically, Lithuania is shared between the Central European and Eastern European provinces of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the territory of Lithuania can be subdivided into two ecoregions: the Central European mixed forests and Sarmatic mixed forests. / Sand dunes of Neringa Climate References: Climate of Lithuania / Pūčkoriai outcrop near Vilnius. Lithuania's climate, which ranges between maritime and continental, is relatively mild. Average temperatures on the coast are -2.5 °C in January and 16 °C in July. In Vilnius the average temperatures are -6 °C in January and 16 °C in July. Simply speaking, 20 °C is frequent on summer days and 14 °C at night although temperatures can reach 30 or 35 °C. Some winters can be very cold. -20 °C occurs almost every winter. Winter extremes are -34 °C in coastal areas and -43 °C in the east of Lithuania.

The average annual precipitation is 800 millimeters on the coast, 900 mm in the Samogitia highlands and 600 millimeters in the eastern part of the country. Snow occurs every year, it can snow from October to April. In some years sleet can fall in September or May. The growing season lasts 202 days in the western part of the country and 169 days in the eastern part. Severe storms are rare in the eastern part of Lithuania but common in the coastal areas.

The longest measured temperature records from the Baltic area cover about 250 years. The data show that there were warm periods during the latter half of the 18th century, and that the 19th century was a relatively cool period. An early 20th century warming culminated in the 1930s, followed by a smaller cooling that lasted until the 1960s. A warming trend has persisted since then. 20

Lithuania experienced a drought in 2002, causing forest and peat bog fires. 21 The country suffered along with the rest of Northwestern Europe during a heat wave in the summer of 2006.

Reported extreme temperatures in Lithuania by month are following: 22

Extreme temperatures in Lithuania (°C)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Highest Temperatures +12.6 +16.5 +21.8 +28.8 +34 +35 +37.5 +36 +32 +26 +18 +15.6
Lowest Temperatures -40.5 -42.9 -37.5 -23.0 -6.8 - 2.8 +0.9 - 2.9 - 6.3 -19.5 -23 -34 Administration and politics Constitutional system Referencess: Politics of Lithuania and Elections in Lithuania / Dalia Grybauskaitė has been the President of Lithuania since 12 July 2009. Since Lithuania declared independence on 11 March 1990, it has maintained strong democratic traditions. In the first general elections after the independence on 25 October 1992, 56.75% of the total number of voters supported the new constitution. 23 There were intense debates concerning the constitution, especially the role of the president. A separate referendum was held on 23 May 1992 to gauge public opinion on the matter and 41% of all the eligible voters supported the restoration of the President of Lithuania. 23 Eventually a semi-presidential system was agreed upon. 24

The Lithuanian head of state is the President, elected directly for a five-year term, serving a maximum of two consecutive terms. The post of president is largely ceremonial; main policy functions however include foreign affairs and national security policy. The president is also the military commander-in-chief. The President, with the approval of the parliamentary body, the Seimas, also appoints the Prime Minister and, on the latter's nomination, the rest of the cabinet, as well as a number of other top civil servants and the judges for all courts.

The judges of the Constitutional Court ( Konstitucinis Teismas ), who serve nine-year terms, are appointed by the President (three judges), the Chairman of the Seimas (three judges) and the Chairman of the Supreme Court (three judges). The unicameral Lithuanian parliament, the Seimas, has 141 members who are elected to four-year terms. 71 of the members of this legislative body are elected in single constituencies, and the other 70 are elected in a nationwide vote by proportional representation. A party must receive at least 5% of the national vote to be represented in the Seimas. Administrative division Referencess: Counties of Lithuania, Municipalities of Lithuania, and Elderships of Lithuania

Alytus County COA.png
Alytus County
Kaunas County COA.png
Kaunas County
Klaipeda County COA.png
Marijampole County COA.png
Panevezys County COA.png
Panevėžys County
Siauliai County COA.png
Šiauliai County
Taurage County COA.png
Tauragė County
Telsiai County COA.png
Telšiai County
Utena County COA.png
Utena County
Vilnius County COA.png
Vilnius County
Baltic sea
Russia The current administrative division was established in 1994 and modified in 2000 to meet the requirements of the European Union. Lithuania has a three-tier administrative division: the country is divided into 10 counties (Lithuanian: singular – apskritis , plural – apskritys ) that are further subdivided into 60 municipalities (Lithuanian: singular – savivaldybė , plural – savivaldybės ) which consist of over 500 elderships (Lithuanian: singular – seniūnija , plural – seniūnijos ).

The counties are ruled by county governors (Lithuanian: apskrities viršininkas ) appointed by the central government. They ensure that the municipalities adhere to the laws of Lithuania and the constitution. County government oversees local governments and their implementation of the national laws, programs and policies. 25 As the counties have limited functions, there are numerous proposals to reduce their number and organize the new counties around the ethnographic regions of Lithuania 26 or five major cities with population over 100,000. 27

Municipalities are the most important administrative unit. Some municipalities are historically called "district municipalities", and thus are often shortened to "district"; others are called "city municipalities", sometimes shortened to "city". Each municipality has its own elected government. In the past, the election of municipality councils occurred once every three years, but it now takes place every four years. The council elects the mayor and appoints elders to govern the elderships. There is currently a proposal for direct election of mayors and elders, however that would require an amendment to the constitution. 28

Elderships, numbering over 500, are the smallest units and they do not play a role in national politics. They provide necessary public services close to their homes; for example, in rural areas the elderships register births and deaths. They are most active in the social sector: they identify needy individuals or families and distribute welfare or organise other forms of relief. 29 While the elderships have a potential of becoming a source of local initiative to tackle rural problems, complaints are made that elderships have no real power and receive too little attention. 30 Military of Lithuania References: Military of Lithuania

/ Soldier of the Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces. The Lithuanian Armed Forces consist of ~15,000 active personnel (~2,400 of them - civilian) 31 and are supported by 100,000 reserve forces. Conscription has been ended in September 2008. 32

Lithuania's defence system is based on the concept of "total and unconditional defence" mandated by Lithuania's national Security Strategy. The goal of Lithuania's defence policy is to prepare their society for general defence and to integrate Lithuania into Western security and defence structures. The defence ministry is responsible for combat forces, search and rescue, and intelligence operations. 33

The 5,400 border guards fall under the Interior Ministry's supervision and are responsible for border protection, passport and customs duties, and share responsibility with the navy for smuggling / drug trafficking interdiction. A special security department handles VIP protection and communications security. Economy References: Economy of Lithuania / Vilnius Financial Centre. In 2003, before joining the European Union, Lithuania had the highest economic growth rate amongst all candidate and member countries, reaching 8.8% in the third quarter. In 2004 – 7.4%; 2005 – 7.8%; 2006 – 7.8%; 2007 – 8.9%, 2008 Q1 — 7.0% growth in GDP reflects the impressive economic development. 34 Most of the trade Lithuania conducts is within the European Union.

By UN classification, Lithuania is a country with high average income. The country boasts a well developed modern infrastructure of railways, airports and four-lane highways. As of October 2008, the unemployment rate is 4.7%. Less than 2% of the population live beneath the poverty line. 35 According to officially published figures, EU membership fueled a booming economy, increased outsourcing into the country, and boosted the tourism sector. The litas, the national currency, has been pegged to the euro since 2 February 2002 at the rate of EUR 1.00 = LTL 3.4528, 36 and Lithuania is expecting to switch to the euro on 1 January 2014.

Structurally, there is gradual but consistent shift towards a knowledge-based economy with special emphasis on biotechnology (industrial and diagnostic) – major biotechnology producers in the Baltic countries are concentrated in Lithuania – as well as laser equipment. Also mechatronics and information technology (IT) are seen as prospective knowledge-based economy directions in Lithuania.

Lithuania has a flat tax rate rather than a progressive scheme. Lithuanian income levels are lower than in the older EU Member States. According to Eurostat data, Lithuanian PPS GDP per capita stood at 61 per cent of the EU average in 2008. 37 Lower wages have been a factor that in 2004 fueled emigration to wealthier EU countries, something that has been made legally possible as a result of accession to the European Union. In 2007, personal income tax was reduced to 24% and a reduction to 21% was made in January 2009.

Corporate tax rate in Lithuania is 15% and 5% for small businesses. The government offers special incentives for investments into the high-technology sectors and high value-added products. Lithuania has the highest rating of Baltic states in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s quality of life index. Infrastructure / Port of Klaipėda / Major highways in Lithuania Klaipėda port is the only port in Lithuania. Vilnius International Airport is the largest airport. It served 2 million passengers in 2008. Other airports include: Kaunas International Airport and Palanga/Klaipėda International Airport. Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant is a Soviet-era nuclear station. Unit #1 was closed in December 2004, as a condition of Lithuania's entry into the European Union; the plant is similar to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in its lack of a robust containment structure. The remaining unit, as of 2006, supplied about 70% of Lithuania's electrical demand. 38 Unit #2 was closed down on December 31, 2009. Proposals have been made to construct another nuclear power plant in Lithuania. 39 According to the study carried out by, Lithuania has the fastest internet upload speed in the world and is sixth by download speed. 40 41 Education References: Education in Lithuania

/ The great yard of Vilnius University, one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe. About 70% of Lithuanian high school graduates continue their studies in universities and colleges. The first documented school in Lithuania was established in 1387 at Vilnius Cathedral. 42 The school network was influenced by the Christianization of Lithuania. Several types of schools were present in medieval Lithuania - cathedral schools, where pupils were prepared for priesthood; parish schools, offering elementary education; and home schools dedicated to educating the children of the Lithuanian nobility. Before Vilnius University was established in 1579, Lithuanians seeking higher education attended universities in foreign cities, including Cracow, Prague, and Leipzig, among others. 42

The Lithuanian Ministry of Science and Education proposes national educational policies and goals. These are sent to the Seimas for ratification. Laws govern long-term educational strategy along with general laws on standards for higher education, vocational training, law and science, adult education, and special education. 43 County administrators, municipal administrators, and school founders (including non-governmental organizations, religious organizations, and people) are responsible for implementing these policies. 43 By constitutional mandate, ten years of formal enrollment in an educational institution is mandatory, ending at age 16. 44

26 percent of the 1999 state budget was allocated to education expenses. 45 Primary and secondary schools receive funding from the state via their municipal or county administrations. The Constitution of Lithuania guarantees tuition-free attendance at public institutions of higher education for students deemed 'good'; the number of such students has varied over the past decade, with 68 percent exempted from tuition fees in 2002. 46

The World Bank designates the literacy rate of Lithuanian persons aged 15 years and older as 100%. 47 As of 2008, 30.4% of the population aged 25 to 64 had completed tertiary education; 60.1% had completed upper secondary and post-secondary (non-tertiary) education. 48 According to Invest in Lithuania , Lithuania has twice as many people with higher education than the EU-15 average and the proportion is the highest in the Baltic. Also, 90% of Lithuanians speak at least one foreign language and half of the population speaks two foreign languages, mostly Russian and English. 49

As of 2008, there were 15 public universities in Lithuania, 6 private institutions, 16 public colleges, and 11 private colleges. 50 Vilnius University is one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe and the largest university in Lithuania. Kaunas University of Technology is the largest technical university in the Baltic States and the second largest university in Lithuania. Other universities include Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Vilnius Pedagogical University, Vytautas Magnus University, Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, The General Jonas Zemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, Klaipėda University, Lithuanian Veterinary Academy, Lithuanian University of Agriculture, Siauliai University and Vilnius Academy of Arts. Demographics References: Demographics of Lithuania Genetics

Since the Neolithic period the native inhabitants of the Lithuanian territory have not been replaced by any other ethnic group, so there is a high probability that the inhabitants of present day Lithuania have preserved the genetic composition of their forebears relatively undisturbed by the major demographic movements 51 , although without being actually isolated from them. 52 The Lithuanian population appears to be relatively homogeneous, without apparent genetic differences among ethnic subgroups. 53

A 2004 analysis of MtDNA in a Lithuanian population revealed that Lithuanians are close to (Indo-European) and Finno-Ugric-speaking populations of Northern Europe. Y-chromosome SNP haplogroup analysis showed Lithuanians to be closest to Latvians,Estonians and Finnish people. . 54 The analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) further confirmed the absence of internal genetic structuring in the Lithuanian population. ] Comparisons with other European populations demonstrated that the Lithuanian mtDNA gene pool is more closely related to the mtDNA gene pool of Northern European populations, while molecular diversity indices (gene diversity 0.971 ± 0.008, nucleotide diversity 0.012 ± ± 0.007 and the mean number of pairwise differences between sequences 4.41 ± 2.19) indicate that the Lithuanians are among the more diverse populations in Europe. ] Genetic research revealed that Lithuanians and Latvians are much more related to Finnish than Estonians. ]

The Y-chromosomal data has also revealed a common Finno-Ugric ancestry for the males of the neighboring Baltic peoples, speakers of the Indo-European Baltic languages. According to the studies, Baltic males are most closely related to the Finno-Ugric-speaking Volga Finns such as the Mari, rather than to Baltic Finns. ] The indicator of Finno-Ugric origin has been found to be more frequent in Latvians (42%) and Lithuanians (43%) than in Estonians (34%). The results suggest that the territories of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been settled by Finno-Ugric-speaking tribes since the early Mesolithic period. ]

The Y-chromosome, the most common haplogroups of the Finns are N3 (58%), I (29%), R1a (7.5%) and R1b (3.5%). 55 Haplogroupe N3, which is found only in a few countries in Europe (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden and Finland), is a subgroup of the haplogroup N (Y-DNA) distributed across northern Eurasia and estimated in a recent study to be 10,000–20,000 years old and suggested to have entered Europe about 12,000–14,000 years ago from Asia. Ethnic composition References: Ethnic minorities in Lithuania The population of Lithuania stands at 3,349,900, 84.0% of whom are ethnic Lithuanians who speak Lithuanian which is the official language of the country. Several sizable minorities exist, such as Poles (6.1%), Russians (4.9%), and Belorusians (1.1%). 56 / Scandinavian settlement Map in Europe Ethnic composition of the Lithuanian population (2009 estimate by the Statistical Department Lithuanians – 84 % (2815,7 thousand Poles – 6,1 % (205,5 thousand. Russians – 4,9 % (165,1 thousand. Belorusians – 1,1 % (36,1 thousand. Ukrainians – 0,6 % (20 thousand. Germans - 0,1 % (3,1 thousand. Jews – 0,1 % (3 thousand. Tatars - 0,1 % (2,5 thousand. Latvians – 0,1 % (2,2 thousand. Roma - 0,1 % (2,3 thousand. Other ethnic group - 0,2 % (7,6 thousand. Poles are the largest minority, concentrated in southeast Lithuania (the Vilnius region). Russians are the second largest minority, concentrated mostly in two cities. They constitute sizeable minorities in Vilnius (14%) and Klaipėda (28%), and a majority in the town of Visaginas (52%). 57 About 3,000 Roma live in Lithuania, mostly in Vilnius, Kaunas, and Panevėžys; their organizations are supported by the National Minority and Emigration Department. 58

According to the Lithuanian population census of 2001, about 84% of the country's population speak Lithuanian as their native language, 8.2% are the native speakers of Russian, 5.8% – of Polish. More than 60% are fluent in Russian, while only about 16% say they can speak English. According to the Eurobarometer survey conducted in 2005, 80% of Lithuanians can speak Russian and 32% can speak English. Most Lithuanian schools teach English as a first foreign language, but students may also study German, or, in some schools, French or Russian. Schools where Russian and Polish are the primary languages of education exist in the areas populated by these minorities. Largest cities List of cities in Lithuania


- Rank - City - Population -


1Grand Coat of arms of Vilnius.pngVilnius - 546,733 2Kaunas city COA.pngKaunas - 352,279 3Coat of arms of Klaipeda (Lithuania).pngKlaipėda - 183,433 4Siauliai city COA.gifŠiauliai - 126,215 5Panevezys city COA.gifPanevėžys - 112,619 6Alytus city COA.gifAlytus - 67,505 7Marijampole COA.gifMarijampolė - 46,692 8Mazeikiai COA.gifMažeikiai - 40,505 9Coat of arms of Jonava (Lithuania).svgJonava - 34,238 10Utena COA.gifUtena - 32,476 11Kedainiai COA.gifKėdainiai - 30,835 12Telsiai COA.gifTelšiai - 29,883 13Visaginas coat of arms.pngVisaginas - 28,160 14Taurage COA.gifTauragė - 27,696 15Ukmerge COA.gifUkmergė - 27,323 16Plunge COA.gifPlungė - 23,161 17Kretinga COA.gifKretinga - 21,445 18Silute COA.gifŠilutė - 20,839 19Radviliskis COA.gifRadviliškis - 19,404 20Coat of arms of Palanga (Lithuania).svgPalanga - 17,574 Source, 2009 Health / Kaunas University Hospital – the largest medical institution in Lithuania As of 2009 Lithuanian life expectancy at birth was 66 years for males and 78 for females – the largest gender difference and the lowest male life expectancy in the European Union. As of 2008 The infant mortality rate was 5.9 per 1,000 births. 59 The annual population growth rate increased by 0.3% in 2007. At 30.4 people per 100,000, 60 Lithuania has seen a dramatic rise in suicides in the post-soviet years, and now records the second highest suicide rate in the world. 61 Lithuania also has the highest homicide rate in the EU. 62 Age structure

According to 2009 estimates, the age structure of the population was as follows: 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). 63 The median age was 39.3 years (male: 36.8, female: 41.9). 64 Religion References: Religion in Lithuania / Hill of Crosses / Wooden church in Palūšė. Lithuania has strong Roman Catholic traditions. / St. Anne's Church, Vilnius In 2005, 79% of Lithuanians belonged to the Roman Catholic Church. 65 The Church has been the majority denomination since the Christianisation of Lithuania in the end of fourteenth century and beginning of fifteenth century. Some priests actively led the resistance against the Communist regime (symbolised by the Hill of Crosses).

In the first half of 20th century, the Lutheran Protestant church had around 200,000 members, 9% of total population, although Lutheranism has declined since 1945. Small Protestant communities are dispersed throughout the northern and western parts of the country. Believers and clergy suffered greatly during the Soviet occupation, with many killed, tortured or deported to Siberia. Various Protestant churches have established missions in Lithuania since 1990. 66 4.9% are Eastern Orthodox (mainly among the Russian minority), 1.9% are Protestant and 9.5% have no religion.

The first noticeable presence of Islam in Lithuania began in the 14th century. From this time it was primarily associated with the Lipka Tatars (also known as Lithuanian Tatars), many of whom settled in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania while continuing their traditions and religious beliefs. Roman Catholic - 79,0 % (2 752,5 thousand Orthodox - 4,1 % (141,8 thousand. Old Believers - 0,8 % (27,1 thousand. Evangelical Lutherans - 0,6 % (19,6 thousand. Reformed Church - 0,2 % (7,1 thousand. Jehovah's Witnesses - 0,1 % (3,5 thousand. Muslimsunni - 0,1 % (2,9 thousand. Charismatics - 0,06 % (2,2 thousand. Pentecostalism - 0,04 % (1,3 thousand. Judaism - 0,04 % (1,3 thousand. Old Baltic religion - 0,04 % (1,3 thousand. Other religions - 0,3 % (11 thousand. According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005, 67 12% said that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force" , 36% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 49% of Lithuanian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God". Culture References: Culture of Lithuania Culturally Lithuania (and some of neighboring territory) is divided into the following regions: Aukštaitija – literally, the "Highlands" Samogitia (Lithuanian: Žemaitija , Samogitian: Žemaitėjė ) – literally, the "Lowlands" Dzūkija (Lithuanian: Dzūkija or Dainava Suvalkija (Lithuanian: Suvalkija or Sūduva Lithuania Minor also known as "Prussian Lithuania" – (Lithuanian: Mažoji Lietuva or Prūsų Lietuva ). The region was part of Prussia from the Middle Ages until 1945. Most of it today is part of Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast). Art and museums / The Picture Gallery in Vilnius' Chodkevičiai Palace The Lithuanian Art Museum was founded in 1933 and is the largest museum of art conservation and display in Lithuania. 68 Among other important museums is the Palanga Amber Museum, where amber pieces comprise a major part of the collection.

Perhaps the most renowned figure in Lithuania's art community was the composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis (1875–1911), an internationaly renowned musician. The 2420 Čiurlionisasteroid, identified in 1975, honors his achievements. The M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum is located in Kaunas.

A future museum, Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, will present exhibitions of new media art, parts of the New York City anthology film archive, and Fluxus art. The museum is scheduled to open in 2011. 69 Literature References: Lithuanian literature

/ First printed Lithuanian book by Martynas Mažvydas A wealth of Lithuanian literature was written in Latin, the main scholarly language in the Middle Ages. One of the first instances of such, was the edicts of Lithuanian King Mindaugas. Letters of Gediminas is another important monument of Lithuanian Latin writings.

Lithuanian literary works in the Lithuanian language were first published in the 16th century. In 1547 Martynas Mažvydas compiled and published the first printed Lithuanian book The Simple Words of Catechism , which marks the beginning of printed Lithuanian literature. He was followed by Mikalojus Daukša in Lithuania Propria with his Katechizmas. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Lithuanian literature was primarily religious. Development of the old Lithuanian literature (14th–18th centuries) ends with Kristijonas Donelaitis, one of the most prominent authors of the Age of Enlightenment. Donelaitis poem "The Seasons" is a national epos and is a cornerstone of Lithuanian fiction literature. 70

Lithuanian literature of the first half of the 19th century with its mix of Classicism, Sentimentalism, and Romanticism features is represented by Antanas Strazdas, Dionizas Poška, Silvestras Valiūnas, Maironis, Simonas Stanevičius, Simonas Daukantas, and Antanas Baranauskas. 70 During Tsarist annexation of Lithuania, Lithuanian press ban was implemented, which lead to a formation of the Knygnešiai (Book smugglers) movement.

20th century Lithuanian literature is represented by Juozas Tumas-Vaižgantas, Antanas Vienuolis, Bernardas Brazdžionis, Vytautas Mačernis and others. Music References: Lithuanian music / A Lithuanian folklore band Kūlgrinda performing in Vilnius Lithuanian musical tradition traces its history to pagan times, connected with neolithiccorded ware culture. Lithuanian folk music is archaic, evolved for ritual purposes. Lithuanian mythology Symbols of Lithuania Sports References: Sports in Lithuania Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the country. The country has both professional and developmental leagues, and its national basketball team has had success in international play, ranked sixth in FIBA standings. It has produced several NBA players past and present. Arvydas Sabonis, and Žydrūnas Ilgauskas played on both the Lithuanian national team and the NBA and are among the more well known.

Another popular individual is professional ice hockey player Darius Kasparaitis, who had both a stellar NHL and Olympic career.

Other notable Lithuanian athletes are Ignatas Konovalovas in professional cycling, and Marius Zaromskis of mixed martial arts.

Virgilijus Alekna, one of world top discus throwers, by world recognition is probably surpassed only by Arvydas Sabonis. Virgilijus Alekna holds Olympics record and won two Olympic gold medals. International rankings Rankings Name - Year - Place - Out of # - Reference CIA World FactbookGDPper capita (PPP) - 2009 - 74th - 228 - 2 CIA World Factbooklife expectancy - 2009 - 87th - 224 - 3 International Living MagazineQuality-of-life index - 2010 - 22nd - 194 - Quality-of-life index NationMaster – Index of Civil and Political Liberties - – - 16th - 132 - 4 New Economics FoundationHappy Planet Index - 2009 - 86th - 143 - 5 Reporters Without BordersPress Freedom Index - 2009 - 10th - 175 - 6 Save the Children – Mother's Index Rank - 2007 - 20th - 141 - 7 Save the Children – Women's Index Rank - 2007 - 14th - 141 - 8 Save the Children – Children's Index Rank - 2007 - 29th - 141 - 9 The Economist Intelligence UnitE-readiness - 2008 - 38th - 70 - 10 The Economist Intelligence UnitGlobal Peace Index - 2009 - 43rd - 144 - 11 The Economist Intelligence UnitIndex of Democracy - 2008 - 42nd - 167 - 12 The Economist Intelligence UnitQuality-of-life index - 2005 - 63rd - 111 - 13 The Fund for PeaceFailed States Index - 2009 - 145th - 177 - 14 Transparency InternationalCorruption Perceptions Index - 2009 - 52nd - 180 - 15 United NationsHuman Development Index - 2009 - 46th - 192 - 16 United States Patent and Trademark Office's list of patents by country - 2008 - 70th - 172 - 17 Yale University / Columbia UniversityEnvironmental Performance Index - 2010 - 37th - 163 - 18 Wall Street Journal / The Heritage FoundationIndex of Economic Freedom - 2010 - 29th - 179 - 19 World BankEase of Doing Business Index - 2008–2009 - 26th - 183 - 20 World Bank – International Logistics Performance Index (LPI) - 2010 - 45th - 155 - 21 World Economic ForumNetworked Readiness Index - 2008–2009 - 35th - 134 - 22 World Economic Forum – Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index - 2009 - 49th - 133 - 23 World Economic ForumThe Enabling Trade Index - 2009 - 49th - 121 - 24 World Economic ForumThe Global Competitiveness Index - 2009–2010 - 53th - 133 - 25 World Economic ForumGlobal Gender Gap Report - 2009 - 30th - 134 - 26 See also

Flag of Lithuania.svg - Lithuania portal References: Outline of Lithuania Foreign relations of Lithuania List of Lithuanians Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic Lithuanians Military of Lithuania References Notes
Population by ethnicity 2009 year. . Statistics Lithuania . . 1Statistics Lithuania abcdLithuania. International Monetary Fund . . (Lithuanian Lietuva įsiliejo į Šengeno erdvę. Vidaus reikalų ministerija . . (Lithuanian) Tomas Baranauskas. Lietuvos karalystei – 750. 2001. Paul Magocsi. History of the Ukraine . University of Toronto Press, 1996. p.128 Lane, Thomas (2001). Lithuania: Stepping Westward. Routledge. pp. ix, xxi. ISBN0415267315 .,M1 . R. Fawn Ideology and National Identity in Post-communist Foreign Policies. p. 186] Stone, Daniel. The Polish-Lithuanian state: 1386–1795 . University of Washington Press, 2001. p. 63 "The Roads to Independence". Lithuania in the World. Lithuanian Americans. Lithuanian Americans . . /Lithuanians in the United States. Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913 . . I. Žiemele. Baltic Yearbook of International Law, 2001. 2002, Vol.1 p.10 K. Dawisha, B. Parrott. The Consolidation of Democracy in East-Central Europe. 1997 p. 293. Lithuania: Back to the Future. US Department of State Bureau of Public Affairs, August 2006. . . Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin - The BACC Project - 22–23 May 2006, Göteborg, Sweden (PDF) . . Effects of 2002 drought in Lithuania. . . ab (Lithuanian) Nuo 1991 m. iki šiol paskelbtų referendumų rezultatai, Microsoft Word Document, Seimas. Lina Kulikauskienė, Lietuvos Respublikos Konstitucija (Constitution of Lithuania), Native History, CD, 2002. ISBN 9986-9216-7-8 (Lithuanian) Lietuvos Respublikos apskrities valdymo įstatymas (Republic of Lithuania Law on County Governing), Seimas law database, 15 December 1994, Law no. I-707. (Lithuanian) Dr. Antanas Tyla, Pastabos dėl Apskričių valdymo reformos koncepcijos, The Council for the Protection of Ethnic Culture, Seimas, 16 May 2001. (Lithuanian) Justinas Vanagas, Seimo prioritetai šią sesiją – tiesioginiai mero rinkimai, gyventojų nuosavybė ir euras,, 5 September 2005. (Lithuanian) Indrė Makaraitytė, Europos Sąjungos pinigai kaimo neišgelbės, Atgimimas,, 16 December 2004. Personnel size in 1998-2009 Ministry of National Defence Compulsory basic military service discontinued. Ministry of National Defence . . White Paper Lithuanian defence policy (in (Lithuanian) ). . . WHO statistical database. Lietuvos Bankas GDP per capita in PPS. Eurostat . . Electricity Market in the Baltic Countries. Lietuvos Energija . . Lietuviškas internetas – sparčiausias pasaulyje (in Lithuanian). 2009-04-08 . . World Results . . abEducation in Lithuania. European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education . . The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania came into force on 2 November 1992. Republic of Lithuania . . Higher Education Finance and Cost-Sharing in Lithuania. University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. 2005 . . World Bank - ICT at a Glance. World Bank . . Invest in Lithuania. . . Lithuania, Academic Career Structure. European University Institute . . Daiva Ambrasienė, Vaidutis Kučinskas Genetic variability of the Lithuanian human population according to Y chromosome microsatellite markers Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Analysis in the Lithuanian Population MtDNA analysis of sample population of Lithuanians (N3=312/536), Regional differences among the Finns: a Y-chromosomal perspective, Lappalainen at al. 2006 Department of Statistics to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. Population by ethnicity . . The inhabitants. Archived from the original on 2007-12-19 . . Lithuanian Security and Foreign Policy. Statistics Lithuania. Lithuani (PDF). Suicide prevention (SUPRE) . World Health Organization. 2008 . . See List of countries by suicide rate. More people are killed in Lithuania than anywhere in the EU. . . Field Listing : Median age. CIA World Factbook . /Phones/ . Department of Statistics to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. Population by Religious Confession, census. Archived from the original on 2006-10-01 . . . Updated in 2005. United Methodists evangelize in Lithuania with ads, brochures. . . History of the Lithuanian Art Museum. Lithuanian Art Museum. Zaha Hadid to Design Planned Museum in Lithuania. Bloomberg News . . 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