[Country map of Lithuania]



Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Russia

Map references: Europe

total area: 65,200 sq km
land area: 65,200 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than West Virginia

Land boundaries: total 1,273 km, Belarus 502 km, Latvia 453 km, Poland 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad) 227 km

Coastline: 108 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: dispute with Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) over the position of the Nemunas (Nemen) River border presently located on the Lithuanian bank and not in midriver as by international standards

Climate: maritime; wet, moderate winters and summers

Terrain: lowland, many scattered small lakes, fertile soil

Natural resources: peat

Land use:
arable land: 49.1%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 22.2%
forest and woodland: 16.3%
other: 12.4%

Irrigated land: 430 sq km (1990)

current issues: contamination of soil and groundwater with petroleum products and chemicals at military bases
natural hazards: NA
international agreements: party to - Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change


Population: 3,876,396 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 23% (female 426,616; male 444,556)
15-64 years: 65% (female 1,299,052; male 1,227,420)
65 years and over: 12% (female 313,217; male 165,535) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.71% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 14.46 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 10.95 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 3.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 16.5 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.37 years
male: 66.68 years
female: 76.3 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Lithuanian(s)
adjective: Lithuanian

Ethnic divisions: Lithuanian 80.1%, Russian 8.6%, Polish 7.7%, Byelorussian 1.5%, other 2.1%

Religions: Roman Catholic, Lutheran, other

Languages: Lithuanian (official), Polish, Russian

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1989)
total population: 98%
male: 99%
female: 98%

Labor force: 1.836 million
by occupation: industry and construction 42%, agriculture and forestry 18%, other 40% (1990)


conventional long form: Republic of Lithuania
conventional short form: Lithuania
local long form: Lietuvos Respublika
local short form: Lietuva
former: Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic

Digraph: LH

Type: republic

Capital: Vilnius

Administrative divisions: 44 regions (rajonai, singular - rajonas) and 11 municipalities*: Akmenes Rajonas, Alytaus Rajonas, Alytus*, Anyksciu Rajonas, Birsionas*, Birzu Rajonas, Druskininkai*, Ignalinos Rajonas, Jonavos Rajonas, Joniskio Rajonas, Jurbarko Rajonas, Kaisiadoriu Rajonas, Marijampoles Rajonas, Kaunas*, Kauno Rajonas, Kedainiu Rajonas, Kelmes Rajonas, Klaipeda*, Klaipedos Rajonas, Kretingos Rajonas, Kupiskio Rajonas, Lazdiju Rajonas, Marijampole*, Mazeikiu Rajonas, Moletu Rajonas, Neringa* Pakruojo Rajonas, Palanga*, Panevezio Rajonas, Panevezys*, Pasvalio Rajonas, Plunges Rajonas, Prienu Rajonas, Radviliskio Rajonas, Raseiniu Rajonas, Rokiskio Rajonas, Sakiu Rajonas, Salcininky Rajonas, Siauliai*, Siauliu Rajonas, Silales Rajonas, Siltues Rajonas, Sirvinty Rajonas, Skuodo Rajonas, Svencioniu Rajonas, Taurages Rajonas, Telsiu Rajonas, Traky Rajonas, Ukmerges Rajonas, Utenos Rajonas, Varenos Rajonas, Vilkaviskio Rajonas, Vilniaus Rajonas, Vilnius*, Zarasu Rajonas

Independence: 6 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 16 February (1918)

Constitution: adopted 25 October 1992

Legal system: based on civil law system; no judicial review of legislative acts

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Algirdas Mykolas BRAZAUSKAS (since 25 November 1992; elected acting president by Parliament 25 November 1992 and elected by direct vote 15 February 1993); election last held 14 February 1993 (next to be held NA 1997); results - Algirdas BRAZAUSKAS was elected; note - on 25 November 1992 BRAZAUSKAS was elected chairman of Parliament and, as such, acting president of the Republic; he was confirmed in office by direct balloting 15 February 1993
head of government: Premier Adolfas SLEZEVICIUS (since 10 March 1993)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by the president on the nomination of the prime minister

Legislative branch: unicameral
Seimas (parliament): elections last held 26 October and 25 November 1992 (next to be held NA 1996); results - LDDP 51%; seats - (141 total) LDDP 73, Conservative Party 30, LKDP 17, LTS 8, Farmers' Union 4, LLS 4, Center Union 2, others 3

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, Court of Appeals

Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Party (LKDP), Povilas KATILIUS, chairman; Democratic Labor Party of Lithuania (LDDP), Adolfas SLEZEVICIUS, chairman; Lithuanian Nationalist Union (LTS), Rimantas SMETONA, chairman; Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP), Aloyzas SAKALAS, chairman; Farmers' Union, Jonas CIULEVICIUS, chairman; Center Union, Romualdas OZOLAS, chairman; Conservative Party, Vytautas LANDSBERGIS, chairman; Lithuanian Polish Union (LLS), Rytardas MACIKIANEC, chairman

Other political or pressure groups: Homeland Union; Lithuanian Future Forum; Farmers Union

Member of: BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, EBRD, ECE, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, INTELSAT (nonsignatory user), INTERPOL, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NACC, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Alfonsas EIDINTAS
chancery: 2622 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 234-5860, 2639
FAX: [1] (202) 328-0466
consulate(s) general: New York

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador James W. SWIHART, Jr.
embassy: Akmenu 6, Vilnius 2600
mailing address: APO AE 09723
telephone: [370] (2) 223-031
FAX: [370] (2) 222-779

Flag: three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), green, and red


Overview: Since independence in September 1991, Lithuania has made steady progress in developing a market economy. Almost 50% of state property has been privatized and trade is diversifying with a gradual shift away from the former Soviet Union to Western markets. In addition, the Lithuanian government has adhered to a disciplined budgetary and financial policy which has brought inflation down from a monthly average of around 14% in first half 1993 to an average of 3.1% in 1994. Nevertheless, the process has been painful with industrial output in 1993 less than half the 1991 level. The economy appeared to have bottomed out in 1994, and Vilnius's policies have laid the groundwork for vigorous recovery over the next few years. Recovery will build on Lithuanian's strategic location with its ice-free port at Klaipeda and its rail and highway hub in Vilnius connecting it with Eastern Europe, Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, and on its agriculture potential, highly skilled labor force, and diversified industrial sector. Lacking important natural resources, it will remain dependent on imports of fuels and raw materials.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $13.5 billion (1994 estimate as extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1992)

National product real growth rate: -0.5% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $3,500 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.1% (monthly average 1994)

Unemployment rate: 4.5% (January 1995)

revenues: $258.5 million
expenditures: $270.2 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1992 est.)

Exports: $2.2 billion (1994)
commodities: electronics 18%, petroleum products 5%, food 10%, chemicals 6% (1989)
partners: Russia, Ukraine, Germany

Imports: $2.7 billion (1994)
commodities: oil 24%, machinery 14%, chemicals 8%, grain NA% (1989)
partners: Russia, Germany, Belarus

External debt: $NA

Industrial production: growth rate -52% (1992); accounts for 35% of GDP

capacity: 6,190,000 kW
production: 18.9 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 4,608 kWh (1993)

Industries: industry's share in the economy has been declining substantially over the past year, due to the economic crisis and the growth of services in the economy; among branches which are still important: metal-cutting machine tools 6.6%, electric motors 4.6%, television sets 6.2%, refrigerators and freezers 5.4%; other branches: petroleum refining, shipbuilding (small ships), furniture making, textiles, food processing, fertilizers, agricultural machinery, optical equipment, electronic components, computers, and amber

Agriculture: employs around 18% of labor force; accounts for 25% of GDP; sugar, grain, potatoes, sugar beets, vegetables, meat, milk, dairy products, eggs, fish; most developed are the livestock and dairy branches, which depend on imported grain; net exporter of meat, milk, and eggs

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for illicit drugs from Central and Southwest Asia and Latin America to Western Europe; limited producer of illicit opium; mostly for domestic consumption

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (1992), $10 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-86), $NA million; Communist countries (1971-86), $NA million

Currency: introduced the convertible litas in June 1993

Exchange rates: litai per US$1 - 4 (fixed rate 1 May 1994)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 2,010 km
broad gauge: 2,010 km 1.524-m gauge (120 km electrified) (1990)

total: 44,200 km
paved: 35,500 km
unpaved: earth 8,700 km (1990)

Inland waterways: 600 km perennially navigable

Pipelines: crude oil, 105 km; natural gas 760 km (1992)

Ports: Kaunas, Klaipeda

Merchant marine:
total: 44 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 275,893 GRT/321,440 DWT
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 28, combination bulk 11, railcar carrier 3, roll-on/roll-off cargo 1

total: 96
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 3
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 2
with paved runways under 914 m: 14
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 1
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 6
with unpaved runways under 914 m: 63


Telephone system: 900,000 telephones; 240 telephones/1,000 persons; telecommunications system ranks among the most modern of the former Soviet republics
local: NA
intercity: land lines and microwave radio relay
international: international connections no longer depend on the Moscow gateway switch, but are established by satellite through Oslo from Vilnius and through Copenhagen from Kaunas; 1 EUTELSAT and 1 INTELSAT earth station; an NMT-450 analog cellular network operates in Vilnius and other cities and is linked internationally through Copenhagen by EUTELSAT; international electronic mail is available; land lines or microwave to former USSR republics

broadcast stations: AM 13, FM 26, shortwave 1, longwave 1
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 3
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Force, Security Forces (internal and border troops), National Guard (Skat)

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 949,663; males fit for military service 750,386; males reach military age (18) annually 27,630 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $30 million, 2% of GDP (1994); note - for 1995 defense expenditures were $54 million at exchange rate conversion