title
macrohistory & world report

Lithuania

map of Lithuania amid neighboring countries

Lithuania (capital Vilnius) and neighboring countries

World Factbook as of October 2014: Lithuania gained membership in the World Trade Organization and joined the EU in May 2004. Despite its EU accession, Lithuania's trade with its Central and Eastern European neighbors, and Russia in particular, accounts for a significant share of total trade. Foreign investment and business support have helped in the transition from the old command economy to a market economy. The three former Soviet Baltic republics were among the hardest hit by the 2008-09 financial crisis. The government's efforts to attract foreign investment, to develop export markets, and to pursue broad economic reforms has been key to Lithuania's quick recovery from a deep recession, making Lithuania one of the fastest growing economies in the EU... Under the Conservative Party's leadership, Lithuania raised the monthly minimum wage in January 2012 nearly 25% over 2011. In January 2013, the new Social Democrat-led government increased the minimum wage another 25% over January 2012. Despite government efforts, unemployment remains high."

Economic growth
2013: 3.4%
2012: 3.6%
2011: 5.8%
2010: 1.3%

Labor force in agriculture
2014: 7.9%
2005: 14%

Unemployment rate
2013: 12.4%
2012: 13.2%
2011: 15.6%
2010: 17.8%

Export/import ratio
2011: 89.1% – negative balance

Exports
Mineral products 22%, machinery and equipment 10%, chemicals 9%, textiles 7%, foodstuffs 7%, plastics 7%

Public debt
2011: 37.7% of GDP
2010: 36.7% of GDP

Healthcare expenditures
2009: 7.8%

People

Living in urban area
2010: 67%

Migrations:
2012: A net loss of 0.73 persons per 1,000 population

Ethnic groups
2009: Lithuanian 84%, Polish 6.1%, Russian 4.9%, Belarusian 1.1%, other or unspecified 3.9%

Religion:
2001 census: Roman Catholic 79%, Russian Orthodox 4.1%, Protestant (including Lutheran and Evangelical Christian Baptist) 1.9%, other or unspecified 5.5%, none 9.5%

Geography

Eastern Europe, south of Latvia, west and north of Belarus, and north of Poland. 99 kilometers of coastline on the Baltic Sea.

Government

The Republic of Lithuania is a parliamentary democracy. The president is popularly elected for a five-year term and eligible for a second term. Parliament is unicameral, its members elected by popular vote for four year terms.

Capital: Vilnius.

Recent History.

Lithuania is the first of the Soviet republics to declare independence, on March 11, 1990.

1993 Russian troops finally withdraw.

2004: Lithuania joins the European Union and NATO.

April, 2010: To remedy its economic crisis, Lithuania has launched an austerity program that includes cutting public spending by 30 percent. And it has raised taxes. Unemployment has jumped to 14 percent, more retired people are going to soup kitchens, and suicides have increased to 35 for every 100,000 persons.

SOURCES:
The World Factbook

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.