Republic of Lithuania
Lietuvos Respublika (Lithuanian)
Anthem: Tautiška giesmė
and largest city
|Ethnic groups |
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential republic|
|Independence from Russia / Germany (1918)|
|9 March 1009|
• Coronation of Mindaugas
|6 July 1253|
|2 February 1386|
|1 July 1569|
|24 October 1795|
|16 February 1918|
|15 June 1940|
|22 June 1941|
|11 March 1990|
• Independence recognized by the Soviet Union
|6 September 1991|
|17 September 1991|
|1 May 2004|
|65,300 km2 (25,200 sq mi) (121st)|
• Water (%)
• 2017 estimate
|43/km2 (111.4/sq mi) (173rd)|
|GDP (PPP)||2017 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2017 estimate|
• Per capita
|Gini (2015)||▲ 37.9|
|HDI (2015)|| 0.848|
very high · 37th
|Currency||Euro (€) (EUR)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
• Summer (DST)
|Date format||yyyy-mm-dd (CE)|
|ISO 3166 code||LT|
The colors of the Lithuanian flag are yellow (at the top), for the sun, green (in the middle), for the fields, and red (at the bottom), for the blood of Lithuanians fighting for its independence.
History[change | change source]
Lithuania began to turn into a country in the 7th–9th centuries from Baltic nations group. The Balts, the ancestors of Lithuanians and Latvians, came to area between Nemunas, Daugava rivers and the Baltic Sea, from a supposed original homeland of the Proto-Indo-European languages. Many scientists think they came there sometime in the 3rd millennium BC.
The traditional date of the beginning of the country is 1236 when the Lithuanians won the Battle of Šiauliai (Battle of Sun).
Lithuania (at that time - The Grand Duchy of Lithuania) made a Treaty with Poland in 1569. The country was taken over by the Russian Empire in 1795, ending the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It got back its independence on February 16, 1918. It was taken over by the Soviet Union on June 16, 1940, by Nazi Germany from 1941-1944 and again the Soviet Union from 1944-1990. Lithuania re-declared its independence on March 11, 1990. Currently Lithuania is an independent, semi-presidential, democratic republic.
Politics[change | change source]
Lithuania has been a member of NATO and the European Union since 2004.
Lithuania is a semi presidential republic, that restored its independence and democracy in 1990. Since then, very important reforms were made and Lithuania is now declared as a democratic state that grants the human rights.
The Constitution that was adopted in 1992 declares that the leader of the country is the President, who must be elected to take office. The elections are held every 5 years. If the President breaks their oath, they can be forced to resign by the Parliament. The President also represents Lithuania abroad and is the commander-in-chief.
The legislative power of Lithuania is called the Seimas, or Parliament. There are 141 members of Seimas who are elected for 4-year-terms. Seimas passes the laws that must be executed by the government, that is formed in Seimas and it must be accepted by the President. The Prime Minister is set and fired by the President.
The justice is under the power of the courts. The supreme court in Lithuania is the Constitutional Court.
Administrative subdivisions[change | change source]
Lithuania is divided into 10 counties, 60 municipalities and 500 elderates. The counties are:
- Alytus County
- Kaunas County
- Klaipėda County
- Marijampolė County
- Panevėžys County
- Šiauliai County
- Tauragė County
- Telšiai County
- Utena County
- Vilnius County
The county governor rules the county. He or she must be appointed by the central government. Municipalities are governed by the Municipal Councils that are elected for 4 year terms. The head of a municipality is the mayor. The elderates are governed by the elders. The elders are appointed by the municipal councils.
Geography[change | change source]
Lithuania is a country in northern Europe. Its neighbours are Poland in the southwest, Russia (Kaliningrad) in west, Latvia in north and Belarus in the east. Lithuania borders the Baltic Sea and 99 kilometres of its coast belong to Lithuania. The highest hill is Aukštojas (294 metres high), the largest lake is Drūkšiai Lake. 31% of the land is suitable for farms.
Lithuania is divided into 5 cultural regions according to their past and traditions:
- Mažoji Lietuva (Lithuania Minor)
- Žemaitija (Samogitia)
Climate[change | change source]
Extreme temperatures in Lithuania (°C)
Economy[change | change source]
Lithuania has a fast growing economy. It grew up to 7 % in the first quarter of 2008.
GDP per capita, based on purchasing power parity is estimated to be $19,730 in 2008. The nominal GDP per capita is estimated to be $14,213 at the same year. According to these numbers, Lithuanian per capita GDP reaches only 61% of EU average. However, it is impressive that only in 8 years, since 2000 it grew up from 30% of EU average.
Emigration still creates a problem. According to the official data, emigration in 2006 was 30% lower than previous year, with 3,483 people leaving in four months.
Demographics[change | change source]
About 80% of people in Lithuania are Lithuanians. There are large national minorities:
- The Poles, (6.3%), mainly live in Vilnius County, which was taken over by Poland in 1920.
- The Russians, (5.1%), mainly live in Vilnius County and Utena County, as workers at the Ignalina nuclear plant.
- The Belorussians, (1.1%), most of them live in Vilnius County.
Lithuanian is spoken by 82% of the people and it is the only official language. Polish is used mostly in Vilnius County where Polish politicians are elected to represent the Polish minority. The documents and street names must be in Lithuanian.
Largest cities[change | change source]
|City||Region||Population||Density* (/km²)||Area (km²)|
Education[change | change source]
The nursery schools and the kindergartens are the first-level education forms. However, they are not compulsory. The children start attending the primary school at age 7, where educational programs last for 4 years; then they must start attending secondary school (5th to 10th grades). After finishing 8th or 10th grade, the student can continue learning at the high school or choose courses at the vocational college. The students who finish the high school can join colleges and universities. Higher education is free for the students whose annual median of grades is 8 or higher. The others have to pay 500 Litass per semester at least.
The higher education schools are universities and colleges. The main universities are:
- Vilnius University (the oldest university in northeastern Europe, founded in 1579);
- University of Vytautas the Great, in Kaunas;
- The University of Technology of Gediminas, in Vilnius;
- The Klaipėda University.
Media[change | change source]
Radio and Television[change | change source]
- Lietuvos Radijas (Public broadcaster)
- Radiocentras (TOP 40)
- M-1 (TOP 40)
- Pūkas 1 (Lithuanian pop)
- Kelyje (Pop)
- Žinių Radijas (up-to-date news)
The most popular TV stations are:
- Lietuvos televizija, LTV (Public Broadcaster)
Printed Media and Internet[change | change source]
The oldest legal newspaper in Lithuania is the Polish Kurier Wilenski. It was first published in the 18th century and is now only popular with the Polish community. The biggest selling newspapers are:
- Lietuvos Rytas
- Kauno diena
- Lietuvos žinios
- Vakaro žinios
Internet news portals are very popular in Lithuania. They have the latest information and also let people make comments. The most popular Internet sites with news and information are:
Related pages[change | change source]
Notes and references[change | change source]
- "Lietuvos gyventojų tautinė sudėtis 2014–2015 m." Alkas.lt. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- Kulikauskienė, Lina (2002). Lietuvos Respublikos Konstitucija [The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania] (in Lithuanian). Native History, CD. ISBN 9986-9216-7-8.
- Veser, Ernst (23 September 1997) (in English, Chinese). Semi-Presidentialism-Duverger's Concept — A New Political System Model. Department of Education, School of Education, University of Cologne. pp. 39–60. http://www.rchss.sinica.edu.tw/publication/ebook/journal/11-01-1999/11_1_2.pdf. Retrieved 23 August 2017. "Duhamel has developed the approach further: He stresses that the French construction does not correspond to either parliamentary or the presidential form of government, and then develops the distinction of 'système politique' and 'régime constitutionnel'. While the former comprises the exercise of power that results from the dominant institutional practice, the latter is the totality of the rules for the dominant institutional practice of the power. In this way, France appears as 'presidentialist system' endowed with a 'semi-presidential regime' (1983: 587). By this standard he recognizes Duverger's pléiade as semi-presidential regimes, as well as Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Lithuania (1993: 87).".
- Shugart, Matthew Søberg (September 2005). "Semi-Presidential Systems: Dual Executive and Mixed Authority Patterns". Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (United States: University of California, San Diego). http://dss.ucsd.edu/~mshugart/semi-presidentialism.pdf. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
- Shugart, Matthew Søberg (December 2005). "Semi-Presidential Systems: Dual Executive And Mixed Authority Patterns". French Politics (Palgrave Macmillan Journals) 3 (3): 323–351. doi:10.1057/palgrave.fp.8200087. http://www.palgrave-journals.com/fp/journal/v3/n3/pdf/8200087a.pdf. Retrieved 23 August 2017. "A pattern similar to the French case of compatible majorities alternating with periods of cohabitation emerged in Lithuania, where Talat-Kelpsa (2001) notes that the ability of the Lithuanian president to influence government formation and policy declined abruptly when he lost the sympathetic majority in parliament.".
- "Statistikos departamentas".
- "Lithuania". International Monetary Fund. 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- Lithuania. Imf.org.
- "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov.
- "2015 Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- United Nations Geographical region and composition
Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lithuania.|
- The official Tourism site in Lithuanian and English
- The site of the President's administration
- The site of Lithuanian Parliament
- The site of Government of Lithuania
- The Official site of Department of Statistics
- The official site of Vilnius Municipality
- The official site of Kaunas Municipality
- The official site of klaipėda Municipality