General information about Lithuania
The official name is the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublika). Located in the northeast of Europe. The area is 65.2 thousand km2, the population is 3.484 million people. (census 2001). The official language is Lithuanian. The capital is Vilnius (542.3 thousand people, 2001). Public holiday – Independence Day February 16 (1918). The monetary unit is litas (equal to 100 cents).
Member of the UN (since September 17, 1991), EU (since May 1, 2004), WTO (since 2001), NATO (since 2004).
Geography of Lithuania
Located between 21° and 28° east longitude and 57° and 54° north latitude, on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. The length of the land border is 1731 km – in the north with Latvia (598 km), in the east and southeast with Belarus (724), in the south with Poland (106), in the southwest with the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation (303). In the west it is washed by the Baltic Sea, the length of the coastline is 99 km.
According to allcitycodes, Lithuania is mainly a flat country, occupying the western outskirts of the East European Plain with several gentle elevations up to 300 m above sea level, the Central Lithuanian Lowland with heights of 16–90 m. In the west is the Samogitian Upland, from northwest to southeast along the border the Baltic ridge stretches with Belarus with heights up to 294 m. The territory is divided into 4 historical regions: Samogitia (in the west), Aukshtaitija (in the east), Dzukia (in the southeast) and Suvalkia (in the southwest).
There are more than 2800 lakes in Lithuania with a surface area of more than 0.5 ha (total area 876 km2) and approx. 1600 smaller lakes, 722 rivers, most of them belong to the Nemunas (Neman) basin, Lithuania accounts for 475 km of the total river length of 937 km. Famous resorts: Curonian Spit, Palanga, Druskininkai.
Podzolic soils predominate. In the central regions, the most fertile soils. The area of agricultural land is 3.6 million hectares. Forests cover 1.8 million hectares, or 27.6% of the country’s territory. Pine is widespread, there are also spruce, alder, birch, oak, aspen and ash. There are many hares, deer and wild boars in the forests, there are moose. Of the birds – pheasants, black grouse, ducks and swans.
Western Lithuania and the Lithuanian shelf of the Baltic Sea are promising areas for oil and natural gas production. Oil reserves are estimated from 46 to 55.5 million m3. There are small deposits of iron ore in the southeast; limestone, granite, and amber are being mined.
The climate is transitional from maritime to continental. Average monthly temperatures in January are -5°С, in July +17°С. The annual amount of precipitation varies from 540 mm in the central regions to 930 mm on the coast southwest of the Samogitian Upland. 3/4 of atmospheric precipitation falls in the form of rains, fogs are frequent in spring and autumn, and thaws in winter.
Population of Lithuania
According to estimates from national statistics, at the beginning of In 2003, the population of Lithuania was 3.466 million people. (reduction by 18 thousand people compared to the 2001 census).
During the time between censuses, the negative mechanical growth amounted to 224.5 thousand people. Although there was a natural increase of 33.7 thousand people, the population decreased by 190.8 thousand people. The proportion of urban residents decreased from 67.7% in 1989 to 66.9% in 2001.
The proportion of the population under 10 years old decreased from 15.5% in 1989 to 11.6% in 2001, over 60 years old increased from 15.7 to 19.3% and is 17.2% in cities, 23.5% in rural areas. The proportion of men in the population decreased from 47.5% to 46.8%. At the age of 1 to 2 years, boys are 8% more than girls. The predominance of men gradually decreases with increasing age, and at the age of 24-25 their number equalizes. After 46 years, the number of women is more than 10% higher than the number of men, after 67 years – more than 1.5 times, after 74 years – more than 2, after 86 years – 3 times.
Ethnic composition: Lithuanians 83.45%, Russians – 8%, Poles – 7% and Belarusians – 1.5%. Lithuanian citizenship is 99% of the population, Russian – 0.4%. The Lithuanian language belongs to the Baltic group of the Indo-European family and is related to Sanskrit. The alphabet is based on Latin graphics.
Most Lithuanians and almost all Poles (80% of the population) profess Catholicism, 10% of Lithuanians (in the west) and most Latvians are Lutheran, 6% Orthodox. Religious education is included in the programs of public schools.