Background: Lithuanian lands were united under MINDAUGAS in 1236; over the next century, through alliances and conquest, Lithuania extended its territory to include most of present-day Belarus and Ukraine. By the end of the 14th century Lithuania was the largest state in Europe. An alliance with Poland in 1386 led the two countries into a union through the person of a common ruler. In 1569, Lithuania and Poland formally united into a single dual state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This entity survived until 1795 when its remnants were partitioned by surrounding countries. Lithuania regained its independence following World War I but was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence, but Moscow did not recognize this proclamation until September of 1991 (following the abortive coup in Moscow). The last Russian troops withdrew in 1993. Lithuania subsequently restructured its economy for integration into Western European institutions; it joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.
Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Russia
Area land: 62,680 sq km
Area water: 2,620 sq km
Coastline: 90 km
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Lithuania
Country name conventional short form: Lithuania
Country name former: Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic
Population: 3,535,547 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 13.8% (male 250,146/female 236,984); 15-64 years: 69.7% (male 1,211,707/female 1,254,195); 65 years and over: 16.5% (male 201,358/female 381,157) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: -0.276% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 9.29 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 11.33 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.057 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.53 male(s)/female; total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 6.27 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 7.49 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 4.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.34 years; male: 70.48 years; female: 80.48 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 1.25 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 1,200 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Lithuanian(s); adjective: Lithuanian;
Ethnic groups: Lithuanian 84%, Polish 6.1%, Russian 4.9%, Belarusian 1.1%, other or unspecified 3.9% (2009);
Religions: Roman Catholic 79%, Russian Orthodox 4.1%, Protestant (including Lutheran and Evangelical Christian Baptist) 1.9%, other or unspecified 5.5%, none 9.5% (2001 census);
Languages: Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other and unspecified 4.4% (2001 census);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 99.6%; male: 99.6%; female: 99.6% (2001 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $56.22 billion (2010 est.); $55.99 billion (2009 est.); $65.72 billion (2008 est.);
GDP (official exchange rate): $35.73 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 0.4% (2010 est.); -14.8% (2009 est.); 2.8% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $15,900 (2010 est.); $15,700 (2009 est.); $18,400 (2008 est.);
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 4.3%; industry: 27.6%; services: 68.2% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 4% (2003);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.7%; highest 10%: 27.4% (2004);
Labor force: 1.633 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 14%; industry: 29.1%; services: 56.9% (2005);
Unemployment rate: 17.9% (2010 est.); 13.7% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $11.26 billion; expenditures: $13.48 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: metal-cutting machine tools, electric motors, television sets, refrigerators and freezers, petroleum refining, shipbuilding (small ships), furniture making, textiles, food processing, fertilizers, agricultural machinery, optical equipment, electronic components, computers, amber jewelry;
Industrial production growth rate: 2.5% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 12.09 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 9.612 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 6.606 billion kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 5.649 billion kWh (2008 est.);
Statistics: CIA World Factbook.
(Independent online news portal), Vilnius
(Swedish-owned regional), Vilnius
(Conservative tabloid), Vilnius
Displaying 1 to 4 of 11 items.
In the gloomy downturn of the economic market, Lithuania is seeing some light, with investment prospects coming from global sources.
The state-supported student loan system is under fire in Lithuania, with many arguing that students financial situations are getting increasingly worse.
Grumblings of discontent simmering beneath the surface for years have turned nasty, in places such as Greece last year. In 2009, these feelings persist and are intensifying by the day.
According to national surveys, the majority of Lithuanians are getting information from radio and TV.