General information

General information

Official name:             The Republic of Lithuania

Independence:           Announced on 16 February, 1918

                                      Restored on 11 March, 1990

Capital:                        Vilnius

Total area:                   65,300 km2

Neighbor countries:   Latvia, Russia, Poland and Belarus

Lithuania is a Middle European state at the shore of the Baltic Sea. Covering an area of 65 302 km² it is similar in size to Ireland. Lithuania’s territory extends 373 km from East to West and 276 km from North to South. There are 6129 kilometers from the geographical centre of Lithuania to the equator and 3873 km to the North Pole.

The country shares borders with four neighboring states. In the North, Lithuania has a 588 km border with Latvia, in the East and South – 660 km border with Belarus. In the South West, Lithuania borders with Poland (103 km) and the Russian Federation (273 km). More than three fourths of Lithuania’s borders stretch along rivers and lakes. Lithuania’s economic zone in the Baltic Sea (with and area around 6 400 km²) reaches the waters of Sweden.

Lithuania is commonly called the land of rivers and lakes with inland waters making up 4 % of its territory. The total number of rivers and rivulets is 22 200 (the longest river - Nemunas), and the number of lakes is over 830. The deepest one of them is Tauragnas (62.5 m deep).

Lithuania’s is a flat land indeed. The highest hill is Aukštójo kalnas rising 293.8 m above the sea level. There are no mountains in Lithuania.

The capital, Vilnius, is a picturesque city on the banks of the rivers Neris and Vilnia, and the architecture within the old part of the city is some of Eastern Europe’s finest.

The country is divided into 10 counties spanning the country's 60 administrative districts and towns.

The State of Lithuania is an independent and democratic republic (Article 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania). In Lithuania, the powers of the State are exercised by the Seimas (the Parliament), the President of the Republic, the Government, and the Judiciary. The scope of powers is defined by the Constitution. Public authorities serve the people. (ibidem, Article 5). The Lithuanian president is elected directly for a five-year term and is active principally in foreign and security policy.

Lithuania is the only Baltic country with nearly eight hundred years of statehood tradition, while its name was first mentioned one thousand years ago, in 1009. Wedged at the dividing line of Western and Eastern civilizations, Lithuania battled dramatically for its independence and survival. Once in the Middle Ages, Lithuania was the largest state in the entire Eastern Europe, where crafts and overseas trade prospered.


Population:         2 850 400

Ethnicity:             Lithuanian – 83.5%

                             Polish – 6.7%

                             Russian – 6.3%

                             Belarusian – 1.2%

                             Others – 2.3%

The total number of nationalities living in Lithuania is 154


Lithuanian is the oldest living Indo-European language. It is used just by four million people across the world, including the closest neighbor Poles and Belarusians living on the border with Lithuania, as well as the Lithuanian community in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Great Britain, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Australia, Latvia and Russia.

The language belongs to the Baltic language group. Although there are three Baltic countries – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – only two of them speak in languages of the Baltic group, i.e. Lithuanians and Latvians.

Facts and figures

  • The Lithuanian alphabet consists of 32 letters.
  • The Lithuanian language is an official language of the State.
  • The Lithuanian language is one of the 23 official languages of the EU.
  • The oldest known printed book in Lithuanian is Cathecismus by Martynas Mažvydas, issued in 1547 in Karaliaučius.
  • There are 30 centers of lituanistic studies operating across the world. They focus on research and studies of this language.
  • Since 2007, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania has been offering Kazimieras Būga scholorship for foreigners studying the Lithuanian language in foreign universities.

Source:        www.lithuania.travel