Lithuania

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 15, 2011
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OF LITHUANIA
 

Introduction

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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.
 
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Geography

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Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Russia
 
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56 00 N, 24 00 E
 
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total: 65,300 sq km
country comparison to the world: 123
land: 62,680 sq km
water: 2,620 sq km
 
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slightly larger than West Virginia
 
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total: 1,574 km
border countries: Belarus 680 km, Latvia 576 km, Poland 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad) 227 km
 
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90 km
 
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territorial sea: 12 nm
 
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transitional, between maritime and continental; wet, moderate winters and summers
 
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lowland, many scattered small lakes, fertile soil
 
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lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Aukstojas 294 m
 
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peat, arable land, amber
 
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arable land: 44.81%
permanent crops: 0.9%
other: 54.29% (2005)
 
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13.4 sq km (2008)
 
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24.5 cu km (2005)
 
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total: 3.33 cu km/yr (78%/15%/7%)
per capita: 971 cu m/yr (2003)
 
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NA
 
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contamination of soil and groundwater with petroleum products and chemicals at military bases
 
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party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
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fertile central plains are separated by hilly uplands that are ancient glacial deposits
 
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People and Society

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noun: Lithuanian(s)
adjective: Lithuanian
 
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Lithuanian 84%, Polish 6.1%, Russian 4.9%, Belarusian 1.1%, other or unspecified 3.9% (2009)
 
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Lithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other and unspecified 4.4% (2001 census)
 
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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)
 
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3,535,547 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
 
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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.)
 
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total: 40.1 years
male: 37.5 years
female: 42.7 years (2011 est.)
 
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-0.276% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214
 
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9.29 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205
 
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11.33 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
 
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-0.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
 
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urban population: 67% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: -0.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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VILNIUS (capital) 546,000 (2009)
 
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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.)
 
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13 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 138
 
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total: 6.27 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 172
male: 7.49 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 75.34 years
country comparison to the world: 87
male: 70.48 years
female: 80.48 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.25 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 217
 
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7.8% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 59
 
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3.664 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
country comparison to the world: 22
 
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6.84 beds/1,000 population (2008)
country comparison to the world: 15
 
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0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138
 
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1,200 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
 
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fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
 
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degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne diseases: tickborne encephalitis (2009)
 
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19.7% (2006)
country comparison to the world: 22
 
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4.7% of GDP (2007)
country comparison to the world: 74
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.6%
male: 99.6%
female: 99.6% (2001 census)
 
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total: 16 years
male: 15 years
female: 17 years (2008)
 
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total: 29.4%
country comparison to the world: 16
male: 35.2%
female: 21.7% (2009)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Republic of Lithuania
conventional short form: Lithuania
local long form: Lietuvos Respublika
local short form: Lietuva
former: Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic
 
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parliamentary democracy
 
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name: Vilnius
geographic coordinates: 54 41 N, 25 19 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
 
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10 counties (apskritys, singular - apskritis); Alytaus, Kauno, Klaipedos, Marijampoles, Panevezio, Siauliu, Taurages, Telsiu, Utenos, Vilniaus
 
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11 March 1990 (declared); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union); notable earlier dates: 6 July 1253 (coronation of Mindaugas, traditional founding date), 1 July 1569 (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth created)
 
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Independence Day, 16 February (1918); note - 16 February 1918 was the date Lithuania declared its independence from Soviet Russia and established its statehood; 11 March 1990 was the date it declared its independence from the Soviet Union
 
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adopted 25 October 1992; last amended 13 July 2004
 
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civil law system; legislative acts can be appealed to the constitutional court
 
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has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: President Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE (since 12 July 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Andrius KUBILIUS (since 27 November 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the nomination of the prime minister
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elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 17 May 2009 (next to be held in May 2014); prime minister appointed by the president on the approval of the Parliament
election results: Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE elected president; percent of vote - Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE 69.1%, Algirdas BUTKEVICIUS 11.8%, Valentinas MAZURONIS 6.2%, others 12.9%; Andrius KUBILIUS' government approved by Parliament 83-40 with 5 abstentions
 
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unicameral Parliament or Seimas (141 seats; 71 members elected by popular vote, 70 elected by proportional representation; members to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 12 and 26 October 2008 (next to be held in October 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - TS-LKD 19.7%, TPP 15.1%, TT 12.7%, LSDP 11.7%, DP+J 9%, LRLS 5.7%, LCS 5.3%, LLRA 4.8%, LVLS 3.7%, NS 3.6%, other 8.7%; seats by faction - TS-LKD 44, LSDP 26, TPP 16, TT 15, LRLS 11, DP+J 10, LCS 8, LLRA 3, LVLS 3, NS 1, independent 4; note - seats by faction as of 25 January 2011 - TS-LKD 45, LSDP 24, TT 18, LCS and TPP 13, LRLS 13, Christian Party 10, DP 10, unaffiliated 7, vacant 1; note - TS-LKD, LRLS, LCS and TPP form the ruling coalition
 
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Constitutional Court; Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; judges for all courts appointed by the president
 
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Christian party [Gediminas VAGNORIUS]; Civil Democracy Party or PDP [Algimantas MATULEVICIUS]; Electoral Action of Lithuanian Poles or LLRA [Valdemar TOMASZEVSKI]; Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats or TS-LKD [Andrius KUBILIUS]; Labor Party or DP [Viktor USPASKICH]; Liberal and Center Union or LCS [Gintautas BABRAVICIUS]; Liberal Movement or LS or LRLS [Eligijus MASIULIS]; Lithuanian Farmers' Union or LVLS or VLS [ Ramunas KARBAUSKIS]; Lithuanian People's Party (not yet officially established) [Kazimiera PRUNSKIENE]; National Revival or TPP [Arunas VALINSKAS]; New Union (Social Liberal) or NS [Arturas PAULAUSKAS]; Order and Justice Party or TT [Rolandas PAKSAS]; Social Democratic Party or LSDP [Algirdas BUTKEVICIUS]
 
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Australia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Zygimantas PAVILIONIS
chancery: 2622 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 234-5860
FAX: [1] (202) 328-0466
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Anne E. DERSE
embassy: Akmenu gatve 6, Vilnius, LT-03106
mailing address: American Embassy, Akmenu Gatve 6, Vilnius LT-03106
telephone: [370] (5) 266 5500
FAX: [370] (5) 266 5510
 
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three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), green, and red; yellow symbolizes golden fields, as well as the sun, light, and goodness; green represents the forests of the countryside, in addition to nature, freedom, and hope; red stands for courage and the blood spilled in defense of the homeland
 
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mounted knight known as Vytis (the Chaser)
 
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name: "Tautiska giesme" (The National Song)
lyrics/music: Vincas KUDIRKA
note: adopted 1918, restored 1990; the anthem was written in 1898 while Lithuania was a part of Russia; it was banned during the Soviet occupation from 1940 to 1990
 
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Economy

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Lithuania gained membership in the World Trade Organization and joined the EU in May 2004. Despite Lithuania's EU accession, Lithuania's trade with its Central and Eastern European neighbors, and Russia in particular, accounts for a growing percentage of total trade. Privatization of the large, state-owned utilities is nearly complete. Foreign government and business support have helped in the transition from the old command economy to a market economy. Lithuania's economy grew on average 8% per year for the four years prior to 2008 driven by exports and domestic demand. However, GDP plunged nearly 15% in 2009 - during the 2008-09 crisis the three former Soviet Baltic republics had the world's worst economic declines. In 2009, the government launched a high-profile campaign, led by Prime Minister KUBILIUS, to attract foreign investment and to develop export markets. The current account deficit, which had risen to roughly 15% of GDP in 2007-08, recovered to a surplus of 4% 2009 and 3.4% in 2010 in the wake of a cutback in imports to almost half the 2008 level. Nevertheless, economic growth was flat and unemployment continued upward to 17.9% in 2010.
 
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$56.59 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
$55.84 billion (2009 est.)
$65.5 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$36.36 billion (2010 est.)
 
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1.3% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165
-14.7% (2009 est.)
2.9% (2008 est.)
 
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$16,000 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
$15,700 (2009 est.)
$18,400 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 3.4%
industry: 27.9%
services: 68.7% (2010 est.)
 
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1.635 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
 
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agriculture: 14%
industry: 29.1%
services: 56.9% (2005)
 
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17.8% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
13.7% (2009 est.)
 
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4% (2003)
 
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lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 29.1% (2008)
 
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37.6 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 78
34 (1999)
 
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16.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
 
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revenues: $12.78 billion
expenditures: $15.37 billion (2010 est.)
 
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35.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
 
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-7.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177
 
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38.7% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
29.6% of GDP (2009 est.)
 
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1.3% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
4.5% (2009 est.)
 
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3% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
2.06% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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5.988% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
8.393% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$10.63 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
$9.153 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$18.51 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85
$18.11 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$23.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
$26.59 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$5.661 billion (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 83
$4.477 billion (31 December 2009)
$3.625 billion (31 December 2008)
 
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grain, potatoes, sugar beets, flax, vegetables; beef, milk, eggs; fish
 
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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
 
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6.5% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
 
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12.27 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85
 
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10.3 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87
 
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7.715 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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2.932 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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5,732 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
 
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67,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
 
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76,510 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
 
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183,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
 
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12 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
 
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2.7 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
 
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0 cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
 
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2.7 billion cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
 
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0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
 
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$667 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
$1.648 billion (2009 est.)
 
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$20.82 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
$16.48 billion (2009 est.)
 
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mineral products 22%, machinery and equipment 10%, chemicals 9%, textiles 7%, foodstuffs 7%, plastics 7%
 
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Russia 15.7%, Germany 10.1%, Latvia 9.8%, Poland 7.9%, Netherlands 5.7%, Belarus 5.2%, Estonia 5.2%, UK 5% (2010)
 
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$22.38 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
$17.64 billion (2009 est.)
 
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mineral products, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, chemicals, textiles and clothing, metals
 
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Russia 32.9%, Germany 11%, Poland 8.9%, Latvia 6.3%, Netherlands 4.4% (2010)
 
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$6.837 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
$6.66 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$35.84 billion (30 June 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
$29.88 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
 
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$13.61 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
$13.99 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$2.117 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
$2.307 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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litai (LTL) per US dollar -
2.6637 (2010)
2.4787 (2009)
2.3251 (2008)
2.5362 (2007)
2.7498 (2006)
 
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Communications

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733,700 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 88
 
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4.891 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 103
 
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general assessment: adequate; being modernized to provide improved international capability and better residential access
domestic: rapid expansion of mobile-cellular services has resulted in a steady decline in the number of fixed-line connections; mobile-cellular teledensity stands at about 140 per 100 persons
international: country code - 370; major international connections to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway by submarine cable for further transmission by satellite; landline connections to Latvia and Poland (2008)
 
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public broadcaster operates 3 channels with the third channel - a satellite channel - introduced in 2007; various privately-owned commercial TV broadcasters operate national and multiple regional channels; large number of privately-owned local TV stations; multi-channel cable and satellite TV services are available; publicly-owned broadcaster operates 3 radio networks; large number of privately-owned commercial broadcasters, many with repeater stations in various regions throughout the country (2007)
 
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.lt
 
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1.17 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 40
 
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1.964 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 75
 
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Transportation

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81 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 68
 
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total: 26
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 13 (2010)
 
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total: 55
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 51 (2010)
 
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gas 1,695 km; refined products 114 km (2010)
 
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total: 1,767 km
country comparison to the world: 76
broad gauge: 1,745 km 1.524-m gauge (122 km electrified)
standard gauge: 22 km 1.435-m gauge (2010)
 
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total: 81,030 km
country comparison to the world: 58
paved: 71,563 km (includes 309 km of expressways)
unpaved: 9,467 km (2008)
 
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441 km (navigable year round) (2007)
country comparison to the world: 87
 
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total: 42
country comparison to the world: 75
by type: cargo 22, container 1, passenger/cargo 6, refrigerated cargo 11, roll on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: 8 (Denmark 8)
registered in other countries: 29 (Antigua and Barbuda 4, Belize 2, Comoros 3, Cook Islands 2, Norway 1, Panama 4, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 10, unknown 3) (2010)
 
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Klaipeda
oil terminals: Butinge oil terminal
 
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Military

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Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Air Forces (Karines Oro Pajegos, KOP), National Defense Volunteer Forces (2010)
 
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19-26 years of age for compulsory military service; 18 years of age for volunteers; 12-month conscript service obligation; male registration required at age 16 (2009)
 
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males age 16-49: 890,074
females age 16-49: 875,780 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 669,111
females age 16-49: 724,803 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 20,425
female: 19,527 (2010 est.)
 
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1.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
 
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Transnational Issues

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Lithuania and Russia committed to demarcating their boundary in 2006 in accordance with the land and maritime treaty ratified by Russia in May 2003 and by Lithuania in 1999; Lithuania operates a simplified transit regime for Russian nationals traveling from the Kaliningrad coastal exclave into Russia, while still conforming, as a EU member state having an external border with a non-EU member, to strict Schengen border rules; boundary demarcated with Latvia and Lithuania; as of January 2007, ground demarcation of the boundary with Belarus was complete and mapped with final ratification documents in preparation
 
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transshipment and destination point for cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, and opiates from Southwest Asia, Latin America, Western Europe, and neighboring Baltic countries; growing production of high-quality amphetamines, but limited production of cannabis, methamphetamines; susceptible to money laundering despite changes to banking legislation
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