• December 21, 2021
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Census data: 2.81 million inhabitants in Lithuania; Poles are the largest minority

Over the past ten years, the country’s population has decreased by approximately 233,000. According to the preliminary data of this year’s census published by the Department of Statistics on Tuesday, December 21, there were 2.81 million inhabitants in Lithuania as of January 1, 2021. Poles are still the largest national minority – 6.5 percent of the total population.

The preliminary census data show that Lithuanian society remains homogeneous. Concerning nationality, the largest group of inhabitants are Lithuanians – 84.6 percent of all inhabitants.

Poles remain the largest national minority – 6.5 percent (according to the 2011 census, 6.58 percent of Poles lived in Lithuania, i.e. 200,317 people). Russians represent 5 percent of the total population of Lithuania (in 2011 – 5.81 percent), Belarusians – 1 percent (in 2011 – 1.19 percent).

Preliminary census data on nationality is provided to the nearest tenth of a percent.

According to the census data, 74.19 percent of the Lithuanian population is Roman Catholic (in 2011 – 77 percent). The second-largest religious group are the Orthodox – 3.75 percent.

In turn, 2.29 percent of the population belongs to other faiths. 13.66 percent of the Lithuanians did not disclose their religion, while the non-denominational community accounts for 6.11 percent of the population.

According to this year’s preliminary census, the number of Lithuanian residents has decreased by more than 233,000 over the last ten years. Based on this research of January 1, 2021, this country reached a population of 2,810,761. A significant decrease can be noticed, while in 1989 there were 3.67 million inhabitants, in 2001 – 3.48 million and finally in 2011, only approximately 3,043,400 people lived in Lithuania.

Migration and the negative natural growth rate contributed to the decline in the number of inhabitants of the country.

Due to migration, the number of inhabitants in Lithuania decreased by 118.9 thousand, and due to the negative birth rate (more inhabitants died than were born) – by 113.7 thousand.

As before, more women (1,505,796) than men (1,304,965) live in Lithuania.

The median age of the Lithuanian society in the observed period amounted to 44 years (in 2011- 41 years). The median age for women was 47 years. For comparison, the median age of men was 41 years.

Taking a closer look at the large cities of this country, the number of inhabitants increased only in Vilnius – by 4 percent. Currently, 556.1 thousand people live in the capital of Lithuania. It is one-fifth of the total population of the country. The number of citizens in other large cities has decreased.

Conforming to the data published by the Department of Statistics, the most decreased number of inhabitants was in Panevezys – by 11 percent, Siauliai – by 8 percent and Klaipeda – by 6 percent. The population of Kaunas inhabitants decreased proportionally – on January 1, 2021, society here numbered 298.8 thousand people. In 2021, 68.2% of the total Lithuanian population resides in cities (66.7% lived in 2011). This year, the census was conducted for the first time on January 1 (based on data from 13 state registers, 5 information systems and 24 night shelters).

Contrary to the previous census, the enumerators did not visit the inhabitants.

Based on: bns.lt, osp.stat.gov.lt, storymaps.arcgis.com

Translated by Magdalena Kurdziel within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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