Map of Lithuania. Where Lithuania is on the world map
Map of Lithuania with cities. Where Lithuania is on the world map. The main geographical facts about Lithuania - population, country area, capital, official language, religions, industry and culture.
Lithuania Fact File
Official name Republic of Lithuania
Form of government Republic with single legislative body (Parliament)
Area 65,200 sq km (25,1 74 sq miles)
Time zone GMT + 2 hours
Projected population 2015 3,538,000
Population density 55.2 per sq km (143.0 per sq mile)
Life expectancy 69.4
Infant mortality (per 1,000) 14.3
Official language Lithuanian
Other languages Russian, Polish, Belarusian
Literacy rate 98 %
Religions Roman Catholic 90%; Russian Orthodox, Muslim and Protestant minorities 10%
Ethnic groups Lithuanian 80.1 %, Russian 8.6%, Polish 7.7%, Belarusian 1.5%, other 2.1 %
Economy Services 53%, industry 36%, agriculture 11 %
GNP per capita US$ 8,400
Climate Temperate; cold winters and mild summers Highest point Mt juozapine 292 m (958 ft) Map reference Pages 287, 289
The largest of the Baltic states, Lithuania has borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and southeast, Poland to the south, and the Russian Federation—the enclave Kaliningrad—to the southwest. The Baltic Sea lies to its west. In the thirteenth century, Lithuania was united under a Christian king, in the sixteenth century it merged with Poland, then in 1795 it came under Russian control. Occupied by Germany in the First World War, Lithuania became independent in 1918. It became part of the Soviet Union in 1940 and was then invaded by Germany. When Soviet armies arrived in 1944, over 200,000 people, more than three-quarters of them Jews, had perished. In 1991 the country declared its independence from the Soviet Union. It is now a multi-party democracy with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. Like the other Baltic states it is also a member of the UN and the EU.
Most of Lithuania consists of a relatively fertile plain with extensive marshlands and forests. Many marshes have been reclaimed for growing cereal and vegetable crops. Sand dunes predominate along the Baltic coast and there is a range of hills dotted with more than 3,000 lakes in the southeast. Numerous rivers traverse the landscape.
Machine manufacturing, petroleum refining, shipbuilding, and food processing are some of Lithuania's key industries, but they have resulted in soil and groundwater contamination. The country has few natural resources and depends on Russia for oil and most of the raw materials needed for its industries. The main forms of agriculture are dairy farming and pig and cattle raising. Continuing dependence on Russia and a high rate of inflation are among factors that make Lithuania the least prosperous of the Baltic states.