Background: Independent between the two world wars, Lithuania was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. Lithuania became the first republic of the USSR to declare independence (March 11, 1990), which was recognized by the world community in September 1991 (after the failure of the August coup in Moscow). The last Russian troops were withdrawn from the territory of the country in 1993. Lithuania has significantly restructured its economy for the planned integration into Western European institutions.
Location: Eastern Europe, Baltic Sea coast, between Latvia and Russia.
Geographical coordinates: 56° 00′ N. latitude, 24° 00′ E
Reference map: Europe.
Area: total: 65,200 km2; land surface area: 65,200 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: slightly larger than West Virginia.
Land borders: total: 1,273 km; with neighboring states: with Belarus 502 km, with Latvia 453 km, with Poland 91 km, with Russia (Kaliningrad region) 227 km.
Coastline: 99 km.
Maritime claims: territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: transitional from maritime to continental; humid moderate winters and summers.
Terrain: lowland, many scattered small lakes, fertile soil.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m; highest point: Kalnas (Juozapines) 292 m.
Natural resources: peat, arable land.
Land use: arable land: 39%; cultivated land: 9%; pastures: 6%; forests and plantations: 31%; others: 15% (2001 est.).
Irrigated land: 430 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: no data available.
Actual environmental problems: pollution of soil and groundwater with oil products and other chemicals in the area of military bases.
International environmental agreements: member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Hazardous Waste, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Air Pollution – Persistent Organic Pollutants, Kyoto Protocol.
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 3,610,535 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 18.75% (male 345,694; female 331,125); 15 to 64 years old: 67.69% (male 1,181,119; female 1,262,872); over 65: 13.56% (male 165,732; female 323,993) (2001 est.).
Population growth: -0.27% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 10 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 12.86 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0.15 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.94 male/female; over 65: 0.51 male/female; for the general population: 0.88 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 14.5 deaths/1000 newborns (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 69.25 years; men: 63.3 years; women: 75.5 years (2001 est.).
Total fertility rate: 1.37 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.02% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: less than 500 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Lithuanian; adjective: Lithuanian.
Ethnic groups: Lithuanians 80.6%, Russians 8.7%, Poles 7%, Belarusians 1.6%, others 2.1%.
Believers: Catholics (majority), Lutherans, Orthodox, Protestants, Evangelical Baptist Christians, Muslims, Jews.
Language(s): Lithuanian (official), Polish, Russian.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 98%; men: 99%; women: 98% (1989 est.).
Common long form: Republic of Lithuania;
conventional short form: Lithuania; local long form: Lietuvos Respublika local short form: Lietuva former: Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic.
State structure: parliamentary democracy. See a2zgov.com to know more about Lithuania government and politics.
Administrative division: 44 districts and 11 municipalities*: Akmene, Alytus, Alytus*, Aniksciai, Biržai, Birštonas*, Varena, Vilkaviskis, Vilnius, Vilnius*, Druskininkai*, Zarasai, Ignalina, Jonava, Joniškis, Kaišiadorys, Kap-sukas, Kaunas, Kaunas*, Kedainiai, Kelme, Klaipeda, Klaipeda*, Kretinga, Lazdnyai, Mazeikyan, Marijampole, Marijampole*, Molėtai, Neringa*, Pakruois, Palanga*, Panevėžys, Panevėžys*, Pas-valis, Plungė, Prienai, Radviliškis, Raseiniai, Rokiskis, Sirvintu, Skuodas, Tauragė, Telšiai, Trakai, Ukmergė, Utena, Šakiai, Šalcininkai, Šiauliai, Šiauliai*, Švenčenis, Šilalė, Šilute, Jurbarkas.
Independence: March 11, 1990 (declaration of independence from the Soviet Union), September 6, 1991 (USSR recognized the independence of Lithuania).
National holiday: Independence Day, February 16 (since 1918).
Constitution: adopted October 25, 1992
Legal system: based on the civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts is impossible.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Valdas ADAMKUS (since 26 February 1998);
head of government: Prime Minister Algirdas BRAZAUSKAS (since 3 July 2001)
Government: the Council of Ministers is appointed by the President on the proposal of the Prime Minister; elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a 5-year term; elections last held 21 December 1997 and 4 January 1998 (next to be held in 2003); the prime minister is appointed by the president and approved by the Seimas; election results: Valdai ADAMCUSS elected president; percentage of votes: Valdai ADAMKUS 50.4%, Arturas PAULAU-SKAS 49.6%.
Legislature: unicameral Seimas (141 seats, 71 members elected by direct universal suffrage, 70 elected by proportional representation, term of office – 4 years); elections: last held 8 October 2000 (next to be held October 2004); election results: distribution of votes between parties: Social Democratic Coalition 31.1%, New Union-Social Liberals 19.6%, Liberal Union 17.2%, TS 8.6%, other parties collectively received less than 5%; distribution of seats among parties: Social Democratic Coalition 52, Liberal Union 34, New Union-Social Liberals 29, TS 9, Lithuanian Peasants’ Party 4, Center Union 2, Lithuanian Poles’ Choice 2, Modern Christian Democratic Union 1, independents 3, others 5.
Judiciary: Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; judges are appointed by Parliament.
Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Party (LKDP) (Zigmas ZINKEVICIUS, chairman); Election of Lithuanian Poles (Valdemar TOMASZEVSKI, chairman); Fatherland Union-Conservative Party (TS) (Vytautas LANDS-BERGIS, chairman); Lithuanian Centrist Union (LCS) (Kestutis GLAVECKAS, chairman), Lithuanian Peasant Party (LUP) (Ramunas KARBAUSKIS, chairman); Lithuanian Liberal Union (Rolandas PAK-SAS, Chairman); Lithuanian Social Democratic Coalition (Algirdas BRAZAUSKAS, Chairman), includes Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party (LDDP), Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP), New Democracy; Modern Christian Democratic Union (Vytautas BOGUSIS, Chairman);
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ACCT (observer), BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, EARC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, “ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNMIK, UPU, WCL, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer)
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Vygau-das USACKAS Office: 2622 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 Tel: [ 1] (202) 234-5860 Fax:  (202) 328-0466 Consulates General: Chicago and New York
US Embassy: Chief of Mission: Ambassador John F. TEFFT; embassy: Akmenu 6, 2600 Vilnius; mailing address: American Embassy, Vilnius, PSC 78, Box V, APO AE 09723; phone:  (2) 223-031; fax:  (6) 227-236.
Flag Description: Three equal horizontal stripes of yellow (top), green and red.