Lithuania's population shrinks by nearly 38,000 in 2017
Some 2.81 million people permanently resided in Lithuania in early 2018, which is a decline by 37,800 persons or 1.3 percent from the beginning of last year, Statistics Lithuania said on Tuesday, citing emigration as the main reason behind the decline of the population.
"Lithuania last year lost a city that is larger than Marijampolė (…). The total decline of the permanent population is 37,800, which was due to both death rate and emigration. Without doubt, emigration was the main factor behind the decline of population. Year to year, the profile is not changing, the majority of those leaving are working age population. Nearly half of those who left in 2017 were under 29," Vilija Lapenienė, director of Statistics Lithuania, told a news conference on Tuesday.
In 2017, 57,200 residents emigrated from Lithuania, which is a rise by 6,900 persons, or 13.8 percent, from 2016. Among the emigrants 30,000 were male and 27,200 were female.
As compared with the year before, last year's male emigration went up by 4,600 (18.1 pct) and female emigration went up by 2,300 (9.3 pct). One in two emigrants were 20-29 years of age, the statistics agency said.
According to the report, the 2017 emigration level was 27,900 above immigration numbers, while the death rate was 9,900 bigger than the birth rate, as compared with respective numbers of 30,200 and 10,500 for 2016. Some 29,600 infants were born in 2017, which is a decline by 1,000 infants (3.3 pct) from 2016, while the death rate was 39,500, indicating a drop by 1,600 (4 pct) from the year before.
"The outlook is rather sad. If the birth rate does not start increasing, the population aging problem will remain relevant and we will have more people to support. Furthermore, it will depend on the emigration level. Nevertheless, there has been a positive shift, especially in December – a large number of Lithuanian citizens came back to Lithuania and declared their return," said Lapeniene.
In 2017, 29,300 people immigrated to Lithuania, which is a rise by 9,200 persons (45.5 pct) year-on-year. Among the immigrants 18,800 were Lithuanian citizens (64.2 pct of all immigrants), indicating a rise by 4,600 persons (32.6 pct) from the previous year. Last year, 10,500 foreigners immigrated in Lithuania, an increase by 4,500 persons (factor of 1.8) from 2016. The male immigration numbers were above female immigration numbers (19,500 and 9,800, respectively). One in three immigrants were 20-29 years of age.