"What does it mean that the share of people living below the poverty line is going down? It means that social inequality is going down. In fact for those on low income it means that their share is shrinking. It has partly to do with the taxation system and, of course, first of all, state assistance, and growing pensions and payouts," the Vilnius University professor told BNS.

In his words, the figures reflect the government's effort to support the poorest.

"What can we say about this government? At least I have no doubt that they are socially-oriented. They are truly trying to bolster state assistance to the poorest," Rudzkis said.

The latest figures showed today that around 215,000 people lived below the absolute poverty line in Lithuania last year, living on an income of up to 251 euros per month for one adult, or 527 euros for a family of two with two children under 14.

Meanwhile, some 576,000 people lived under the poverty risk line, and this rate stood at 20.6 percent last year, down by 2.3 percentage points over a year.