- From: Tadas Blinda <tadas.blinda@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 17 May 2011 19:08:40 -0700 (PDT)
Current official estimates of Lithuania's population put the figure at
around 3.2 million, but early unofficial analysis of census figures
indicates a more realistic figure to be below 3 million. We remind
readers that the population in 1991 was 3.7 million.
Lietuvos Rytas' journalist Edmund Jakilaitis spoke with two experts,
Gitana Nausėda of SEB and Rimantas Rudzkis from DnB Nord Bank to
better understand the current situation.
Both agreed that it had long been suspected that Lithuania's current
population is below 3 million, and more likely around the 2.9 million
mark as over 700,000 are believed to have left the country since
Lithuania joined the EU.
While the main reason for the exodus of Lithuanian nationals was the
weak economic environment and financial crisis, the point was also
raised that other countries were undergoing similarly rough times, yet
they were not haemorrhaging citizens.
There is some speculation that the government's lack of support for
small to medium business is partly at fault and perhaps also the
inclination of Lithuanians to try to better their situation as soon as
possible, instead of sitting around and waiting for the economic
climate to improve.
As always, emigration has both a positive and negative impact and it
must be remembered that Lithuanians living abroad send around four
billion litas back to Lithuania each year. The current situation
however, with so many people leaving the country, is seen as a major
disadvantage to Lithuania.
Eurostat data suggests that Lithuania's population might fall to 2.5
million by 2050, but Rudzkis said that 2020 would be the more likely
date. By that time the workforce would be depleted and the percentage
of older population increased causing a crisis in revenue. Public
sector reform should be a top priority.
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