Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A brief note on Lithuania's depopulation

Thanks have to go to Edward Hugh, via his Facebook presence, for sharing the news that the Lithuanian population has fallen catastrophically, to a much greater extent than earlier predictions had suggested. I'm honestly quite surprised by the scope of the decline.

The Lithuania prime minister bemoaned his shrinking population Monday, as the results of a census revealed it has fallen 10 percent in the past decade.

"Unfortunately, we must admit that Lithuania is not only an emigrating nation but also a nation that is dying out," Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said.

Lithuania's statistics agency said the population is now 3.05 million, down from over 3.4 million in 2001. Twenty years ago, when the country split from the Soviet Union, the country had 3.7 million people.

Results of the census - conducted from March to May - confirmed that rapid emigration and a falling birth rate continue to erode the country's demographics despite membership in the European Union and improvements to the quality of life over the past 10 years.

Large communities of Lithuanians have sprouted in places such as Ireland and England during this time.

"We have lost 700,000 (people) in 20 years - this is a lot for such a small nation," said Romas Lazutka, a sociology professor at Vilnius University.

"The main driving force behind emigration is outdated economic and social policies. Those who do not have a job or cannot make ends meet, even while working, leave this country," he said.

Agence France-Presse went into more detail, describing the economic consequences.

The slump is a concern for the country's centre-right government, which is at the helm of a tough austerity drive brought in after Lithuania plunged into one of the deepest recessions in the European Union in 2009.

The economy has gradually emerged from the doldrums after the sharp crisis.

"It is very important that those people who left Lithuania in large numbers keep ties with Lithuania and see opportunities to come back," Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius told reporters on Monday. Analysts warn that the population decline may impede the economic recovery.

"The population decrease has been very rapid due to negative demographic trends, but emigration is probably even more important," Rimantas Rudzkis, chief analyst at the bank DnB Nord in Lithuania, told AFP.

"Such a decline will have negative consequences. Lithuania will be lacking workforce and that may deter investment," he added. The emigration trend started after EU entry in 2004.

[. . .]

Few have returned, despite the host countries' own economic slumps. Statistics showed that 83,500 people left Lithuania in 2010, mostly to Britain and Ireland.

Officials have said that may include people who left earlier but made the move official to avoid the Lithuanian government's new drive to collect taxes from undeclared emigrants.

Economic convergence between poor and rich countries--within the European Union, without--isn't inevitable. The sort of mass emigration that not only sharply reduces the size of the workforce but worsens problems of population aging can certainly harm a country's prospects.


Anonymous said...

EU membership seems to be catastrophic for the Baltic states. I'd be interested to see what the demographic situation has been in other newly independent, post soviet countries which didn't join the EU. What's the situation in Montenegro, Macedonia, Ukraine etc?

Has the fact that the movement of people within the EU been more detremental than beneficial?


Randy said...

Catastrophic? Without European Union membership--something that was supported across the board by nearly all political factions in the Baltic States, part of the post-Soviet normalization of these countries--things could easily be worse. The same incentives for mass emigration would exist, only in this situation the migrants would have much less protection and their home countries would have significantly fewer financial resources supporting domestic consumption.

Anonymous said...

Randy - I don't mean this as an attack on the EU but has the free movement of people made it so easy to move that they have. Had moving been a little less free would they have stayed home?


jemand said...


Looks like Belarus' population only fell 6% in 16 years and as for the Ukraine, http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=sp_pop_totl&idim=country:BLR&dl=en&hl=en&q=belarus+population

They dropped 12 percent since 1993.

According to the world bank numbers on Lithuanian population shows it ALSO dropped about 11 percent since the peak in the early nineties.

So maybe membership or lack of it in the EU really doesn't make much of a difference.

George Wells George Wells said...

I like this website. This website helped me with prayer learning. Good job. Thank you. and welcome to my home true religion jeans ~!

jemand said...

congrats Randy! you helped SOMEONE with their prayer learning!!

Bet you never expected THAT outcome of your blog lol.

Sometimes spam is amusing...

Randy said...

cymro: I'd be inclined to say that the numbers would be less, yes. I'm also inclined to say that large numbers would still try to leave without EU membership--maybe even more without the stabilizing effect of said. Lithuania would likely still have its economic bubble, only be without as ready aid. This might encourage more Lithuanians to leave.

The Lithuanians who did leave would find themselves in a precarious situation, open to exploitation without EU-guaranteed access to labour markets. This would worsen the situation for Lithuanians, not only Lithuanians working abroad but Lithuanians at home--fewer remittances won't aid things.

Making it more difficult for Lithuanians to leave, in order words, wouldn't improve things. It would just increase the number of unemployed at home, while diminishing the funds available to Lithuanian households specifically and Lithuania generally, and making the situation of Lithuanians working abroad still more difficult. It isn't about numbers: it's also about how numbers are used.

Jemand: I do my best!

evelinea945 Evelina said...

In Lithuania is so much workforce, people want to work, but not enough work for all. So I think that investment in Lithuania is good choice.

Sappa Lama Gomso said...

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is an amazing walk through diverse landscapes and culture complete with rich mountain views. This route lies in the Annapurna region of Nepal which is the very much beautiful place in Nepal. The trek is incorporated diverse terrain, culture, and wildlife. It is a popular choice among diverse outdoors enthusiasts, from a solo female traveler to hikers traveling in groups to Nepal. Their beauty is indescribable and they draw your attention and walking further leads to the Lush forest to waterfalls. We get the chance to see wonderful views of the mountain, landscapes, small villages, the beautiful scenery, and the small waterfalls of this route. The fabulous mountain scenery and the rich cultural diversity traverses across a wide spectrum of lush rural farmlands and pretty villages. We will walk through terraced rice paddies, lush rhododendron forest and high altitude landscapes with the Annapurna region in view most of the time. Many villages perched on ridges tops surrounded by ancient terraced fields. We cross the mountain passes, fascinating mid-hills, colorful villages and slowly gaining an altitude to the base camp of the world’s greatest peaks. The steep sides are covered in the Lush forest and it is the most dramatic treks in this region.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular walks on the earth. The starting point of this trekking route is Pokhara city which is also known as the city of the Lake. While trekking in this route, we will pass through the many suspension bridges and a small natural hot spring of this route. At the time of trekking, we get chance to know about the culture, traditions, and lifestyle of the Gurung, Magar, and Thakali people who are the local inhabitants of this route. We will have great chance to see the wonderful vies of the Mountain which includes Dhaulagiri, Machapuchhre, Annapurna south, and many other mountains of this region. During the time of trekking, we get the chance to explore the Annapurna Conservation Area which is home to many rare birds, animals, flora, and fauna. The best season is February to April and October to December for trekking in this route. The Annapurna base camp trek is one of the beautiful treks in the Annapurna region. The good trail is often neatly stepped, as far as the prosperous villages of Chhomrong. After a good scenic walk reaching the Base Camp with ample time to marvel and enjoy the mountain views.

Sappa Lama Gomso said...

Everest Base Camp Trek is one of those journeys that create your vacation dreams return true. Hiking on the legendary foothills just under the mighty Mount Everest 8848m with exciting views of the master peaks will solely be found within the Everest Region. This celebrated trek is thought worldwide for its trailblazing routes & the landscapes speak to your senses. On this trip you furthermore Mera peak out at the celebrated Kala Patthar (5,600m/18,373ft) read purpose for a few grand direct views of the very best mountain in the world. Everest Base CampTrek additionally includes different celebrated eight thousand peaks like Mt mountain peak (8,516m /27,940ft), Makalu (8,485m /27,838 ft) Cho-Oyu (8,201m /26,906ft). The culture of this specific space is of nice notebook stuff & interacting with the native of us puts a lot of zest into your venturesome journey as you walk through the Khumbu region of the Asian country. This legendary path could be a psychological thriller for top & wild hikers World Health Organization want the tread the methods wherever legends walked before on their thanks to conquering mountain peak, some did some didn’t however the Everest Base Camp Trek path keeps those legends alive for many trekkers World Health Organization head to the present region. The trip begins with a stirring mountain flight to Lukla, one among the world’s highest mountains; & as shortly as you set down at that altitude, the remainder is history. Your hike takes you to the favored village city of Namche, referred to as the ‘gateway to the Khumbu’’ & from there on you rehearse quiet monasteries with the acknowledge Sherpa of us World Health Organization inhabit this region & their culture is price noting. On the way, we have a tendency to visit the Sagarmatha parkland, home to some rare fauna & flora, this additionally wherever we have a tendency to adapt for a few time. We head deep into the Khumbu hiking into the forest of shrub, birch trees & pine, with colorful villages wherever we have a tendency to square measure sincerely welcome by the Sherpa community. we have a tendency to square measure pleasantly stunned to return across a hospital-based mostly in Khunde and health post at Pheriche that shows this region not solely cares for the locals however also are able to look out of trekkers World Health Organization have altitude issues. Doctors square measure invariably at the post for aid treatment. The Everest Base Camp Trek is arduous however varied teahouses square measure found on the paths providing smart grubbed to shelter from the generally harsh climate. Our trek culminates at base camp so we have a tendency to create a path for Namche as we have a tendency to hike back to Lukla to rendezvous for our flight to Katmandu. we have a tendency to add an additional contingency day for inclement weather which will delay flights. It’s recommended to be pretty acceptable to undertake this journey; you only want some smart hiking exercise before doing this trip. And Nepal Base Camp Treks can do the remainder to allow you AN action-packed odyssey of a period.