Lithuania’s population to shrink to 2.5 mln by 2025: demographic study

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In the upcoming six years, the number of residents in Lithuania may decrease to 2.5 million people, while by 2030 the country’s population may shrink to 2.4 million, a new survey showed on Tuesday.

The demographic projections were presented at a conference on Lithuania’s demographic policy held by Lithuania’s Employment Service (UZT) and Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists (LPK).

“In fact, we observe the two main trends: total population decline and aging. This is a projections’ baseline,” Boguslavas Gruzevskis, director of Lithuania’s Labour Market Research Institute (LDTI), was quoted as saying by local media at the conference.

According to the demographic report conducted by LDTI, Lithuania’s population may decrease to 2.52 million by 2025 (pessimistic scenario) or 2.71 million (optimistic scenario). By 2030, the number of Lithuanian residents may shrink to 2.4 million or 2.58 million people, according to respectively pessimistic and optimistic scenarios.

Lithuania’s population currently amounts to 2.79 million people, official statistics show.

“What is the most worrying, it is the decreasing number of people of reproductive age. At present, the most populous population is aged 53-57 in Lithuania,” Gruzevskis said.

In his words, demographic changes in Lithuania in the upcoming years will mainly depend on the economic situation and the attractiveness of the labor market.

As regards migration policy, first of all, emigration should be reduced and the immigration policy should be focused on promoting re-emigration to Lithuania, Gruzevskis noted.

“It is obvious that we are facing the loss of jobs and taxpayers which poses threat to the public finances and the sustainability of the social security system. As the number of employees, who are also consumers, slows down, number of taxpayers fall, thus the state budget will decrease,” Robertas Dargis, president of LPK, was quoted as saying in a statement released by his office. Lithuania has been facing demographic issues for more than a decade, with emigration challenges particularly pronounced in the country. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, to which a member Lithuania became in July 2018, urged Lithuania to tackle emigration challenges as the Baltic country is losing many working-age people.

According to official statistics, since 1990 the number of residents living in Lithuania has dropped by 24 percent of the entire population. The largest share of residents’ loss is due to emigration.

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