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Number of emigrants by the destination country, 2015
Full data
Source: Statistics Lithuania

During the period 2004-2009, on average 16 thousand people emigrated from Lithuania annually. In 2010 and 2011 this number increased by several times: 83 thousand declared their departure in 2010 and 54 thousand in 2011. It is argued that such a striking increase was partially related to changes introduced to the public health care scheme requiring all permanent residents in Lithuania to pay monthly contributions. Emigrants who declared their departure, including those who had emigrated prior 2010, were released from the obligation to pay compulsory health insurance contributions. Therefore emigrants who never declared their departures started to do so.

36.6 thousand people declared their departure in 2014 and 38 thousand people in 2015. There are different opinions trying to explain increased emigration flows, including opinion it was a consequence of bringing the  military conscription back or emigration was stimulated by increasing prices in Lithuania.

The vast majority of people emigrate due to economic reasons. However, studies also indicate that the decision to emigrate is influenced by a combination of different factors, such as lack of social security and justice, no trust in the state, demeaning attitude of employers toward employees as well as better work opportunities abroad.

In terms of destinations, the UK, Ireland, Germany and Norway continue to be the main emigration countries for Lithuanians mainly due to well established social networks in these countries. Around 124 thousand Lithuanians live in the UK, 86 thousand in Russia, 85 thousand live in the US, and 62 thousand reside in Poland.

Updated 2016-06-28

What is emigration?

Emigration – departure to another country with an intention to reside in it permanently or no shorter than 12 months.