Results of the 2021 Population and Housing Census of the Republic of Lithuania
The results of the 2021 Total Population and Housing Census of the Republic of Lithuania show that although the population of the country is decreasing, the number of dwellings, on the contrary, is increasing, especially one-apartment houses. Lithuanians move from apartment buildings to single-family homes. The recent census has shown that we live more spaciously and comfortably. The usable area of one dwelling increased to 66.7 m2. Most dwellings (90.8 per cent) were equipped with all amenities/utilities (water supply, sewerage, central heating, etc.).
The number of dwellings and one-apartment houses is increasing
As of 1 January 2021, there were 1 million 438 thousand conventional1 dwellings in Lithuania (in 2001, 1 million 275 thousand, in 2011, 1 million 374 thousand). Over twenty years between the recent censuses, the number of dwellings has increased by 12.8 per cent, and in the decade since the last census – by 4.6 per cent.
The number of one-apartment houses is growing rapidly in Lithuania. Compared to the 2001 census data, their number increased by 25.7 per cent (from 2011 to 2021, by 6.9 per cent), the number of dwellings in two-apartment houses, three-apartment multi-apartment buildings and apartments in non-residential premises (hereinafter referred to as the “apartment”) increased by 6.3 per cent (from 2011 to 2021, by 3.3 per cent).
Apartments predominated in urban areas (82.7 per cent), while one-apartment houses (78.8 per cent) – in rural areas. Over the last twenty years, the share of one-apartment houses in both urban and rural areas has increased (by 4.4 and 3.9 percentage points, respectively) (Figure 1).
Fig. 1. Dwellings by type in urban and rural areas, 2001–2021, per cent
1One-apartment house, a dwelling in a two-apartment houses, three-apartment multi-apartment buildings and apartments in non-residential premises
2 million 785 thousand (99.1 per cent) population lived in conventional dwellings, in collective dwellings – 26 thousand (0.9 per cent).
1 million 663 thousand, or 59.1 per cent of the country's population lived in apartments, 1 million 122 thousand (40 per cent) – in one-apartment houses. In urban areas, 1 million 478 thousand population (77.1 per cent) lived in apartments, 422.6 thousand (22.1 per cent) – in a one-apartment houses. In rural areas, 699.6 thousand population (78.3 per cent) lived in one-apartment houses, 184.1 thousand (20.6 per cent) – in apartments.
Dwellings by period of construction and renovation
According to the census data, 146.5 thousand dwellings, or 10.2 per cent, were built before 1945. Two thirds of all dwellings (970.1 thousand or 67.5 per cent) were built in 1946–1990 (Fig. 2). In 1991–2020, 321 thousand or 22.3 per cent of dwellings were built; of which 69.8 per cent (224 thousand) – in urban areas, 30.2 per cent (97 thousand) – rural areas.
Fig. 2. Dwellings by construction period, per cent
New dwellings are built in major cities and their districts
66.2 per cent of dwellings built in Lithuania in 1991–2020 were constructed in the municipalities of major cities (Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Panevėžys) and in the adjacent Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Panevėžys district municipalities.
In 2011-2020, almost half (45.5 per cent) of the dwellings were built in five major cities and a quarter (25.2 per cent) – in the districts of these cities. Compared to all the dwellings built during the last decade, more than a quarter of them were built in Vilnius (28.3 per cent) and almost a tenth in Kaunas (9.8 per cent).
Number of unoccupied dwellings is increasing
According to the census data, there were 1 million 213 thousand (84.4 per cent) dwellings with permanent residence, 224.3 thousand (15.6 per cent) dwellings were unoccupied. Compared to 2011, the number of occupied dwellings increased by 3.8 per cent and the number of unoccupied dwellings – by 13.1 per cent.
In rural areas, one in five dwellings was unoccupied, in urban areas there were 13.5 per cent of such dwellings. In urban areas, 91.6 per cent of one-apartment house and 85.5 per cent of apartments were permanently inhabited (Fig. 3). The share of dwellings inhabited in rural areas is similar to that in urban areas though, during the census, by 12.8 percentage points less single-dwelling houses with permanent residence were recorded in rural areas.
Fig. 3. Dwellings by accommodation in urban and rural areas, 2021, per cent
Every third dwelling in Ignalina district, Molėtai district, Palanga city, Zarasai district, Varėna district municipalities was uninhabited, every fourth uninhabited – in fourteen municipalities (Akmenė, Alytus, Anykščiai, Biržai, Kupiškis, Lazdijai, Rokiškis, Širvintos, Švenčionys, Ukmergė, Utena district municipalities and Birštonas, Druskininkai, Pagėgiai municipalities).
Unoccupied housing in major cities accounted for from 11.5 per cent of all dwellings in Šiauliai up to 16.2 per cent in Klaipeda.
Dwellings are usually inhabited by their owners
Dwellings occupied by their owners accounted for 91.3 per cent of all occupied dwellings. 3 per cent of dwellings were leased (leases were registered with the State Enterprise Centre of Registers). Dwellings in other forms of ownership accounted for 5.7 per cent of occupied dwellings.
The highest number of rented dwellings was in Neringa (15.7 per cent of all occupied dwellings) and Birštonas (7 per cent) municipalities, the lowest – in Klaipėda and Utena district municipalities (1.7 per cent each).
We live more spaciously
The results of the censuses conducted during the years of independence show that the number of larger dwellings in Lithuania is constantly growing. In 2021, the average useful floor area of one dwelling was 66.7 m2 in 2001 (in 2001, 59.6 m2, in 2011, 63.1 m2): 60.7 m2 in rural areas (in 2001, 55.3 m2, in 2011, 59.6 m2), in rural areas – 79.4 m2 (in 2001, 68.5 m2, in 2011, 70.3 m2).
The average useful floor area per capita was 29.6 m2 (in 2001, 22.6 m2, in 2011, 26.2 m2). The highest useful floor area per capita was in Alytus (35.7 m2), Molėtai (34.3 m2), Biržai (34.1 m2) and Kupiškis (34 m2) district municipalities, the lowest – in Elektrėnai, Klaipėda district, Neringa, Vilnius city and Visaginas municipalities – less than 27 m2 (Figure 4).
Fig. 4. Useful floor area of occupied dwellings, on average per capita, in municipalities
Average useful floor area per capita,
Supply of housing facilities is increasing, especially in rural areas
During the 2021 census, it was recorded what amenities/utilities (water supply, sewerage, electricity, hot water, bath (shower), toilet with sewage, central heating) were installed in the dwelling. Number of dwellings with these amenities has increased over the recent ten years (Figure 5).
Fig. 5. Housing by amenities/utilities, 2001–2021, per cent
Central heating was installed in 1 million 325 thousand dwellings (92.1 per cent) (in 2011, 1 million 56 thousand or 76.8 per cent) (Figure 6).
Fig. 6. Dwellings by central heating in urban and rural areas, 2011–2021, per cent
1 million 305 thousand dwellings (90.8 per cent of all conventional dwellings) were equipped with all amenities/utilities (water supply, sewerage, electricity, hot water, bath (shower), toilet with sewage, central heating). 2 million 589 thousand population (93 per cent of all dwellers) lived in such dwellings.
More information on the issue is available in the Database of Indicators.