Results of the 2021 Population and Housing Census of the Republic of Lithuania

Households and families

 

 

The results of the 2021 Population and Housing Census of the Republic of Lithuania shows that the proportion of people who have never been married is increasing, and marriages are being postponed to older age. The households are shrinking and the proportion of single-person households is growing.


More men than women live in a marriage

During the Census, the marital status of persons aged 15 and older was recorded. Compared to the 2011 Census data, there are no significant changes in terms of the marital status of men and women.

In 2021, every second resident of Lithuania aged 15 and older was married. Married men accounted for 53.9 per cent of all men, married women – for 45.8 per cent of all women (Fig. 1). Persons who have never been married accounted for 28.9 per cent of the population of Lithuania (692 thousand). The proportion of men who have never been married remains higher than that of women: one in three men (32 per cent) and one in four women (26.3 per cent) have never been married. One in eight residents (297.7 thousand) was divorced. The proportion of divorced women was higher than that of men – 13.7 and 11 per cent respectively. One in eleven residents (219.4 thousand) was widowed. The number of widowed women was 5.5 times higher than that of men.

 

Fig. 1. Population aged 15 and older by marital status, 2001–2021, per cent

Men Women
Created with Highcharts 6.1.453.953.932.032.011.011.03.13.154.954.932.232.29.39.33.63.660.760.728.328.37.87.83.23.2200120112021MarriedNever marriedDivorcedWidower02.557.51012.51517.52022.52527.53032.53537.54042.54547.55052.55557.56062.56567.570

 

Created with Highcharts 6.1.445.845.826.326.313.713.714.214.245.945.923.523.512.412.418.218.251.651.621.221.210.210.217.017.0200120112021MarriedNever marriedDivorcedWidow02.557.51012.51517.52022.52527.53032.53537.54042.54547.55052.55557.56062.56567.570

 

The largest proportion of men and women who have never been married was recorded in the youngest age groups (Fig. 2): among population aged 15–24 – 98.3 and 94.8 per cent respectively. The number of men who have never been married is steadily declining with each older age group, and among men aged 75 and over, they make up less than 5 per cent. For women, the trend is slightly different: the proportion of never-married women is declining, while among women aged 60 and over, it starts to increase with each age group. The proportion of women who have never been married is lower than that of men in the 15–54 age group, and higher among those aged 55 and older. The proportion of married persons among men aged 15–74 increases with each age group and then decreases thereafter; among women, the trend remains upwards, but the decline starts earlier – among women aged 45 and older. The proportion of married women is higher than that of married men in the 15–44 age group.

The divorce trends are similar among men and women – the largest proportion of the divorced is recorded in the 45–59 age group (20.1 and 23.3 per cent respectively). The proportion of the divorced persons among men and women aged 15–54 increases consistently with each age group. The proportion of the divorced among women is higher than among men in all age groups. The trend of change in proportion of widows is the same between men and women – the older the persons, the higher the proportion of widows among them. However, the proportion of widows is higher among women than men in all age groups. Among women aged 80 and older, slightly more than one in two women is widowed (56 per cent), and among men – slightly less than one in three (28.6 per cent) men is widowed.

 

Fig. 2. Population aged 15 and older by marital status

Men Women
Created with Highcharts 6.1.4Age groupWidowerDivorcedMarriedNever married85+80–8475–7970–7465–6960–6455–5950–5445–4940–4435–3930–3425–2920–2415–1905,00010,00015,00020,00025,00030,00035,00040,00045,00050,00055,00060,00065,00070,00075,00080,00085,00090,00095,000100,000105,000110,000115,000120,000

 

Created with Highcharts 6.1.4Age groupWidowDivorcedMarriedNever married85+80–8475–7970–7465–6960–6455–5950–5445–4940–4435–3930–3425–2920–2415–1905,00010,00015,00020,00025,00030,00035,00040,00045,00050,00055,00060,00065,00070,00075,00080,00085,00090,00095,000100,000105,000110,000115,000120,000

 

 

Table 1. First marriage cumulative rates by generation, at age 20, 25, 30 and 35

Age

Year of birth

1930

1940

1950

1960

1970

1980

1990

1995

Men

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

2.1

2.6

4.7

6.7

9.6

4.5

1.1

0.8

25

24.4

38.1

55.8

65.6

60.7

30.5

15.2

11.2

30

67.1

71.9

79.0

85.9

76.5

58.8

42.9

-

35

80.1

82.8

86.9

90.5

81.3

71.0

-

-

Women

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

8.0

13.9

18.8

21.7

35.4

17.9

5.6

4.7

25

33.8

48.6

61.0

69.4

76.0

50.6

33.0

26.2

30

55.0

65.9

73.8

83.4

84.2

71.9

61.5

-

35

61.9

72.0

79.6

87.4

86.9

79.3

-

-

 

Households are shrinking, more and more people are living alone

In 2021, there were 1 million 215 thousand households in Lithuania (in 2011, 1 million 267 thousand) with 2 million 785 thousand persons living therein (in 2011, 3 million 19 thousand). 69.8 per cent of households were in urban areas (in 2011, 68.7 per cent), 30.2 per cent – in rural areas (in 2011, 31.3 per cent).

Over a decade, the average household decreased from 2.38 (in 2011) to 2.29 persons (in 2021), in urban areas – from 2.32 to 2.24 respectively, in rural areas – from 2.52 to 2.41 respectively.

In ten municipalities, the average size of a household exceeded the national average. The largest households were in Vilnius (2.71), Klaipėda (2.66) and Kaunas (2.62) district municipalities, the smallest – in Visaginas municipality (2.02), Ignalina (2.05), Anykščiai (2.08) and Rokiškis (2.09) district municipalities (Fig. 3).

 

Fig. 3. Households in municipalities by average size of a household

More than a third of households (35.2 per cent) were single-person households. Over a decade, the proportion of such households increased slightly (in 2011, 31.7 per cent). (Fig. 4). Over a decade, the proportion of households consisting of two persons remained almost unchanged (in 2011, 28.3 per cent) and remained higher than a quarter – 28.4 per cent. The proportion of large households (those consisting of five and more persons) has not changed substantially over the decade as well. Such households account for 6 per cent of all households (in 2011, 6.3 per cent).

 

Fig. 4. Households by size in urban and rural areas, per cent

Created with Highcharts 6.1.435.235.235.635.634.034.028.428.429.229.226.626.617.417.417.617.617.117.113.013.012.812.813.613.66.06.04.94.98.68.61 person2 persons3 persons4 persons5 and more personsTotalIn urban areasIn rural areas0510152025303540

More than a third (35.5 per cent) of single-person households consisted of persons aged 70 and older. 39.1 per cent of households with five and more inhabitants and over a third (35.9 per cent) of households with four inhabitants consisted of persons aged 0–19.

The proportion of a single-person households exceeds 40 per cent in twelve municipalities, more than half of them – in Northeast Lithuania – Ignalina, Zarasai, Anykščiai, Kupiškis, Rokiškis, Biržai and Molėtai districts’ municipalities. The largest number of households consisting of five and more persons was recorded in two municipalities – Vilnius and Klaipėda district municipalities (more than 10 per cent in each).


Households are mainly comprised of spouses and children

The Population and Housing Census reveals that households are mostly comprised of spouses – 41.3 per cent (1 million 150 thousand), and children – 29.3 per cent (816.3 thousand). Persons living alone account for a significant proportion – 15.3 per cent (427.3 thousand), cohabitants and single parents with children account for smaller proportion – 5.2 per cent (144.6 thousand) and 5.7 per cent (158.9 thousand) respectively.  Other persons account for only 3.2 per cent (87.2 thousand). (Fig. 5).

 

Fig. 5. Population by marital status in household, per cent

Created with Highcharts 6.1.4Spouses41.3Spouses41.3Children29.3Children29.3Individuals living alone15.3Individuals living alone15.3Single mothers or single fathers with children5.7Single mothers or single fathers with children5.7Cohabitants5.2Cohabitants5.2Other3.2Other3.2

The Census reveals several differences in marital status in households by sex. Among men, there are more married persons (44.6 per cent), children (34.7 per cent) and cohabitants (5.6 per cent), compared to women – 38.5, 24.6 and 4.8 per cent respectively. However, among women, there are more persons living alone (18.3 per cent), single mothers with children (9.6 per cent) and other persons (4.1 per cent), compared to men – 11.9, 1.2 and 2 per cent respectively.


Average family – 3 persons

In 2021, the number of families (family households) amounted to 781 thousand, in 2011 – 861.4 thousand. Over a decade, the number of families decreased by 10.5 per cent.

In Lithuania, there were 310.7 thousand (34.3 per cent of all families) families with children under 18 (in 2011, 362.7 thousand or 42.1 per cent). The proportion of one of parents with children under 18 grew from 15.8 per cent in 2011 to 15.8 per cent in 2021. 

Over a decade, an increase in the proportion of families with two and three children was observed (Fig. 6). According to the Census data, 53.5 per cent of the families had one child, 37.6 per cent – two children, 8.9 per cent – three and more children (in 2011, 58.2, 33.7 and 8.1 per cent respectively).

 

Fig. 6. Families with children under 18 by the number of children in 2011 and 2021, per cent

Created with Highcharts 6.1.453,553,537,637,67,37,31,11,10,40,458,258,233,733,76,26,21,31,30,60,6201120211 child2 children3 children4 children5 and more children0816243240485664

The average size of a family decreased from 3.03 persons in 2011 to 3 persons in 2021. In rural areas, the average family is larger than in urban areas – 3.1 and 2.9 persons respectively.

In 25 municipalities, the average size of a family was above the national average. The largest families were in Vilnius (3.32), Klaipėda (3.23), Kaunas (3.23), Šilalė (3.19) districts’ municipalities, the smallest – in Panevėžys (2.86), Alytus (2.86) and Visaginas (2.68) municipalities. Over a decade, average family in Vilnius city municipality increased and amounted to 3.01 persons (in 2011, 2.98 persons).


The vast majority of the population live in private housing


In 2021, 1 million 109.5 thousand (91.3 per cent) households lived in their own dwellings. 36.1 thousand (3 per cent) of households lived in rented accommodation. 69.7 thousand (5.7 per cent) of households lived in housing of other status (Fig. 7).

 

 

Fig. 7. Households by housing status, per cent

Created with Highcharts 6.1.4Owners91.3Owners91.3Tenants3.0Tenants3.0Other status of the holding5.7Other status of the holding5.7

The trends observed in urban and rural areas are broadly in line with the general trends. In urban areas, 3.2 per cent of households lived in rented accommodation, 5.5 per cent – in dwellings of other housing status, in rural areas – 2.3 and 6.3 per cent respectively.


More information on the issue is available in the Database of Indicators.