Ethnicity, mother tongue and religion

Statistics Lithuania released detailed final results of the 2011 Population and Housing Census of the Republic of Lithuania about the structure of the resident population by ethnicity, mother tongue and religion.

On 1 March 2011, Lithuania was inhabited by people of 154 ethnicities. Lithuanians made up 84.2, Poles – 6.6, Russians – 5.8, Belorussians – 1.2, Ukrainians – 0.5 per cent of the resident population; residents of other ethnicities accounted for 0.6 per cent. Compared to the 2001 census data, the ethnic composition changed insignificantly. Between the censuses, the number of residents decreased in all ethnic groups: Ukrainians – by 27, Russians – by 19.5, Belorussians – by 15.5, Poles – by 14.8, Lithuanians – by 11.8 per cent.

In rural areas, Lithuanians accounted for 87.2, in the urban ones – for 82.6 per cent (in 2001, 87.7 and 81.4 per cent respectively). The major proportions of Russians, Belorussians and Ukrainians were living in urban, of Lithuanians and Poles – in rural areas.

Vilnius is the most prominently multiethnic city of Lithuania, inhabited by people of 128 ethnicities. Kaunas was inhabited by people of 85, Klaipėda – 77, Šiauliai and Panevėžys – more than 50 ethnicities each.

In the 2011 census, residents for the first time could indicate two mother tongues. One mother tongue was indicated by 98, two – by 0.6 per cent of the population. Most residents indicated the tongue of their ethnicity as their mother tongue: 99.2 per cent of Lithuanians consider Lithuanian to be their mother tongue, 77.1 per cent of Poles – Polish, 87.2 per cent of Russians – Russian (in 2001, 96.7, 80 and 89.2 per cent respectively).

Those who indicated two mother tongues usually indicated Lithuanian and Russian (56 per cent of all residents who indicated two mother tongues), Lithuanian and Polish (19 per cent), Polish and Russian (14.4 per cent), Belorussian and Russian (2.1 per cent), Russian and Ukrainian (1.6 per cent), Lithuanian and German (0.6 per cent), Lithuanian and English (0.6 per cent).

Out of those who indicated two mother tongues, each sixth was a child under 14, almost each third – aged 15–39, each tenth – aged 65 and older.

During the 2011 census, residents attributed themselves to 59 religious communities (in 2001, 28); 11 faiths were practised by more than 1 thousand residents each. 2 million 350 thousand (77.2 per cent of the population) residents indicated being Roman Catholics, 125.2 thousand (4.1 per cent) – Orthodox, 23.3 thousand (0.8 per cent) – Old Believers, 18.4 thousand (0.6 per cent) – Evangelical Lutherans, 6.7 thousand (0.2 per cent) – Evangelical Reformists; 24.9 thousand (0.8 per cent) residents attributed themselves to other faiths. 186.7 thousand persons, or 6.1 per cent of the population, did not attribute themselves to any religious community (in 2001, 331.1 thousand, or 9.5 per cent). Each tenth resident did not indicate to which religious community s/he attributes her/himself (in 2001, each eighteenth).

88.6 per cent of Poles, 82.9 per cent of Lithuanians, 49.6 per cent of Belorussians, 13.7 per cent of Ukrainians attributed themselves to the Roman Catholic community; 51.5 per cent of Russians, 32.3 per cent of Belorussians, 59.1 per cent of Ukrainians – to the Orthodox community; 11.8 per cent of Russians – to the Old Believers' community.

Other religious communities were indicated by residents of different ethnicities. However, their proportion was not large, except for the Sunni Muslim community, indicated by 51.6 per cent of Tatars, and the Judaic community, indicated by 34 per cent of Jews.

More detailed information on ethnicity, mother tongue and religion is available on the website of Statistics Lithuania, Population and housing census section. Other results of the 2011 Population and Housing Census of the Republic of Lithuania will be published on the dates established in the Census Results Dissemination Plan.

Contact info :

Vanda Vaitekūnienė
Head, Population Census and Survey Organisation Division
Tel. (+370 5) 236 4921
Email vanda.vaitekuniene@stat.gov.lt

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