Our country’s membership in the EU – 18 years. How have our lives changed?

This year marks the 18th anniversary of Lithuania's membership in the EU. We have produced a set of infographics where we can see what we look like after having reached the age of majority in the European Union.

The infographics cover the period from 2004 to 2021.

Some aspects of our lives have changed dramatically, e.g. foreign direct investment in Lithuania has increased more than 6 times, the gross domestic product per capita grew by 3.6 times and amounted to EUR 19,760, the average net salary (i.e. after taxes, or “in hand”) has increased 4 times, the GDP expressed in purchasing power standard rose from 50 per cent in 2004 to 88 per cent of the EU level. According to the said indicator, we are ahead of Estonia, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Portugal, Latvia and other countries.

We live more spaciously: 14 m2 more space per capita than in 2004, we buy twice as many new cars: in 2004, 11 thousand, while at the end of 2020, more than 22 thousand newly registered passenger cars.

International trade volumes both in goods and services have also considerably increased. Exports of goods of Lithuanian origin, since 2004, grew by 3.6 times. Since 2013, exports of services have increased by 3.3 times. Our country’s exports have been mainly focused on services related to the transport sector.

Thousands of Lithuanian citizens move freely all over the world.  A similar number of residents leave and arrive, the majority of those who arrive are returned citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, while in 2004, emigration prevailed – 8 times more people left than arrived.

Crime has fallen. The number of car robberies recorded in 2021 was 20 times less than in 2004.

Furthermore, we can boast of quite small though positive changes – the citizens of our country visit cinemas, theatres (before the pandemic) more often, eat better food: more fish, fruit and meat, but less potatoes and cereals.