Population and its composition

In 2002 Lithuania had a population of over 3.96 million with an average density of 55 per sq km. Of all the Lithuanians, 65.6 % live in towns. The Lithuanian nation was finally formed in XIII-XVth centuries. Its consolidation was achieved by the formation of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Other Baltic tribes inhabiting its territory – the Zemaiciai, northern Jotvingiai, southern Semigalians, southeastern Curonians, southern Selonians – are today’s Lithuanians. In XIIIth century and later Lithuania was settled by other nationalities as well: Poles, Germans, Russians, Tartars. At the beginning of the XIVth century many Jews settled in Lithuania, where they found refuge from the persecution in other European countries. In the second half of the XVIII century the Orthodox, seeking sanctuary from religious persecution settled in Lithuania villages. In 2002 population composition in Lithuania was as follows: Lithuanians – 80%, Russians -8,9%, Poles – 7.3%, Belorussians – 1.7% Ukrainians – 0.9%, Jews – 0.4%. Latvians, Tatars, Gypsies, Germans make up 0,1%. Approximately 2.9 million of Lithuanians live ontside their homeland, more than 150 thousand – live in Russia and Eastern countries. More than one million people of Lithuanian origin live in USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, FRG, Great Britain, Australia, Poland and elsewhere. Lithuania – at the junction of Europe. In the course of time more than once ethnic and national composition of population changed.