Latviski English По-русски
Saturday 21.07.2018 | Name days: Meldra, Meldris, Melisa

Will Lithuania have gone extinct by year 2314?

(+1 rating, 1 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULinas Jegelevičius for the BNN

Like many others, Lithuanians might like sex, but definitely not bearing and raising kids. The birth rate is expected to dip to 1.29 children per a fertile couple in 2015 and at that rate it will be one of the lowest in the world. No doubt, over the last 10 years in the European Union, Lithuania, the largest Baltic country, has become significantly more competitive, but the demographic issues have exacerbated.

As many as 800,000 Lithuanian citizens are thought to have left the country since the proclamation of the restoration of the country’s independence in 1990, and another 300,000 people are believed to be gone by 2020. Dismayingly, Eurostat, the Union’s statistical agency, put the number of people residing in Lithuania in 2040 under 2 million. It’s a high time to start making babies, fellow Lithuanians!

Grim demographic situation

«The key challenge we are dealing with is the enormous exodus of our nation. By 2020, it will pose the biggest challenge for the competitiveness and investment attraction,» said Robertas Dargis, president of Lithuania’s Industrialists Confederation (LIC).

It is urgent for Lithuania to start speaking about the immigration politics for a simple reason- without people the economy will not be able to sustain itself, he pointed out.

«Unfortunately, when someone raises the topic, most of our politicians hush – so divisive the issue is. No one wants get involved in the discussions, but the bottom line is this – an economy needs people,» the LIC director noted.

The immigration politics could start off with small steps and be making strides when the positive impact starts giving results.

«Look, in Kaunas Technology University, we have 60 students from India. I wonder why their visas become defunct the moment they graduate from the University. Why do the young people willing to joing the labour market or start their own business have to leave the country first? Why doesn‘t anyone say we should open up ourselves and let people want to stay here?» Dargis wondered in a recent LIC conference.

According to Eurostat, a European statistical data agency, Lithuania sits on the very bottom of the EU-28 club according to the pace of aging and the statistcs‘ monitor projects that, in 2045, over 50 retirees will fall for every 100 employable residents. Now, the rate is 26 pensioners per 100 employed.

Swedbank economists estimate the employment of Lithuanian inhabitants will be reaching its peak in 2016 and will start declining thereafter, an aftermath of fewer people on payroll.

Why aren‘t Lithuanian couples eager to procreate? Is it possible to boost the fertility of the nation? And, importantly, how? So that the grim current statistics of birth- some 1.5 child per every couple- could be boosted to the world‘s average- 2.5 children?

Women have to bear young

For Rimantas Jonas Dagys, a staunch Lithuanian Conservative, it is all about the need to spur and make key changes in the family politics.

«If the families in our society will continue being unstable, the birth rate will inevitably go down. The less stable family is the lesser birth rate is,» the MP said.

When in power in 2008-2010, the Conservatives had hiked the maternal leave payouts significantly, and the desired effect was there, but the economic crunch forced the Conservative-Liberal Government to make considerable cuts to the maternal fund.

«But now the measures would not be sufficient. We need other measures, like drawing up a housing program for young families. Alas, we have so far adopted only a social housing program, but the second part of it foreseeing aid to young families by providing them accommodation at an acceptable price, because of its costs, is still in the drawers. But those expenses aren‘t that large for state, I believe, » the lawmaker pondered.

But Birutė Vėsaitė, а high-ranking Lithuanian Social Democrat, disagrees with her fellow legislator:  «How do you imagine having such a programme implemented with the free market operating? Perhaps Dagys is reminiscent of the Soviet era if he is considering such ideas.»

She insisted once the economy is better and more social security-and stability-ensues, Lithuanian women will start bearing.

«That is what we have to focus on, not on some specially designed programme that, as a rule, aren’t working,» the Social Democrat told BNN.

Family institution under attack

Nevertheless, Dagis believes, the bottom line of all is to maintain the stable family, to make sure it has a job and a roof over its head. Then children will start appearing.

«Definitely, the public‘s approach to mothers, all parents who raise children is very important. Unfortunately, the institution of family has been under a heavy pressure and attacks aiming to destroy it. All those institutes of equal opportunities and all those politicians who pout only about all kinds of rights and prioritize quite other priorities, not the priority of family, must assume a clear responsibility for the demolition of the age-old structure,» Dagys said.

The family policies are confusing, moreover giving legal explanation on what makes up family from a legal point of view is being procrastinated, even in Lithuania‘s Constitution Court who did not dare to define family a as a married couple consisting of man and woman.

«The ruling has brought only more confusion, and it is unclear whom to support. Therefore, unsurprisingly, we see state institutions shying a uniform approach to the institution of family, instead we see child, mother and father individualized in the family legislation, which leads to nowhere», the MP said.

The opaqueness of family politics does ill-effect the folks’ resolve to bear not to bear.

«In the next year’s budget, only a mere half-million litas is earmarked for measure directly connected with family politics. That is dismayingly too little. What is the half-million against the state budget of LTL 30 billion (EUR 8.7 billion)? Besides, from the budget line we feed all sort of institutions, like the child right ombudsman’s maintenance, which fight violence in families. Sure, they are necessary, but what the family politics has to do with them? » the Conservative wondered.

If he was in the shoes to hammer state’s family politics, he wouldprioritize the strengthening of marital knots and would funnel money for social politics through the institution of family, sure a unit of man and woman.

«Regarding the birth rates, it’s been clear for long that the first child needs to come to the world as early as possible. This is the classics of demography,» Dagys is convinced.

Young people want to live free

Statistically, nearly 10% of young Lithuanians do not plan on having any children in their lives while one-fifth intends it in the future.

A whopping one-third explains the refusal with absence of a right partner, nearly as many want to live a childless life for a better quality of their own lives; an alarming 13.3% said they cannot conceive and 12.7% pointed out having other purposes in their lives.

Interestingly, most of the time, men complain of being unable to find a right spouse for marital life.

«That only affirms that women in big cities tend to be more educated and have other goals in their lives. That type of women is not traditionally perceived as women suitable for being partners. But that one-third of the respondents claim to not have met a suitable partner for the purpose is really interesting,» said  Milda Ališauskienė, associate professor at Kaunas Vytautas Magnus University.

According to the Lithuanian Statistics Department, there were 532,600 children under 18 in early 2014, but the part of children in the total of the country’s population has been declining: in 2001, children took up 24.4% of the population and only 18.1% 13 years later. And, importantly, the trend is thought to be edging downward.

Not surprisingly, Eurostat has announced recently that less than 2 million people will be residing in Lithuania in 2040.

Too murky forecasts?

But the findings, however, have drawn much criticism from local experts.

«Acknowledging the demographic problems Lithuania is dealing with, yet it is preposterous to believe that, following the projection, some 32,000 inhabitants will be leaving the country yearly until 2040. I reckon even the most disappointed compatriots who do not hold much trust in the own country’s prospects will cast a doubt on the forecast,» said Nerijus Mačiulis, Swedbank‘s chief economist.

He added: «Look, the EU‘s statistical agency has been proven wrong this year already – for Lithuania predicted emigration of 33,400 people when in reality it was some 13,000 people. The reason for the drop is not only the decrease in emigration, but also the increasing re-emigration. It’s in many lips that soon Lithuania will stay without people, but that just brushes with the reality,» the economist said.

Still, the problem has not gone anywhere. The birth rate ought to be way higher to make sure there is a Lithuania a three hundred years from now. Otherwise it may go extinct.

Ref: 020/

Leave a reply

SRS: cash register reform still stagnates, but has become much faster than it was last year

The cash registers reform continues stagnating. However, it has become much faster than it was a year ago, as reported by State Revenue Service.

Specialists to search for solutions to topical environmental problems in Ventspils

On Friday, 20 July, a meeting was held between Ventspils Commercial Port representatives and specialists from State Environment Service.

Children with functional disorders to receive services financed by EU funds

Child invalids will have access to social services intended to improve their social skills and mobility. More than EUR 4.2 million has been allocated for this goal from the European Social Fund, as confirmed by Latvia’s Central Financing and Contracting Agency.

Producer price level in industry up 4.3% in Latvia

Compared to June 2017, the average level of producer prices in Latvian industry increased by 4.3 % in June 2018. Prices of products sold on the domestic market rose by 4.8 % and those of exported products by 3.7 %.

Total tax debts in Latvia in July – 1.212 billion euros

At the beginning of July total tax debts in Latvia, including outstanding debts, halted debts and debts applied with repayment term extensions, accounted for EUR 1.212 billion, which is 0.8% less than a month prior, according to data from the State Revenue Service.

Survey: every third Latvian resident has received illegal loan offers

Nearly every third resident in Latvia or 31% of respondents admit having received offers to use illegal loan services, as concluded in a survey performed by Latvian Alternative Financial Services Association and SKDS.

Libya opposed to EU's idea to establish migrant centres in North Africa

Libya is against the solution of the European Union to set up migrant centres in the North African country as a means to keep migrants from arriving in the bloc and Libya would not be convinced with financial support, its Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has noted.

Arrest warrant on Catalan ex-President cancelled by Spain

The Supreme Court of Spain cancelled a European arrest warrant for former Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont, as Germany refused to extradite him to face accusations of rebellion for declaring the independence of Spain's region, Catalonia in 2017.

Latvian government plans to allow handing expired food to charity

Latvia’s Agriculture Ministry has prepared amendments to the Law on the Supervision of the Handling of Food that provide permission to hand over certain types of food products to charity after the end of their expiry date.

Estonian industrial producer prices up 2.9% since June 2017

Estonian industrial producer price index has risen by 2.9% between June 2017 and the first summer month this year, resulting in an increase of export prices as well, Estonian statisticians have estimated.

Putin urges NATO to quit «irresponsibly» developing ties with Ukraine, Georgia

Russia's President Vladimir Putin cautioned NATO against developing deeper relations with Ukraine and Georgia, evaluating such a policy was irresponsible and would have consequences for the military alliance.

Latvian parliament not in a hurry to support president Vejonis for a second term

Political parties represented in the Saeima are not eager to support President Raimonds Vējonis for his remainder for a second term.

Weather in Latvia will remain warm and even hot at times

Weather in Latvia in the nearest couple of days will be dictated by a cyclone. Because of that the sky will be partially covered by clouds; thunderstorms are also expected, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Hungary sued in EU Court for criminalising help to illegal immigrants

The European Union's executive body has stated that a law in Hungary that criminalises support for illegal immigrants is in breach with EU law and Hungary has now been referred to the European Court of Justice for the alleged non-compliance.

Estonians buy alcohol in Latvia; country loses EUR 20 million in six months

Latvian stores located close to the Latvian-Estonian border have sold 1.6 million litres of strong alcoholic drinks in the first half year of 2019. This means Estonia has lost more than EUR 20 million in taxes, according to data from Association of Estonian Alcohol Producers and Importers.

Lithuania’s election watchdog slams ruling LFGU over popular TV series

Political messages can be channeled in various ways and the ruling now Lithuanian party, LFGU has chosen a very delicate way of the communications – through a TV series featuring the beauty and the ambiance of Naisiai, a picturesque settlement in Siauliai district.

Association: around 3,3000 people know of their HIV infection but receive no treatment

HIV remains a serious problem in Latvia – around 3,300 people are aware of their status but receive no treatment and continue spreading the infection. Because of that, it is necessary to act quickly for Latvia to lose its status as HIV kingdom and limit the spread of the infection, says Baltic HIV Association, informing decision-makers and responsible officials in institutions and hospitals about the HIV/AIDS situation.

Driver shortage may force reduction of international road haulage volumes

Latvia’s road haulage companies have started experiencing shortage of drivers. On top of that, if employment conditions for residents of non-EU member states do not change, it may be necessary to reduce the volume of road haulage volumes, says Latvijas auto president Valdis Trēziņš.

Lattelecom’s turnover up 9% in first half-year of 2018

Lattelecom Group’s turnover reached EUR 98.7 million in the first half-year of 2018, growing by 9% in comparison with the same period of 2017, according to unaudited financial results.

1,140 fewer births registered in Latvia in 2017

Since 2016 the number of births in Latvia is declining again. Compared to 2016, a total of 1,140 births fewer were registered in 2017. Also, the provisional number of births registered over the first six months of 2018 (9,664 children) is by 664 children smaller than that registered over the respective period of 2017.

Citadele Bank decides to reform Lithuanian subsidiary as a branch office

Citadele Bank has decided to reform its Lithuanian subsidiary as a branch office, as confirmed in the statement the bank submitted to Nasdaq Riga.

Russian pension age hike discussed amid protest outside Duma

As the Russian paliament votes on the proposal to gradually increase he pension age to 65 for men and 63 for women, some 200 people were seen protesting against the reform in Moscow.

Corruption watchdog chief says bureau has done no illegal actions

After going through Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau’s past investigative activities, the bureau’s chief – Jēkabs Straume – found it confusing that officers often took no appropriate actions after acquiring evidence or receiving indications regarding necessary steps.

Illegal border crossings to Estonia on rise after Russia World Cup

Football fans with temporary residency permits of the Russia World Cup, or fan Ids, are trying to illegally cross the Russian border with Estonia, a member of the European Union.

Estonian 13-year-old lethally overdoses fentanyl

Estonian prosecutors have accused a 15-year old of negligent homicide after a girl, 13, passed away from fentanyl overdose.