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Map of the European Union with Lithuania highlighted in green
Location of Lithuania in the European Union

Lithuania is divided into three layers of administrative divisions. The first-level division consists of 10 counties (Lithuanian: singular – apskritis, plural – apskritys). These are sub-divided into 60 municipalities (Lithuanian: plural – savivaldybės, singular – savivaldybė), which in turn are further sub-divided into over 500 smaller groups, known as elderships (Lithuanian: plural – seniūnijos, singular – seniūnija).

At the end of its tenure as a Soviet Socialist Republic, Lithuania's administrative divisions consisted of 44 regions, 12 cities, 80 towns, 19 settlements, and 426 rural districts.[1] The reform of this system was an immediate concern for the new government.[2] The Constitution of Lithuania, ratified in 1992, delegated the power of establishing future administrative units to the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas). Accordingly, the Seimas passed two fundamental laws: a 1993 law on government representation and a 1994 law specifying the territorial-administrative units and their boundaries.[2] The current system of a set of municipalities under 10 counties was codified by 1995.[2] Several changes were made in 2000, resulting in 60 municipalities.[3] Ordinary municipal councilors are elected every four years from electoral lists using proportional representation. The mayor, who is a member of the council, is elected directly by the residents in a majority vote.[4] Before 2015, the mayors were elected by the municipal councils.

The largest municipality by population in Lithuania is Vilnius City Municipality with 542,626 residents, home to one fifth (18.6%) of the country's population. The smallest municipality by population is Neringa Municipality with 2,879 residents. The largest municipality by land area is Varėna District Municipality, which spans 2,216 km2 (856 sq mi), while the smallest is Alytus City Municipality at 40 km2 (15 sq mi).

Powers and functionsEdit

The processes of integration into international organizations - like the EU and NATO - are considered to be important external factors influencing the development of municipal powers in the country. Lithuania, which has become a member of these organizations, has been assigned completely new responsibilities, some of which, naturally, also belonged to municipalities. In the case of EU integration, municipalities have been assigned the necessary information supply to the European Commission, and in the case of integration into NATO, municipalities have had new functions related to security issues[5].

 

1 – Vilnius City Municipality
2 – Kaunas City Municipality
3 – Klaipėda City Municipality

4 – Panevėžys City Municipality
5 – Šiauliai City Municipality
6 – Alytus City Municipality

7 – Birštonas Municipality
8 – Palanga City Municipality
9 – Visaginas Municipality
10 – Neringa Municipality

MunicipalitiesEdit

Municipality County Administrative center[6] Area[7] Pop. (2015)[7] Density (2015)[7]
Akmenė District Municipality Šiauliai Naujoji Akmenė 844 km2 (208,556.94 acres; 325.87 sq mi) 21,332 25.3
Alytus City Municipality Alytus Alytus 40 km2 (9,884.22 acres; 15.44 sq mi) 55,614 1,390.4
Alytus District Municipality Alytus Alytus[nb 1] 1,403 km2 (346,688.85 acres; 541.70 sq mi) 27,126 19.3
Anykščiai District Municipality Utena Anykščiai 1,764 km2 (435,893.89 acres; 681.08 sq mi) 26,393 15.0
Birštonas Municipality Kaunas Birštonas 122 km2 (30,146.86 acres; 47.10 sq mi) 4,371 35.8
Biržai District Municipality Panevėžys Biržai 1,476 km2 (364,727.54 acres; 569.89 sq mi) 25,937 17.6
Druskininkai Municipality Alytus Druskininkai 453 km2 (111,938.74 acres; 174.90 sq mi) 20,728 45.8
Elektrėnai Municipality Vilnius Elektrėnai 509 km2 (125,776.64 acres; 196.53 sq mi) 24,164 47.5
Ignalina District Municipality Utena Ignalina 1,441 km2 (356,078.85 acres; 556.37 sq mi) 16,806 11.7
Jonava District Municipality Kaunas Jonava 943 km2 (233,020.37 acres; 364.09 sq mi) 43,875 46.5
Joniškis District Municipality Šiauliai Joniškis 1,151 km2 (284,418.29 acres; 444.40 sq mi) 23,807 20.7
Jurbarkas District Municipality Tauragė Jurbarkas 1,506 km2 (372,140.70 acres; 581.47 sq mi) 28,162 18.7
Kaišiadorys District Municipality Kaunas Kaišiadorys 1,087 km2 (268,603.55 acres; 419.69 sq mi) 31,915 29.4
Kalvarija Municipality Marijampolė Kalvarija 440 km2 (108,726.37 acres; 169.88 sq mi) 11,486 26.1
Kaunas City Municipality Kaunas Kaunas 157 km2 (38,795.54 acres; 60.62 sq mi) 301,357 1919.5
Kaunas District Municipality Kaunas Kaunas[nb 1] 1,495 km2 (369,422.55 acres; 577.22 sq mi) 88,396 59.1
Kazlų Rūda Municipality Marijampolė Kazlų Rūda 555 km2 (137,143.49 acres; 214.29 sq mi) 12,494 22.5
Kėdainiai District Municipality Kaunas Kėdainiai 1,677 km2 (414,395.72 acres; 647.49 sq mi) 49,939 29.8
Kelmė District Municipality Šiauliai Kelmė 1,705 km2 (421,314.68 acres; 658.30 sq mi) 29,559 17.3
Klaipėda City Municipality Klaipėda Klaipėda 99 km2 (24,463.43 acres; 38.22 sq mi) 156,141 1,577.2
Klaipėda District Municipality Klaipėda Gargždai 1,340 km2 (331,121.21 acres; 517.38 sq mi) 52,831 39.4
Kretinga District Municipality Klaipėda Kretinga 989 km2 (244,387.22 acres; 381.86 sq mi) 39,758 40.2
Kupiškis District Municipality Panevėžys Kupiškis 1,080 km2 (266,873.81 acres; 416.99 sq mi) 18,678 17.3
Lazdijai District Municipality Alytus Lazdijai 1,306 km2 (322,719.63 acres; 504.25 sq mi) 20,813 15.9
Marijampolė Municipality Marijampolė Marijampolė 755 km2 (186,564.56 acres; 291.51 sq mi) 58,027 76.9
Mažeikiai District Municipality Telšiai Mažeikiai 1,219 km2 (301,221.46 acres; 470.66 sq mi) 55,441 45.5
Molėtai District Municipality Utena Molėtai 1,367 km2 (337,793.06 acres; 527.80 sq mi) 19,233 14.1
Neringa Municipality Klaipėda Nida 90 km2 (22,239.48 acres; 34.75 sq mi) 2,879 32.0
Pagėgiai Municipality Tauragė Pagėgiai 536 km2 (132,448.48 acres; 206.95 sq mi) 8,711 16.3
Pakruojis District Municipality Šiauliai Pakruojis 1,315 km2 (324,943.58 acres; 507.72 sq mi) 21,555 16.4
Palanga City Municipality Klaipėda Palanga 79 km2 (19,521.33 acres; 30.50 sq mi) 15,379 194.7
Panevėžys City Municipality Panevėžys Panevėžys 50 km2 (12,355.27 acres; 19.31 sq mi) 95,202 1,904.0
Panevėžys District Municipality Panevėžys Panevėžys[nb 1] 2,177 km2 (537,948.42 acres; 840.54 sq mi) 37,173 17.1
Pasvalys District Municipality Panevėžys Pasvalys 1,289 km2 (318,518.84 acres; 497.69 sq mi) 26,213 20.3
Plungė District Municipality Telšiai Plungė 1,105 km2 (273,051.45 acres; 426.64 sq mi) 36,052 32.6
Prienai District Municipality Kaunas Prienai 1,032 km2 (255,012.75 acres; 398.46 sq mi) 28,181 27.3
Radviliškis District Municipality Šiauliai Radviliškis 1,634 km2 (403,770.19 acres; 630.89 sq mi) 39,043 23.9
Raseiniai District Municipality Kaunas Raseiniai 1,573 km2 (388,696.77 acres; 607.34 sq mi) 35,013 22.3
Rietavas Municipality Telšiai Rietavas 586 km2 (144,803.75 acres; 226.26 sq mi) 8,096 13.8
Rokiškis District Municipality Panevėžys Rokiškis 1,806 km2 (446,272.32 acres; 697.30 sq mi) 32,191 17.8
Skuodas District Municipality Klaipėda Skuodas 911 km2 (225,113.00 acres; 351.74 sq mi) 18,498 20.3
Šakiai District Municipality Marijampolė Šakiai 1,454 km2 (359,291.22 acres; 561.39 sq mi) 30,321 20.9
Šalčininkai District Municipality Vilnius Šalčininkai 1,493 km2 (368,928.33 acres; 576.45 sq mi) 32,705 21.9
Šiauliai City Municipality Šiauliai Šiauliai 81 km2 (20,015.54 acres; 31.27 sq mi) 104,569 1,291.0
Šiauliai District Municipality Šiauliai Šiauliai[nb 1] 1,807 km2 (446,519.42 acres; 697.69 sq mi) 41,767 23.1
Šilalė District Municipality Tauragė Šilalė 1,188 km2 (293,561.19 acres; 458.69 sq mi) 24,869 20.9
Šilutė District Municipality Klaipėda Šilutė 1,714 km2 (423,538.62 acres; 661.78 sq mi) 41,814 24.4
Širvintos District Municipality Vilnius Širvintos 906 km2 (223,877.48 acres; 349.81 sq mi) 16,333 18.0
Švenčionys District Municipality Vilnius Švenčionys 1,691 km2 (417,855.20 acres; 652.90 sq mi) 25,719 15.2
Tauragė District Municipality Tauragė Tauragė 1,179 km2 (291,337.24 acres; 455.21 sq mi) 41,341 35.1
Telšiai District Municipality Telšiai Telšiai 1,439 km2 (355,584.64 acres; 555.60 sq mi) 43,922 30.5
Trakai District Municipality Vilnius Trakai 1,207 km2 (298,256.20 acres; 466.03 sq mi) 33,437 27.7
Ukmergė District Municipality Vilnius Ukmergė 1,395 km2 (344,712.01 acres; 538.61 sq mi) 36,919 26.5
Utena District Municipality Utena Utena 1,230 km2 (303,939.62 acres; 474.91 sq mi) 40,454 32.9
Varėna District Municipality Alytus Varėna 2,216 km2 (547,585.53 acres; 855.60 sq mi) 23,528 10.6
Vilkaviškis District Municipality Marijampolė Vilkaviškis 1,262 km2 (311,846.99 acres; 487.26 sq mi) 39,465 31.3
Vilnius City Municipality Vilnius Vilnius 400 km2 (98,842.15 acres; 154.44 sq mi) 542,626 1,356.6
Vilnius District Municipality Vilnius Vilnius[nb 1] 2,129 km2 (526,087.36 acres; 822.01 sq mi) 95,620 44.9
Visaginas Municipality Utena Visaginas 58 km2 (14,332.11 acres; 22.39 sq mi) 20,249 349.1
Zarasai District Municipality Utena Zarasai 1,331 km2 (328,897.26 acres; 513.90 sq mi) 17,035 12.8

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e The administrative centers in these municipalities are located outside of the municipality proper.
General
  • "Law on the Territorial Administrative Units and Their Boundaries". Lietuvos Respublikos Seimas. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
Specific
  1. ^ Conference on Local and Regional Authority Co-operation in the Baltic Sea Area: proceedings, Kaunas, Lithuania, 21-23, April 1999. Council of Europe. January 2000. p. 9. ISBN 978-92-871-4538-3. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Jolanta Vaičiūnienė (2008-11-14). "The Administrative–Territorial Reform in Lithuania: History and Today" (PDF). Council of Europe. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  3. ^ Local Economic and Employment Development (Program); Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (April 2007). Baltic partnerships: integration, growth and local governance in the Baltic Sea Region. OECD Publishing. p. 75. ISBN 978-92-64-02928-6. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  4. ^ "Law on elections to municipal councils". The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  5. ^ Burbulytė-Tsiskarishvili, G., Dvorak,J., Žernytė, A. (2018). Savivaldybių funkcijų ir galių kaita 1994 - 2016 metais. Viešoji politika ir administravimas, t.17, No.3 Access through Internet: https://www.mruni.eu/upload/iblock/db3/5_Burbulyt%C4%97-Tsiskarishvili_Dvorak_%C5%BDernyt%C4%97.pdf
  6. ^ Municipality administrative centers and coats of arms are given by Statistics Lithuania in subpages under the Portrait of the Regions of Lithuania; e.g. Alytus town municipality Archived 2011-05-26 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ a b c "Area (land) at the beginning of the year, Population density at the beginning of the year, Resident population at the beginning of the year". Statistics Lithuania. Retrieved 4 February 2016.