VILNIUS - The wave of emigration that came together with economic crisis not only reduced the number of Lithuania's residents which is already below the symbolic three million but it also has been threatening viability of the future public.
Sociologists were shocked when they found out that in recent years around 16 percent of Lithuanian infants were born not in Lithuania. For example, last year, 558 babies were born in Alytus town, 130 of them, i.e. 23.3 percent were born abroad.
According to Head of Civil Registry Office (CMS) in Alytus, Birute Valuniene, the majority of Alytus babies are born in the United Kingdom, Ireland and more recently in Norway.
Vilnius Civil Registry Office registered 9,938 babies, 3,218 (32.38 percent) of them were born outside Lithuania. Vilnius has such high rate of foreign-born babies because the emigrants are not only Vilnius city residents, i.e. if people have not declared their place of residence, they must inform Vilnius CMS about the birth of their child. In total Residents' Register Service under the Ministry of the Interior registered 36,596 babies born in 2012; 3,500 of them were born abroad.
The Head of the Institute of Labor And Social Research Boguslav Gruzevskis says that the fact that school-age children and teenagers are emigrating together with their parents is even more disturbing than the increasing number of births abroad.
"They will get used to the culture, customs and then there is a great chance that their social and cultural ties with the homeland will be weakened," said the scientist.