Lithuania posts record immigration month, experts warn of challenges

  • 2019-08-19
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – More people came to Lithuania to live in July than any other previous month, as positive migration tendencies in the country continue.

5,211 people came to Lithuania in July, and 3,507 emigrated, according to the latest figures from Lithuania's statistics office, Statistics Lithuania.

Experts say rising income is behind the increase in the number of incoming people. But growing immigration from third countries might pose social challenges.

Almost 64 percent of those who came in July were Lithuanian citizens, and Lithuanian citizens made over 83 percent who left.

Statisticians have been registering positive migration tendencies for almost the whole of this year, excluding January. All in all, 28,350 people have immigrated to Lithuania this year, and 2,289 have emigrated.

Zygimantas Mauricas, chief economist at Luminor, says the possibility for Lithuanian employers to pay less to migrants from third countries might slow wages and technological progress in the country.

In his words, it might lead to a rise in unemployment among Lithuanians, increase social exclusion and tensions.

"It might happen so if the inflow from Ukraine and other third countries remains uncontrolled," the economist told BNS Lithuania.

The rising number of residents might lead to challenges of adapting city infrastructure to their needs, the expert said.

Last year, Lithuania lost 3,300 residents to emigration.