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Lithuania home to 128 ethnicities and 59 religious communities

  • 2013-03-20
  • From wire reports

Lithuanians in ethnic costumes in Vilnius.

VILNIUS - On 1 March 2011, Lithuania was inhabited by people of 154 ethnicities, Statistics Lithuania reports. Lithuanians made up 84.2 percent, Poles - 6.6 percent, Russians - 5.8 percent, Belarusians - 1.2 percent and Ukrainians - 0.5 percent of the resident population; residents of other ethnicities accounted for 0.6 percent. Compared to the 2001 census data, the ethnic composition changed insignificantly. Between the censuses, the number of residents decreased in all ethnic groups: Ukrainians - by 27 percent, Russians - by 19.5 percent, Belarusians - by 15.5 percent, Poles - by 14.8 percent and Lithuanians - by 11.8 percent.

In rural areas, Lithuanians accounted for 87.2 percent, in the urban areas - for 82.6 percent (in 2001, 87.7 percent and 81.4 percent respectively). The major proportions of Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians were living in urban areas, of Lithuanians and Poles - in rural areas.

Vilnius is the most prominently multiethnic city of Lithuania, inhabited by people of 128 ethnicities. Kaunas was inhabited by people of 85, Klaipeda - 77, Siauliai and Panevezys - more than 50 ethnicities each.
During the census, residents attributed themselves to 59 religious communities (in 2001, 28); 11 faiths were practiced by more than 1 thousand residents each, Statistics Lithuania says.

2.35 million (77.2 percent of the population) residents indicated being Roman Catholic, 125,200 (4.1 percent) - Orthodox, 23,300 (0.8 percent) - Old Believers, 18,400 (0.6 percent) - Evangelical Lutherans, 6,700 (0.2 percent) - Evangelical Reformists and 24,900 (0.8 percent) residents attributed themselves to other faiths. 186,700 persons, or 6.1 percent of the population, did not attribute themselves to any religious community (in 2001, 331,100, or 9.5 percent). Ten percent of residents did not indicate to which religious community she/he attributes her/himself.

88.6 percent of Poles, 82.9 percent of Lithuanians, 49.6 percent of Belarusians and 13.7 percent of Ukrainians attributed themselves to the Roman Catholic community; 51.5 percent of Russians, 32.3 percent of Belarusians and 59.1 percent of Ukrainians - to the Orthodox community and 11.8 percent of Russians - to the Old Believers’ community.
Other religious communities were indicated by residents of different ethnicities. However, their proportion was not large, except for the Sunni Muslim community, indicated by 51.6 percent of Tatars, and the Judaic community, indicated by 34 percent of Jews.