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Investigation of living conditions reveals changes

  • 2000-12-14
VILNIUS, (ELTA) - In the last decade Lithuania was marked by major changes in all spheres of life. The impact of democratic values on Lithuanians' everyday life was not always positive. Sometimes they brought many new problems to different population groups. This conclusion may be drawn from the investigation results on living conditions published Dec. 8 in the study "Lithuania 1999: Living Conditions."

"The investigation helped to accumulate valuable statistical material to be used later for comparison and analysis needed to create social policy, as well as for scientific research and training purposes," Social Security and Labor Vice Minister Rimantas Kairelis said.

For example, when investigating key living aspects, such as housing, it was established that 52.8 percent of the nation's population lives in multiple-apartment buildings although the 43.6 percent of those living in individual family houses is likely to increase.

Only a small portion of the respondents said they would prefer moving to another flat. However, 31.4 percent claimed they dreamed of a bigger apartment, while 19.5 percent would like to live in cheaper premises.

The average Lithuanian family lives in a two-room apartment, but 29.5 percent dwell in three-room apartments.

The investigation shows that changes during the last decade were so radical that hardly anyone could have imagined them 10 years ago. The dominant form of housing ownership is a private apartment or house, while in 1990 most people lived in state-owned flats.

It was the first joint Lithuanian-Norwegian project, organized by experts from the Norwegian applied-sociology research institute FAFO, the director of its international department, Vytautas Ziukas, noted.

Two other studies on living conditions in the recent 10-year period in Lithuania were performed in 1994 and 1999. They were included in the wider international project Norbalt, carried out simultaneously throughout the three Baltic states under the coordination of Norwegian specialists.