Municipalities of Lithuania

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).

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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 functions

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


Municipality County Administrative center[6] Area[7] Pop. (2015)[7] Density (2015)[7]
Akmenė District MunicipalityŠiauliaiNaujoji Akmenė844 km2 (208,556.94 acres; 325.87 sq mi)21,33225.3
Alytus City MunicipalityAlytusAlytus40 km2 (9,884.22 acres; 15.44 sq mi)55,6141,390.4
Alytus District MunicipalityAlytusAlytus[nb 1]1,403 km2 (346,688.85 acres; 541.70 sq mi)27,12619.3
Anykščiai District MunicipalityUtenaAnykščiai1,764 km2 (435,893.89 acres; 681.08 sq mi)26,39315.0
Birštonas MunicipalityKaunasBirštonas122 km2 (30,146.86 acres; 47.10 sq mi)4,37135.8
Biržai District MunicipalityPanevėžysBiržai1,476 km2 (364,727.54 acres; 569.89 sq mi)25,93717.6
Druskininkai MunicipalityAlytusDruskininkai453 km2 (111,938.74 acres; 174.90 sq mi)20,72845.8
Elektrėnai MunicipalityVilniusElektrėnai509 km2 (125,776.64 acres; 196.53 sq mi)24,16447.5
Ignalina District MunicipalityUtenaIgnalina1,441 km2 (356,078.85 acres; 556.37 sq mi)16,80611.7
Jonava District MunicipalityKaunasJonava943 km2 (233,020.37 acres; 364.09 sq mi)43,87546.5
Joniškis District MunicipalityŠiauliaiJoniškis1,151 km2 (284,418.29 acres; 444.40 sq mi)23,80720.7
Jurbarkas District MunicipalityTauragėJurbarkas1,506 km2 (372,140.70 acres; 581.47 sq mi)28,16218.7
Kaišiadorys District MunicipalityKaunasKaišiadorys1,087 km2 (268,603.55 acres; 419.69 sq mi)31,91529.4
Kalvarija MunicipalityMarijampolėKalvarija440 km2 (108,726.37 acres; 169.88 sq mi)11,48626.1
Kaunas City MunicipalityKaunasKaunas157 km2 (38,795.54 acres; 60.62 sq mi)301,3571919.5
Kaunas District MunicipalityKaunasKaunas[nb 1]1,495 km2 (369,422.55 acres; 577.22 sq mi)88,39659.1
Kazlų Rūda MunicipalityMarijampolėKazlų Rūda555 km2 (137,143.49 acres; 214.29 sq mi)12,49422.5
Kėdainiai District MunicipalityKaunasKėdainiai1,677 km2 (414,395.72 acres; 647.49 sq mi)49,93929.8
Kelmė District MunicipalityŠiauliaiKelmė1,705 km2 (421,314.68 acres; 658.30 sq mi)29,55917.3
Klaipėda City MunicipalityKlaipėdaKlaipėda99 km2 (24,463.43 acres; 38.22 sq mi)156,1411,577.2
Klaipėda District MunicipalityKlaipėdaGargždai1,340 km2 (331,121.21 acres; 517.38 sq mi)52,83139.4
Kretinga District MunicipalityKlaipėdaKretinga989 km2 (244,387.22 acres; 381.86 sq mi)39,75840.2
Kupiškis District MunicipalityPanevėžysKupiškis1,080 km2 (266,873.81 acres; 416.99 sq mi)18,67817.3
Lazdijai District MunicipalityAlytusLazdijai1,306 km2 (322,719.63 acres; 504.25 sq mi)20,81315.9
Marijampolė MunicipalityMarijampolėMarijampolė755 km2 (186,564.56 acres; 291.51 sq mi)58,02776.9
Mažeikiai District MunicipalityTelšiaiMažeikiai1,219 km2 (301,221.46 acres; 470.66 sq mi)55,44145.5
Molėtai District MunicipalityUtenaMolėtai1,367 km2 (337,793.06 acres; 527.80 sq mi)19,23314.1
Neringa MunicipalityKlaipėdaNida90 km2 (22,239.48 acres; 34.75 sq mi)2,87932.0
Pagėgiai MunicipalityTauragėPagėgiai536 km2 (132,448.48 acres; 206.95 sq mi)8,71116.3
Pakruojis District MunicipalityŠiauliaiPakruojis1,315 km2 (324,943.58 acres; 507.72 sq mi)21,55516.4
Palanga City MunicipalityKlaipėdaPalanga79 km2 (19,521.33 acres; 30.50 sq mi)15,379194.7
Panevėžys City MunicipalityPanevėžysPanevėžys50 km2 (12,355.27 acres; 19.31 sq mi)95,2021,904.0
Panevėžys District MunicipalityPanevėžysPanevėžys[nb 1]2,177 km2 (537,948.42 acres; 840.54 sq mi)37,17317.1
Pasvalys District MunicipalityPanevėžysPasvalys1,289 km2 (318,518.84 acres; 497.69 sq mi)26,21320.3
Plungė District MunicipalityTelšiaiPlungė1,105 km2 (273,051.45 acres; 426.64 sq mi)36,05232.6
Prienai District MunicipalityKaunasPrienai1,032 km2 (255,012.75 acres; 398.46 sq mi)28,18127.3
Radviliškis District MunicipalityŠiauliaiRadviliškis1,634 km2 (403,770.19 acres; 630.89 sq mi)39,04323.9
Raseiniai District MunicipalityKaunasRaseiniai1,573 km2 (388,696.77 acres; 607.34 sq mi)35,01322.3
Rietavas MunicipalityTelšiaiRietavas586 km2 (144,803.75 acres; 226.26 sq mi)8,09613.8
Rokiškis District MunicipalityPanevėžysRokiškis1,806 km2 (446,272.32 acres; 697.30 sq mi)32,19117.8
Skuodas District MunicipalityKlaipėdaSkuodas911 km2 (225,113.00 acres; 351.74 sq mi)18,49820.3
Šakiai District MunicipalityMarijampolėŠakiai1,454 km2 (359,291.22 acres; 561.39 sq mi)30,32120.9
Šalčininkai District MunicipalityVilniusŠalčininkai1,493 km2 (368,928.33 acres; 576.45 sq mi)32,70521.9
Šiauliai City MunicipalityŠiauliaiŠiauliai81 km2 (20,015.54 acres; 31.27 sq mi)104,5691,291.0
Šiauliai District MunicipalityŠiauliaiŠiauliai[nb 1]1,807 km2 (446,519.42 acres; 697.69 sq mi)41,76723.1
Šilalė District MunicipalityTauragėŠilalė1,188 km2 (293,561.19 acres; 458.69 sq mi)24,86920.9
Šilutė District MunicipalityKlaipėdaŠilutė1,714 km2 (423,538.62 acres; 661.78 sq mi)41,81424.4
Širvintos District MunicipalityVilniusŠirvintos906 km2 (223,877.48 acres; 349.81 sq mi)16,33318.0
Švenčionys District MunicipalityVilniusŠvenčionys1,691 km2 (417,855.20 acres; 652.90 sq mi)25,71915.2
Tauragė District MunicipalityTauragėTauragė1,179 km2 (291,337.24 acres; 455.21 sq mi)41,34135.1
Telšiai District MunicipalityTelšiaiTelšiai1,439 km2 (355,584.64 acres; 555.60 sq mi)43,92230.5
Trakai District MunicipalityVilniusTrakai1,207 km2 (298,256.20 acres; 466.03 sq mi)33,43727.7
Ukmergė District MunicipalityVilniusUkmergė1,395 km2 (344,712.01 acres; 538.61 sq mi)36,91926.5
Utena District MunicipalityUtenaUtena1,230 km2 (303,939.62 acres; 474.91 sq mi)40,45432.9
Varėna District MunicipalityAlytusVarėna2,216 km2 (547,585.53 acres; 855.60 sq mi)23,52810.6
Vilkaviškis District MunicipalityMarijampolėVilkaviškis1,262 km2 (311,846.99 acres; 487.26 sq mi)39,46531.3
Vilnius City MunicipalityVilniusVilnius400 km2 (98,842.15 acres; 154.44 sq mi)542,6261,356.6
Vilnius District MunicipalityVilniusVilnius[nb 1]2,129 km2 (526,087.36 acres; 822.01 sq mi)95,62044.9
Visaginas MunicipalityUtenaVisaginas58 km2 (14,332.11 acres; 22.39 sq mi)20,249349.1
Zarasai District MunicipalityUtenaZarasai1,331 km2 (328,897.26 acres; 513.90 sq mi)17,03512.8

See also

Notes and references

  1. The administrative centers in these municipalities are located outside of the municipality proper.
  • "Law on the Territorial Administrative Units and Their Boundaries". Lietuvos Respublikos Seimas. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  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. 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:
  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. "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.

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