Lithuania's economic indicators are no longer having an impact on emigration flows, a new trend that has been observed in recent years, the head of the Vilnius office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday.
Audra Sipavičienė
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

"Trends of the past two to three years are particularly alarming," Audra Sipavičienė said during a discussion on migration and demographic policies held at the parliament.

"This is the first time that we see a trend where emigration does not correlate with economic indicators. (Lithuania's) economic indicators are improving, its GDP and wage growth rates are among the highest in Central Europe, and unemployment is falling. At the same time, however, emigration is growing and is doing so at a very fast rate," she said.

According to Sipavičienė, the situation shows that the country's economic growth has been very uneven.

The expert cited the European Commission's latest report on Lithuania which shows that the country's poverty or social exclusion levels are among the highest, the inequality of income is rising at the fastest rate, a third of the population are at risk of poverty, tax evasion is among the highest in the EU and low-income earners have the highest tax burden.

According to the IOM Vilnius head, over 900,000 people, or almost a quarter of the population, have left the country since independence.

Figures from Statistics Lithuania show that over 50,000 people emigrated from Lithuania last year and almost 14,000 left the country in the first two months of this year.

Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

MPs back presidential veto of lower threshold for dual citizenship referendum

The Lithuanian parliament upheld on Tuesday President Dalia Grybauskaitė 's veto of amendments...

Dual citizenship referendum with two week gap against Constitution – expert

A proposal to hold a dual citizenship referendum in Lithuania on two days with a gap of two weeks...

Lithuanian PM to meet with Lithuanian community in Poland

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis is going to Poland on Wednesday to meet with...

Lithuania will hold dual citizenship referendum, PM says

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says a dual citizenship referendum "definitely will...

Asta and Linas who traversed the world on motorcycles have returned home: a record seems to be in the stars

On Saturday a campsite with friends and family members near Vilnius marked the end of the round the...