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).

Location of Lithuania in the European Union

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 Municipality
ŠiauliaiNaujoji Akmenė844 km2 (208,556.94 acres; 325.87 sq mi)21,33225.3
Alytus City Municipality
AlytusAlytus40 km2 (9,884.22 acres; 15.44 sq mi)55,6141,390.4
Alytus District Municipality
AlytusAlytus[nb 1]1,403 km2 (346,688.85 acres; 541.70 sq mi)27,12619.3
Anykščiai District Municipality
UtenaAnykščiai1,764 km2 (435,893.89 acres; 681.08 sq mi)26,39315.0
Birštonas Municipality
KaunasBirštonas122 km2 (30,146.86 acres; 47.10 sq mi)4,37135.8
Biržai District Municipality
PanevėžysBiržai1,476 km2 (364,727.54 acres; 569.89 sq mi)25,93717.6
Druskininkai Municipality
AlytusDruskininkai453 km2 (111,938.74 acres; 174.90 sq mi)20,72845.8
Elektrėnai Municipality
VilniusElektrėnai509 km2 (125,776.64 acres; 196.53 sq mi)24,16447.5
Ignalina District Municipality
UtenaIgnalina1,441 km2 (356,078.85 acres; 556.37 sq mi)16,80611.7
Jonava District Municipality
KaunasJonava943 km2 (233,020.37 acres; 364.09 sq mi)43,87546.5
Joniškis District Municipality
ŠiauliaiJoniškis1,151 km2 (284,418.29 acres; 444.40 sq mi)23,80720.7
Jurbarkas District Municipality
TauragėJurbarkas1,506 km2 (372,140.70 acres; 581.47 sq mi)28,16218.7
Kaišiadorys District Municipality
KaunasKaišiadorys1,087 km2 (268,603.55 acres; 419.69 sq mi)31,91529.4
Kalvarija Municipality
MarijampolėKalvarija440 km2 (108,726.37 acres; 169.88 sq mi)11,48626.1
Kaunas City Municipality
KaunasKaunas157 km2 (38,795.54 acres; 60.62 sq mi)301,3571919.5
Kaunas District Municipality
KaunasKaunas[nb 1]1,495 km2 (369,422.55 acres; 577.22 sq mi)88,39659.1
Kazlų Rūda Municipality
MarijampolėKazlų Rūda555 km2 (137,143.49 acres; 214.29 sq mi)12,49422.5
Kėdainiai District Municipality
KaunasKėdainiai1,677 km2 (414,395.72 acres; 647.49 sq mi)49,93929.8
Kelmė District Municipality
ŠiauliaiKelmė1,705 km2 (421,314.68 acres; 658.30 sq mi)29,55917.3
Klaipėda City Municipality
KlaipėdaKlaipėda99 km2 (24,463.43 acres; 38.22 sq mi)156,1411,577.2
Klaipėda District Municipality
KlaipėdaGargždai1,340 km2 (331,121.21 acres; 517.38 sq mi)52,83139.4
Kretinga District Municipality
KlaipėdaKretinga989 km2 (244,387.22 acres; 381.86 sq mi)39,75840.2
Kupiškis District Municipality
PanevėžysKupiškis1,080 km2 (266,873.81 acres; 416.99 sq mi)18,67817.3
Lazdijai District Municipality
AlytusLazdijai1,306 km2 (322,719.63 acres; 504.25 sq mi)20,81315.9
Marijampolė Municipality
MarijampolėMarijampolė755 km2 (186,564.56 acres; 291.51 sq mi)58,02776.9
Mažeikiai District Municipality
TelšiaiMažeikiai1,219 km2 (301,221.46 acres; 470.66 sq mi)55,44145.5
Molėtai District Municipality
UtenaMolėtai1,367 km2 (337,793.06 acres; 527.80 sq mi)19,23314.1
Neringa Municipality
KlaipėdaNida90 km2 (22,239.48 acres; 34.75 sq mi)2,87932.0
Pagėgiai Municipality
TauragėPagėgiai536 km2 (132,448.48 acres; 206.95 sq mi)8,71116.3
Pakruojis District Municipality
ŠiauliaiPakruojis1,315 km2 (324,943.58 acres; 507.72 sq mi)21,55516.4
Palanga City Municipality
KlaipėdaPalanga79 km2 (19,521.33 acres; 30.50 sq mi)15,379194.7
Panevėžys City Municipality
PanevėžysPanevėžys50 km2 (12,355.27 acres; 19.31 sq mi)95,2021,904.0
Panevėžys District Municipality
PanevėžysPanevėžys[nb 1]2,177 km2 (537,948.42 acres; 840.54 sq mi)37,17317.1
Pasvalys District Municipality
PanevėžysPasvalys1,289 km2 (318,518.84 acres; 497.69 sq mi)26,21320.3
Plungė District Municipality
TelšiaiPlungė1,105 km2 (273,051.45 acres; 426.64 sq mi)36,05232.6
Prienai District Municipality
KaunasPrienai1,032 km2 (255,012.75 acres; 398.46 sq mi)28,18127.3
Radviliškis District Municipality
ŠiauliaiRadviliškis1,634 km2 (403,770.19 acres; 630.89 sq mi)39,04323.9
Raseiniai District Municipality
KaunasRaseiniai1,573 km2 (388,696.77 acres; 607.34 sq mi)35,01322.3
Rietavas Municipality
TelšiaiRietavas586 km2 (144,803.75 acres; 226.26 sq mi)8,09613.8
Rokiškis District Municipality
PanevėžysRokiškis1,806 km2 (446,272.32 acres; 697.30 sq mi)32,19117.8
Skuodas District Municipality
KlaipėdaSkuodas911 km2 (225,113.00 acres; 351.74 sq mi)18,49820.3
Šakiai District Municipality
MarijampolėŠakiai1,454 km2 (359,291.22 acres; 561.39 sq mi)30,32120.9
Šalčininkai District Municipality
VilniusŠalčininkai1,493 km2 (368,928.33 acres; 576.45 sq mi)32,70521.9
Šiauliai City Municipality
ŠiauliaiŠiauliai81 km2 (20,015.54 acres; 31.27 sq mi)104,5691,291.0
Šiauliai District Municipality
ŠiauliaiŠiauliai[nb 1]1,807 km2 (446,519.42 acres; 697.69 sq mi)41,76723.1
Šilalė District Municipality
TauragėŠilalė1,188 km2 (293,561.19 acres; 458.69 sq mi)24,86920.9
Šilutė District Municipality
KlaipėdaŠilutė1,714 km2 (423,538.62 acres; 661.78 sq mi)41,81424.4
Širvintos District Municipality
VilniusŠirvintos906 km2 (223,877.48 acres; 349.81 sq mi)16,33318.0
Švenčionys District Municipality
VilniusŠvenčionys1,691 km2 (417,855.20 acres; 652.90 sq mi)25,71915.2
Tauragė District Municipality
TauragėTauragė1,179 km2 (291,337.24 acres; 455.21 sq mi)41,34135.1
Telšiai District Municipality
TelšiaiTelšiai1,439 km2 (355,584.64 acres; 555.60 sq mi)43,92230.5
Trakai District Municipality
VilniusTrakai1,207 km2 (298,256.20 acres; 466.03 sq mi)33,43727.7
Ukmergė District Municipality
VilniusUkmergė1,395 km2 (344,712.01 acres; 538.61 sq mi)36,91926.5
Utena District Municipality
UtenaUtena1,230 km2 (303,939.62 acres; 474.91 sq mi)40,45432.9
Varėna District Municipality
AlytusVarėna2,216 km2 (547,585.53 acres; 855.60 sq mi)23,52810.6
Vilkaviškis District Municipality
MarijampolėVilkaviškis1,262 km2 (311,846.99 acres; 487.26 sq mi)39,46531.3
Vilnius City Municipality
VilniusVilnius400 km2 (98,842.15 acres; 154.44 sq mi)542,6261,356.6
Vilnius District Municipality
VilniusVilnius[nb 1]2,129 km2 (526,087.36 acres; 822.01 sq mi)95,62044.9
Visaginas Municipality
UtenaVisaginas58 km2 (14,332.11 acres; 22.39 sq mi)20,249349.1
Zarasai District Municipality
UtenaZarasai1,331 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
  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.