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Municipalities of Lithuania

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Map of the European Union with Lithuania highlighted in green
Location of Lithuania in the European Union
Lithuanian municipalities and elderships map

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).

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 used to be a member of the council until 2023,[4] is elected directly by the residents using the two-round system since 2015 reforms.[5] Before then, the mayors were elected by the municipal councils.

The largest municipality by population in Lithuania is Vilnius City Municipality with 593,436 residents, home to one fifth (20.7%) of the country's population. The smallest municipality by population is Neringa Municipality with 4,173 (0.1%) residents.[6]

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

Municipalities are established to perform certain functions provided by law. According to the abovementioned Republic of Lithuania Law on Local Self-Government, the functions of municipalities are "functions related to local government, public administration and provision of public services defined by the Constitution and attributed to municipalities by this and other laws". 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. A map divided into ten sections all filled in with a different colour and further subdivided into subsections

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

Municipalities

As of January 1, 2024.[7]

Municipality Capital[8] County Region Area[7] Populations Density
A coat of arms depicting orange tools on a white background on the top and an orange sun on a dark green background on the bottom
Akmenė District Municipality Naujoji Akmenė Šiauliai Žemaitija 844 km2 (326 sq mi) 19,126 22.66
A coat of arms depicting orange tools on a white background on the top and an orange sun on a dark green background on the bottom
Alytus City Municipality Alytus Alytus Dzūkija 40 km2 (15 sq mi) 51,351 1,284
A coat of arms depicting three flowers that have red petals, green stalks, and green leaves all sprouting from green earth
Alytus District Municipality Alytus Alytus Dzūkija 1,403 km2 (542 sq mi) 25,464 18.15
A coat of arms depicting a brown bridge rising up out of a blue body of water into a blue sky with white clouds
Anykščiai District Municipality Anykščiai Utena Aukštaitija 1,764 km2 (681 sq mi) 22,372 12.68
A coat of arms depicting a sea creature with sharp teeth, one protruding bottom tooth, and a blowhole spewing water
Birštonas Municipality Birštonas Kaunas Dzūkija 122 km2 (47 sq mi) 4,087 33.50
A coat of arms depicting a white flag with a black bird on it with a yellow beak and yellow claws all on a yellow background
Biržai District Municipality Biržai Panevėžys Aukštaitija 1,476 km2 (570 sq mi) 22,111 14.98
A coat of arms depicting three golden crowns with five spikes protruding from their tops all on a blue background
Druskininkai Municipality Druskininkai Alytus Dzūkija 453 km2 (175 sq mi) 20,103 44.38
A coat of arms depicting three yellow, diagonal lines zig-zagging from the bottom left to the top right on a grey background
Elektrėnai Municipality Elektrėnai Vilnius Dzūkija 509 km2 (197 sq mi) 24,745 48.61
A coat of arms depicting three white flowers lined up vertically with four yellow seeds surrounding each all on a blue background
Ignalina District Municipality Ignalina Utena Aukštaitija 1,441 km2 (556 sq mi) 13,814 9.59
A coat of arms depicting a white bird with wings outspread, a red beak, and red feet all on a dark blue background
Jonava District Municipality Jonava Kaunas Aukštaitija 943 km2 (364 sq mi) 41,489 44.00
A coat of arms depicting an angel in full body armour and wings outspread while standing on a green dragon with a twisted tail
Joniškis District Municipality Joniškis Šiauliai Aukštaitija 1,151 km2 (444 sq mi) 20,289 17.63
A coat of arms depicting three grey fleurs-de-lis, two directly across from each other at the top and one on the bottom, all on a red background
Jurbarkas District Municipality Jurbarkas Tauragė Žemaitija 1,506 km2 (581 sq mi) 25,443 16.89
A coat of arms depicting four grey horses with red eyes galloping both to the left and to the right all on a black background
Kaišiadorys District Municipality Kaišiadorys Kaunas Aukštaitija 1,087 km2 (420 sq mi) 29,062 26.74
A coat of arms depicting a grey castle on a red background on the left and a blue eye in a yellow triangle on the right
Kalvarija Municipality Kalvarija Marijampolė Suvalkija 440 km2 (170 sq mi) 9,734 22.12
A coat of arms depicting a white bull with an angry expression and a golden cross protruding from its head all on a red background
Kaunas City Municipality Kaunas Kaunas Aukštaitija 157 km2 (61 sq mi) 304,198 1,938
A coat of arms depicting a grey bull's head with a golden cross protruding from the top all on a red crest on a blue background
Kaunas District Municipality Kaunas Kaunas Aukštaitija 1,495 km2 (577 sq mi) 106,277 71.09
A coat of arms depicting six yellow stars in a diagonal line running from the bottom left to the top right all on a black background Kazlų Rūda Municipality Kazlų Rūda Marijampolė Suvalkija 555 km2 (214 sq mi) 10,835 19.52
A coat of arms depicting a black wing attached to a black tallon holding a white horseshoe attached to three yellow spurs Kėdainiai District Municipality Kėdainiai Kaunas Aukštaitija 1,677 km2 (647 sq mi) 45,923 27.38
A coat of arms depicting a white wheel on a light blue background at the top and three white leaves on a green background at the bottom Kelmė District Municipality Kelmė Šiauliai Žemaitija 1,705 km2 (658 sq mi) 24,347 14.28
A coat of arms depicting a golden castle with three turrets surrounded with four golden stars all on a red background Klaipėda City Municipality Klaipėda Klaipėda Prūsija 99 km2 (38 sq mi) 159,396 1,610
A coat of arms depicting a sword with a gold hilt and a silver blade penetrating a green wreath all on a red background Klaipėda District Municipality Klaipėda Klaipėda Prūsija 1,340 km2 (520 sq mi) 67,280 50.21
A coat of arms depicting a woman clothed in blue and brown wearing a golden crown and carrying a baby all on a grey background Kretinga District Municipality Kretinga Klaipėda Žemaitija 989 km2 (382 sq mi) 37,433 37.85
A coat of arms depicting a black, six-pointed star on a golden background on the bottom and grey swirls on a blue background on the top Kupiškis District Municipality Kupiškis Panevėžys Aukštaitija 1,080 km2 (420 sq mi) 15,765 14.60
A coat of arms depicting a golden moose with large antlers and a protruding red tongue hovering over three black keys Lazdijai District Municipality Lazdijai Alytus Dzūkija 1,306 km2 (504 sq mi) 17,201 13.17
A coat of arms depicting a man in full body armour riding a brown horse that is trampling a black dragon all on a yellow background Marijampolė Municipality Marijampolė Marijampolė Suvalkija 755 km2 (292 sq mi) 54,590 72.77
A coat of arms depicting a golden arrow with a zig-zag in the middle of it pulled back on a golden bow all on a blue background Mažeikiai District Municipality Mažeikiai Telšiai Žemaitija 1,219 km2 (471 sq mi) 51,909 42.58
A coat of arms depicting a golden key on a red background at the top and three blue birds on a white background at the bottom Molėtai District Municipality Molėtai Utena Aukštaitija 1,367 km2 (528 sq mi) 16,517 11.82
A coat of arms depicting a white "N" on a blue background at the bottom and a series of black and white shapes at the top Neringa Municipality Nida Klaipėda Prūsija 90 km2 (35 sq mi) 4,265 47.39
A coat of arms depicting a grey bird with a golden eye and wings outstretched holding a golden key all on a green background Pagėgiai Municipality Pagėgiai Tauragė Prūsija 536 km2 (207 sq mi) 7,059 13.17
A coat of arms depicting a yellow windmill on a red crest hovering over a black bridge all on a yellow background Pakruojis District Municipality Pakruojis Šiauliai Aukštaitija 1,315 km2 (508 sq mi) 17,870 13.59
A coat of arms depicting a circle for which the boundary is itself made up of beige circles all under a silver crown on a blue background Palanga City Municipality Palanga Klaipėda Žemaitija 79 km2 (31 sq mi) 18,066 228.7
A coat of arms depicting a red castle with black double doors, two black windows, and one central tower all standing on black ground Panevėžys City Municipality Panevėžys Panevėžys Aukštaitija 50 km2 (19 sq mi) 86,599 1,732
A coat of arms depicting two grey sheaves of wheat on a blue background at the top and a red plowshare on a grey background at the bottom Panevėžys District Municipality Panevėžys Panevėžys Aukštaitija 2,177 km2 (841 sq mi) 35,378 16.25
A coat of arms depicting the black head of a bull with a golden vine entangled in its black horns and a golden ring protruding from its nose Pasvalys District Municipality Pasvalys Panevėžys Aukštaitija 1,289 km2 (498 sq mi) 21,930 17.01
A coat of arms depicting the Eye of Providence with a blue iris encapsulated in a golden triangle surrounded in golden rays all on a blue background Plungė District Municipality Plungė Telšiai Žemaitija 1,105 km2 (427 sq mi) 33,042 29.90
A coat of arms depicting a man in full body armour riding a brown horse that is tramplinga green dragon spewing red flames from its mouth Prienai District Municipality Prienai Kaunas Suvalkija 1,032 km2 (398 sq mi) 24,675 23.91
A coat of arms depicting a silver horse that is rearing and neighing all on a dark green background bordered by a thin silver line Radviliškis District Municipality Radviliškis Šiauliai Aukštaitija 1,634 km2 (631 sq mi) 34,302 20.99
A coat of arms depicting a golden lynx with black spots, a red tongue, white teeth, and white claws standing on its back paws on green turf Raseiniai District Municipality Raseiniai Kaunas Žemaitija 1,573 km2 (607 sq mi) 29,769 18.92
A coat of arms depicting a golden lion holding a silver-bladed sword in its mouth with a golden hilt and standing on green turf all on a blue background Rietavas Municipality Rietavas Telšiai Žemaitija 586 km2 (226 sq mi) 7,115 12.14
A coat of arms divided into four sections, the top left and bottom right of which are red, the bottom left of which is blue, and the top right of which is golden Rokiškis District Municipality Rokiškis Panevėžys Aukštaitija 1,806 km2 (697 sq mi) 27,288 15.11
A coat of arms depicting a grey castle with three towers topped by crosses with a human head on the front door all on a blue background Skuodas District Municipality Skuodas Klaipėda Žemaitija 911 km2 (352 sq mi) 15,201 16.69
A coat of arms depicting two grey sheaves of wheat on a red background on the left and six black, curved lines on a grey background on the right Šakiai District Municipality Šakiai Marijampolė Suvalkija 1,454 km2 (561 sq mi) 25,603 17.61
A coat of arms depicting a golden key overlapping a silver key on a blue background at the top and three golden nuts on a red background on the bottom Šalčininkai District Municipality Šalčininkai Vilnius Dzūkija 1,493 km2 (576 sq mi) 29,888 20.02
A coat of arms depicting a black bear with a silver collar on a red background on the left and a blue eye in a grey triangle on the right
Šiauliai City Municipality Šiauliai Šiauliai Žemaitija 81 km2 (31 sq mi) 110,461 1,364
A coat of arms depicting an angry, grey bear with yellow claws and a long, red tongue gripping a yellow axe in its paws all on a blue background Šiauliai District Municipality Šiauliai Šiauliai Žemaitija 1,807 km2 (698 sq mi) 40,565 22.45
A coat of arms depicting five red leaves in a straight, horizontal row on a grey background at the top and five grey leaves on a red background at the bottom Šilalė District Municipality Šilalė Tauragė Žemaitija 1,188 km2 (459 sq mi) 20,861 17.56
A coat of arms depicting a grey boat hovering over two partitions of grey water that are themselves hovering over a grey horn all on a green-and-black background Šilutė District Municipality Šilutė Klaipėda Prūsija 1,714 km2 (662 sq mi) 38,331 22.36
A coat of arms depicting a silver-bladed sword with a golden hilt standing erect between the silver antlers of a silver moose head Širvintos District Municipality Širvintos Vilnius Aukštaitija 906 km2 (350 sq mi) 14,668 16.19
A coat of arms depicting a silver fish swimming to the right on the top and another fish swimming to the left on the bottom all on a blue background Švenčionys District Municipality Švenčionys Vilnius Aukštaitija 1,691 km2 (653 sq mi) 21,795 12.89
A coat of arms depicting a rounded, silver horn hung up by a rounded, silver strap all on a solid red background bordered by a black line Tauragė District Municipality Tauragė Tauragė Žemaitija 1,179 km2 (455 sq mi) 37,215 31.56
A coat of arms depicting a bishop in brown robes with a brown mitre on his head surrounded by a golden halo looking at another man Telšiai District Municipality Telšiai Telšiai Žemaitija 1,439 km2 (556 sq mi) 38,852 27.00
A coat of arms depicting a man in full body armour holding a white spear in his right hand and a red-and-yellow shield in his left hand Trakai District Municipality Trakai Vilnius Dzūkija 1,207 km2 (466 sq mi) 34,595 28.66
A coat of arms depicting an open book with a red rose on one page and a red bull on the other all hovering over a red heart with a building in the background Ukmergė District Municipality Ukmergė Vilnius Aukštaitija 1,395 km2 (539 sq mi) 34,023 24.39
A coat of arms depicting a golden horseshoe hovering over a white, 8-point star all on a blue background bordered by a thin, black line Utena District Municipality Utena Utena Aukštaitija 1,230 km2 (470 sq mi) 39,671 32.25
A coat of arms depicting a golden scarab with wings and legs outstretched flying over six purple flowers all on a blue background Varėna District Municipality Varėna Alytus Dzūkija 2,216 km2 (856 sq mi) 20,082 9.06
A coat of arms depicting a large, red fleur-de-lis that has a horizontal symmetry axis all on a blue background bordered by a black line Vilkaviškis District Municipality Vilkaviškis Marijampolė Suvalkija 1,262 km2 (487 sq mi) 33,906 26.87
A coat of arms depicting a white man with a white cape holding a golden staff and giving a ride to a white, golden-haloed child on his shoulder Vilnius City Municipality Vilnius Vilnius Dzūkija 400 km2 (150 sq mi) 602,430 1,506
A coat of arms depicting a man in full body armour riding a black horse and carrying a white spear with a golden blade in his right hand Vilnius District Municipality Vilnius Vilnius Dzūkija 2,129 km2 (822 sq mi) 106,197 49.88
A coat of arms depicting a grey bird with a long, twisting neck, a yellow, pointy beak, and long yellow legs all on a dark blue background Visaginas Municipality Visaginas Utena Aukštaitija 58 km2 (22 sq mi) 19,584 337.7
A coat of arms depicting a grey animal with the body of a fish and the head of a deer on a blue background at the top and a sword on the bottom Zarasai District Municipality Zarasai Utena Aukštaitija 1,331 km2 (514 sq mi) 14,368 10.79

See also

Notes and references

Notes
References
  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. ^ a b c 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. ^ Skėrytė, Jūratė (14 March 2023). "Apžvalga: naujai išrinktiems merams – didesni įgaliojimai". LRT (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 20 March 2024.
  5. ^ "Law on elections to municipal councils". The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Resident population on 1 July". osp.stat.gov.lt. 2023-08-07.
  7. ^ a b "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 1 March 2024.
  8. ^ 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.

Sources

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Municipalities of Lithuania
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