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From 2009 to 2010, Lithuania saw a drop in total immigration and a sharp increase in emigration parallel with steadily worsening labour market conditions. After falling 30% on an annual basis in 2009, total inflows declined by a further 20% in 2010, to 5 200 entries, including returning Lithuanian citizens, who represented 80% of the total inflow. The number of registered departures increased from 22 000 in 2009 to 83 600 in 2010. The 2010 figure was five times higher than the corresponding figures for 2004 and 2005. This increase may, however, include many previous emigrants who only now reported their departures, as deregistration from the population register became mandatory, to avoid compulsory health insurance payments. While unemployment levels have fallen in 2011, emigration continues, albeit at a lower level: in 2011, 53 900 departures were recorded. Official figures only reflect emigrants who leave the country for a period longer than one year and report their departure. According to estimations based on census data, undeclared emigration accounted, on average, for more than a half of total outflows in the period 2001‐10. In 2010 the net migration rate (based on the national registry) in Lithuania was ‐23.7 per 1 000 inhabitants, the lowest in the European Union (EU). Provisional data for 2011 suggest net migration of ‐11.8 per 1 000 inhabitants.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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