Out of this year’s 54,560 emigrants, 51,825 were citizens of Lithuania, while the total emigration figure for 2016 was 50,333, said the department.
The immigration numbers are also rising – a total of 26,410 immigrated by December, including 16,938 citizens of Lithuania. Meanwhile, the 2016 immigration totalled at 20,162.
The number of those who left in November was this year’s smallest so far, at 3,672. In the first months of the year, monthly emigration numbers were 6,000-7,000.
Some experts that the increase of emigration at the start of the year would be a temporary tendency, as some of the earlier emigrants may have registered emigration to avoid payment of the mandatory health insurance tax, while others may have rushed to Great Britain before the country imposes restrictions ahead of Brexit.
The Lithuanian population shrank from 3.7 million in 1990 to 2.8 million this year due to aging and emigration .