Official emigration rate slows a bit, but remains higher than last year

Air port
AFP / Scanpix

According to figures provided to BNS by Statistics Lithuania, 4,607 people emigrated from the country last month, a decline of 2,288 people from February, but an increase of 1,129 from March 2016.

Some 1,790 people immigrated to Lithuania in March.

Lithuania last year lost around 30,000 people due to emigration to Western Europe and the pace of declared emigration quickened further at the start of this year.

Some experts call it a temporary trend, noting that some people probably rushed to report their departure to the authorities in order to be exempted from the obligation to pay the compulsory health insurance tax. Brexit is seen as another possible reason for the rise.

Polls suggest that most emigrants leave Lithuania for Western Europe in search of higher pay. Some experts say that emigration is also driven by high income inequality.

The Lithuanian population shrank from 3.7 million in 1990 to 2.83 million this year due to ageing and emigration.

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