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Administrative divisions of Lithuania


The current administrative division was created in 1994 and modified in 2000.


Lithuania is divided into:

10 counties (Lithuanian: plural – apskritys, singular – apskritis), each named after their principal city (see: Counties of Lithuania). These apskritys should not be confused with apskritys that existed in the interwar period.

the counties are subdivided into 60 municipalities (Lithuanian: plural – savivaldybės, singular – savivaldybė). There are three types of municipalities:

43 district municipalities (Lithuanian: rajono savivaldybė). They roughly correspond to districts that existed under the Soviet rule. Before 1994 they were known just as districts and still are commonly referred to as districts.

The word "municipality" was added in effort to diminish the Soviet heritage (districts were created as raions throughout the Soviet Union);

8 city municipalities (Lithuanian: miesto savivaldybė). They are situated around major or important cities.

In common language they are referred to as just cities or as just municipalities (because word "municipality" in Lithuanian language is associated more with cities and city rights than with districts);

9 municipalities. They were all established after 1994 and they do not have the word "district" associated with them.

municipalities consist of over 500 elderships (Lithuanian: plural – seniūnijos, singular – seniūnija).

Each municipality's government is elected in democratic elections of municipality councils.

The elections used to take place every three years, but now they are held every four years. The municipality mayors are elected by municipality councils.

Also, municipality councils appoint elders to be in charge of an eldership. Currently it is proposed that both mayors and elders should be elected in direct elections.

Counties are ruled by apskrities viršininkas (officially translated as "governor") who is appointed by the central government in Vilnius.

Their primary duty is to ensure that the municipalities obey the laws of Lithuania and the constitution.

They do not have great powers vested in them, and so it is suggested that 10 counties are too much for Lithuania (the smallest county has only four municipalities).

It is proposed to replace the counties with four or five lands, a new administrative unit, that would be decided according to the ethnographic regions of Lithuania and based on the five major cities.