On 6 September 1919, a Department of General Statistics was established in Kaunas. Statistical divisions were also present at the contemporary Ministry of Communication and departments of Forest and Agriculture under the Ministry and Agriculture and State Assets. In 1921, the Central Statistical Bureau under the Ministry of Finance started functioning as an independent department. A Standing Statistical Commission, responsible for setting the patterns for statistical data collection and management and unification of the system for statistical work in various institutions, was established at the Central Statistical Bureau. Each institution intending to collect statistics had to submit a work plan to the Central Statistical Bureau, which then provided the inspected work plan for the approval of the Standing Statistical Commission. Because Klaipėda Region made up a separate autonomous unit, statistics in this region were managed on a different basis. In 1925, legal acts were adopted which provided for the harmonisation of the activity of the Central Statistical Bureau and Klaipėda Region Statistical Bureau. In 1929, the Central Statistical Bureau had six divisions: demographic, agriculture, industry and labour, foreign trade, economic conjuncture statistics divisions and an office. Communal and municipal statistics were under development. It was only Kaunas City Municipality that had an independently managed statistical bureau. Up to the middle of 1930, statistics of the Republic of Lithuania were managed according to the laws on the Central Statistical Bureau and that on the Standing Statistical Commission. However, these legal acts were too short and did not define the rights of these statistical offices. On 24 June 1930, a new Law on the Management of State Statistics was adopted. This law established that the Central Statistical Bureau would be the main executive body of State statistics. In 1930, for dealing with major statistical issues, a Statistical Council was established under the Central Statistical Bureau, which replaced the Standing Statistical Commission and dealt with annual statistical work plans, statistical work delegated to other institutions under public law, organisation of overall censuses, improvement of statistical methodology, organisation of conferences and other issues. Alongside the Central Statistical Bureau, official statistics were prepared by other institutions: the Railway Office managed railway statistics, Agricultural Chamber – agricultural accounts statistics, Ministry of Finance – budget statistics, Public Reporting Institution – credit institutions and cooperatives statistics, Ministry of Agriculture – forest statistics.
In 1940, a Soviet statistics development stage started. The Central Statistical Bureau in Kaunas was reorganised into a Central Statistical Bureau in the system of the Financial People's Commissariat in Vilnius; later, it was replaced by the National Economic Accounting Board, which in 1944 was renamed the Statistical Board and affiliated to the State Planning Committee of the Lithuanian SSR. From 1948, the Statistical Board was repeatedly reorganised – its name and subordination were changed. Finally, in 1987, the Central Statistical Board was reorganised into the National Statistical Committee of the Lithuanian SSR.
The Soviet period of statistics was characterised by the execution of the requirements of planned economy, exhaustive (census) surveys and mechanised calculation work. Statistical departments (statistical divisions, later – machine computation stations or centres) were established in all regions and cities and towns of republican subordination, and a statistical board was established in Vilnius. Statistics of certain areas were managed by ministries and other institutions, which, according to a set order, submitted aggregated data to the Central Statistical Board; these were data on exports and imports, law enforcement, crime, budget management, health care, general schools and pupils, trade union activity, etc.
After the restoration of independence in 1990, a new phase in Lithuanian statistics started. On 18 April 1990, under Resolution No 114 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the Department of Statistics to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Statistics Lithuania) was established; in 1993, the Law on Statistics of the Republic of Lithuania was adopted. Lithuanian statistics were reorganised taking into consideration the demands of the market economy.
Up to 2002, the system of Statistics Lithuania comprised 10 county statistical boards and 38 regional and city/town statistical divisions – independent legal units. Statistical data processing, information technology management and development was provided and typesetting services were provided by a public institution Statistikos centras (Statistical Centre) established by Statistics Lithuania. In 2005, this public institution was abolished, and its functions were taken over by Statistics Lithuania. In 2002–2004, a reform of regional statistical offices was carried out. From July 2004, the system of Statistics Lithuania comprised five regional statistical offices in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Panevėžys with respective administrative territorial units attached to them.
In 2004, Lithuanian statistics became a fully-fledged member of the European Statistical System (ESS).
In 2010, upon the reform of the public administration system, Statistics Lithuania became an agency of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania participating in the formation of State policy in the field of management of statistics, delegated to the Minister of Finance, and implementing it. Statistics Lithuania is headed by the Director General, who, upon the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, is appointed for four years and dismissed by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.
From 4 November 2010, the name of Statistics Lithuania was changed to the Lithuanian Department of Statistics.
On 1 July 2011, five regional statistical offices (independent legal entities) were abolished and reorganised into structural units of Statistics Lithuania – Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Panevėžys and Šiauliai data preparation divisions.
More demanding requirements for the quality of general government statistics were met by strengthening the production capacity in this field of statistics – namely by establishing a new Government Finance Statistics Division on 1 December 2012. For the said purpose, the National Accounts Division was divided into two – National Accounts and Government Finance Statistics – divisions, while the Financial Service Statistics Division was disbanded, and its functions were divided between the National Accounts, Enterprise Statistics, and Foreign Trade Statistics divisions. This structural reorganisation was carried out without increasing the number of positions – but by redistributing the tasks and functions of the above-mentioned divisions.
At present, the administrative structure of Statistics Lithuania is comprised of 37 divisions, out of which two-thirds perform special activity functions.
Lithuanian statistical system
Official statistics is an important part of a democratic society; they are necessary for political and economic decision-making at the national and EU levels, help monitor the implementation thereof, assess the progress achieved, familiarise the society with national economic, demographic and social processes, societal and environmental changes.
Document updated: 2014-08-19