The Growth of Municipal Administrations versus the Demographic Decline

Although the demographic decline in Lithuania has lasted for over two decades, municipal administrations continue to expand. Since 2011, the ranks of the municipal administrative personnel have grown by 4%. This makes little sense, given that the population declined by 4% in the same period.

This comparative analysis of municipalities demonstrates a connection between the size of a municipality (measured by the number of inhabitants) and the number of administrative personnel per 1,000 inhabitants. Since a certain number of administrative staff is necessary to ensure basic municipal function, this ratio is higher in smaller municipalities. Therefore, a decrease in the number of administrative staff is recommended for Klaipėda District, Mažeikiai, Šilutė, Telšiai, Radviliškis, Ukmergė, Pasvalys, Lazdijai, Ignalina, Skuodas and Pagėgiai municipalities that have a relatively high number of administrative personnel compared to that of the other similar size municipalities.

Since 2011, the number of administrative personnel per 1,000 inhabitants has grown in virtually all Lithuanian municipalities. The biggest growth is observed in Ukmergė, Klaipėda, Akmenė and Skuodas municipalities. This is the result of both demographic decline and growth in municipal administrations. Therefore, the organisational structures should be reconsidered in the municipalities with the biggest growth in the municipal administrations. These are the municipalities of Akmenė, Birštonas, Druskininkai, Jonava, Jurbarkas, Klaipėda, Marijampolė, Mažeikiai, Tauragė, Trakai, Ukmergė and Utena.

However, a reduction in administration and an increase in efficiency should not constitute mere redundancies. These complex decisions should delineate clearly defined areas of activities for each of the departments, staff education and training, regular monitoring of the organisational structure, etc.

Download the policy brief (in English) The Growth of Municipal Administrations versus the Demographic Decline