For centuries, the southeastern shores of the Baltic Sea were inhabited by various Baltic tribes.In the 1230s, the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, the King of Lithuania, and the first unified Lithuanian state, the Kingdom of Lithuania, was created on 6 July 1253.In the great Battle of the Vorskla River in 1399, the combined forces of Tokhtamysh and Vytautas were defeated by the Mongols.
The first written mention of Lithuania is found in a medieval German manuscript, the Annals of Quedlinburg, in an entry dated 9 March 1009.
It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) to the southwest.
Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.8 million people as of 2017, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. The official language, Lithuanian, along with Latvian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family.
It is also a member of the Nordic Investment Bank, and part of Nordic-Baltic cooperation of Northern European countries.
The United Nations Human Development Index lists Lithuania as a "very high human development" country.