Kaunas is a city in Lithuania, capital of the province of Samogitia. Officially, Kaunas is only the part of the agglomeration that is on the right bank of river Nemunas, while the boroughs on the left bank comprise the city of Aleksotas. Kaunas is also the capital of the Santaka region of Samogitia, while Aleksotas is capital of the Užnemunė region. Kaunas has a population of about 400,000 inhabitants, about 470,000 if including Aleksotas and all suburbs.
Kaunas, although an important trade city since medieval times, was not important administratively, as a part of the Trakai province. After the Second Great War and the re-establishment of a joint Venedic and Lithuanian state, Kaunas was attached to the re-created Samogitian province and was made its capital. During the mid 20th century, Samogitia struggled and Kaunas shared its fate, the population decreasing in the 70's, 80's and 90's primarily due to emmigration to industrial centers of Vilnius, Warsina and foreign countries. Successful reforms in Samogitia beginning in the late 90's permitted the rebirth of Kaunas as the technology capital of Lithuania. The University of Modern Sciences was established, unique in the world, and major annual computer technology exhibitions have attained international prestige. The law provides a good opportunity for newly established high-tech companies to settle in the region as well, with tax breaks. The immigration to Kaunas and Samogitia in general has seen a remarkable increase since 2000.
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