The Department of Regional and Urban Studies (DRUS) is a structural subunit of the Institute of Sociology at the Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences (LCSS), established on October 1, 2013 (then called the Department of Human Geography).
The main activity area of the DRUS is the research of geographical and demographical processes. The DRUS has been found on the basis of the Institute for Demographic Research and LSRC’s Division of Human Geography with a view to research and present to the academic community and Lithuanian people the main trends and specific characteristics of regional development and demographic processes in Lithuania and neighbouring countries. The emergence of research in the area of human geography is linked to the Division of Regional Geography which was set up in 1994 at the then Institute of Geography (director Ričardas Baubinas) with the main focus on regional development research in Lithuania. The research covered the regional characteristics of economic, rural, cultural, tourism, and urban development in the country. Before the establishment of the LSRC, demographic research activities of the IHGD were conducted at the Demographic Research Centre in the former Institute of Economics (director Vlada Stankūnienė) which later developed into the Institute of Demographic Research within the LSRC. During these years, the research covered the most important demographic developments in Lithuania with a primary focus on problematic areas. Research interests included changes in the demographic structure of the population, migration (emigration in particular), family, mortality and its causes, ageing and other topics.