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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 16.01.2019, 12:41

Latvian Statistics Bureau starts external migration survey

Statistics Latvia, 04.12.2017.Print version
The Central Statistics Bureau (CSB) has launched a survey on external migration to find out how accurate the official population statistics are and to what extent they cover migration flows outside Latvia, LETA was told at the CSB.

Using a random sampling method, the CSB selected 20,000 homes in Latvia, 7,055 of which were located in Riga.’


By surveying the addresses included in the survey, the CSB will find out who lived in these homes a year ago and who have emigrated from the country, was well who have been living there this year and who arrived from or emigrated to other countries. The survey questionnaire will cover also questions on languages – mother tongue, language mostly used at home and knowledge of foreign languages.


Each address included in the survey will be surveyed twice – at the end of this year and next fall.


The persons included in the sample will receive a CSB letter containing more detailed information about the survey. From 1 to 17 December, respondents will have an opportunity to complete questionnaire online at will take only five minutes. Afterwards, CSB interviewers will start their work – take telephone and face-to-face interviews of respondents that due to some reason were not able to complete questionnaire online. Interviewers will be engaged in the survey until March 15.


"It will take only few minutes to complete the questionnaire, but will contribute significantly to the production of statistics on population of Latvia," said CSB head Aija Zigure.


Since the Population and Housing Census 2000, Latvia population has declined by 427,000, according to CSB data.


The size of the population has been changing because of negative natural increase and migration. In total, 276,000 people, or 11.6% of the population Latvia had in 2000, have emigrated.


Of all the people who lived in Riga in 2000, 57% still live in the capital, 9% live in another place in Latvia, while 13% have emigrated to another country.


Over the past 17 years, the average population of Latvia has declined by 18%; the sharpest drop among the cities under state jurisdiction was recorded in Daugavpils and Rezekne where the populations have shrunk by 27.1% and 27.7%, respectively. The population of Riga has decreased by 15.9% from 2000.


The CSB draws up a population estimate annually, including into it statistics on international migration – the number of both emigrants and immigrants. Since 2012, the annual population estimates are based on the Population Register data and information from other administrative sources.

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