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In 2019, population of Latvia dropped by 3.4 thousand people

Sigita Šulca, Statistics Latvia, Riga, 28.05.2020.Print version
Latest data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSB) show that at the beginning of 2020 population of Latvia accounted for 1 million 908 thousand people, which is 12.3 thousand people fewer than a year ago. In 2019, as a result of international long-term migration population of the country dropped by 3.4 thousand people, which is the lowest indicator recorded since 1989, whereas the negative natural increase resulted in reduction of 8.9 thousand people.

From 2008 to 2016, the number of emigrants was prevailing over that of immigrants, while as emigration reduced the negative natural increase recorded in the past three years exceeded the negative migration flow difference. Over the last three years, the total population of the country has been reducing slower – the decline registered last year accounted for 0.64%, compared to 0.74% in 2018 and 0.81% in 2017.


Last year, 18.8 thousand children were born (528 children fewer than in 2018), whereas 27.7 thousand people passed away (1 101 fewer than the year before). The number of deaths last year was the lowest over the past 47 years – last time the number of deaths was so low (27.3 thousand) in 1972. As the number of deaths declined, the negative natural increase has dropped and comprised 8.9 thousand (9.5 thousand – in 2018).




In 2019, 11.2 thousand people arrived in Latvia from other countries (three hundred more than in 2018), but 14.6 thousand left the country (1.2 thousand less). Out of the immigrants, 2.5 thousand people or 23% came from the European Union (EU) countries. As compared to 2018, the number of persons arrived was 10% larger. It must be noted that in the compilation of statistical data the United Kingdom is not included in the number of EU countries anymore. In 2019, 2.2 thousand persons or 19.6% of the total number of immigrants arrived from the United Kingdom (2.2 thousand – in 2018). The number of immigrants from CIS countries increased slightly – 4.3 thousand or 6% more than in 2018: 1.5 thousand arrived from Ukraine, 1.1 thousand – from Russia. 830 immigrants arrived from India last year (938 – in 2018).

In 2019, 5.1 thousand or 46% of immigrants were remigrants – citizens and non-citizens of Latvia, as well as people having other citizenship but who were born in Latvia. People not legally related to Latvia formed the rest part of the immigrants.


Out of the emigrants, 9.2 thousand people emigrated to the EU countries, which was 1.3% more than a year ago. Emigration to the United Kingdom fell by 30% in 2019 – 2.9 thousand emigrated (4.2 thousand – in 2018). One and a half thousand people departed to Germany, 400 – 500 people emigrated to Ireland, Norway and the Netherlands. Emigration to CIS countries also reduced by 23%. Citizens of Latvia constituted 72% of the emigrants (82% – in 2018).

Demography trends in Latvia; 2017–2019

 

2017

2018

2019

2018, as% compared to 2017

2019, as% compared to 2018

per 1 000
inhabitants

2018

2019

Population, at the end of the year

1 934 379

1 919 968

1 907 675

-0.7

-0.6

x

x

Marriages

13 150

13 058

12 861

-0.7

-1.5

6.8

6.7

Divorces

5 943

5 967

5 971

+0.4

+0.4

3.1

3.1

Births

20 828

19 314

18 786

-7.3

-2.7

10.0

9.8

Deaths

28 757

28 820

27 719

+0.2

-3.8

15.0

14.5

Immigration

9 916

10 909

11 223

+10.0

+2.9

5.7

5.8

Emigration

17 724

15 814

14 583

-10.8

-7.8

8.2

7.6


Population ageing still observed
The slight birth increase in 2013–2016 facilitated rise in the number of children and young people. At the beginning of 2020 the share of children aged 0–14 comprised 16.0% of the total number of population, which is slightly more than at the beginning of 2019 (0.1 percentage point or 108 persons). The share of people at working age continues to decline from – by 15.4 thousand or 1.3% and the number of population over working age still continues to grow – by 3.0 thousand or 0.7% in 2019. Their share in the total number of population has risen from 22.8% at the beginning of 2019 to 23.1% at the beginning of 20201.



In 2019, population decline was observed among all largest ethnicities in Latvia: number of Poles fell by 2.2%, of Lithuanians – by 1.8%, of Belarussians – by 2.2%, and of Russians – by 1.6%.  The number of Latvians dropped by 0.4%, however their share in the total population, regardless the total population decline, grew by 0.2 percentage points, constituting 62.5% at the beginning of 2020.

In respect to the citizenship, 86.3% were citizens of Latvia (86.1% at the beginning of 2019), 10.4% were non-citizens of Latvia (10.7%), 2.1% were citizens of Russia (2.2%) and 1.2% were citizens of other countries. 51% of the non-citizens of Latvia live in Riga, constituting 16% of the total Riga population. Out of all non-citizens of Latvia, 72% were aged 50 and over; the share of people having citizenship of other countries and belonging to this age group accounted for 62% and that of Latvians only for 37%.

The largest share of children was in Pierīga
In 2019, the number of children aged 0–14 rose only in Pierīga, however, their share in the total number of population in regions during a year has remained almost the same. The largest share of children and young people was in Pierīga region – 18.5% of the total number of population in regions, the smallest – in Latgale region – 13.7%. The share of children and young people in cities under state jurisdiction has varied from 18.4% in Jelgava to 14.5% in Jūrmala. Mārupe county was the youngest – 28.9% of the total number of population were aged below 14 years, but in Zilupe, Aglona, Nereta and Daugavpils county – only 10.4 – 10.9%.



The largest share of population of working age in the total number of population in regions was in Zemgale (61.2%), smaller – in Kurzeme (59.9%). The number of population at working age increased only in Pierīga – by 1 thousand, reduced the most in Riga – by 6 thousand and in Latgale – by 4 thousand. In cities under state jurisdiction the largest number of population at working age were in Riga (61.1% of the total number of population), the smallest – in Valmiera (58.6%), in counties – the largest in Baltinava (66.3%), the smallest in Strenči (56.1%).

In all regions more than one fifth of population was aged 63 and over (the most in Latgale – 25.3%, the least – in Pierīga (20.5%). The largest number of seniors was in Strenči county – 31.6% of population are aged 63 and over, the least in Mārupea county – 10.3%.

Only Pierīga population is growing
In 2019 the number of population increased only in Pierīga region – by 1.0% or 3.9 thousand. But the largest decline in the number of population was in Latgale region – by 1.6% or 4.3 thousand, in Vidzeme – by 1.2% (2.2 thousand), in Kurzeme – by 1.1% (2.7 thousand), in Zemgale – by 0.8% (1.9 thousand). In Riga the number of population fell by 0.8% or 5.1 thousand.

More than a half of Latvian population (53%) lived in Riga and Pierīga. During the last years a trend is observed when population of capital move to Pierīga.



The number of population has also reduced in seven out of nine cities under state jurisdiction,except of Jūrmala, where there were an increase of 0.7% or 362 people, and Jelgava – of 0.2% or 90 people. The largest drop in the number of population was observed in Ventspils – by 1.4% (471 people), in Riga – by 0.8% (5127), in Rēzekne – by 0.7% (207), in Daugavpils – by 0.7% (558), in Jēkabpils – by 0.7% (148), in Liepāja – by 0.6% (410), but the smallest – in Valmiera – by 0.3% (75). Except of Jūrmala, in other cities under state jurisdiction the number of deaths exceeded the number of births. Net migration was positive in Jēkabpils, Jelgava, Daugavpils and Valmiera.

Last year the number of population increased in 20 out of 110 counties,and 16 of them were Pierīga regions. Also small growth in the number of population was in Ozolnieki, Aknīste, Vecpiebalga and Līgatne county. In all 20 counties net migration was positive, but natural increase was positive in 11 counties. The largest increase in the number of population was in Stopiņi county (of 5.7% or 613 people).

Salaspils, Stopiņi and Mārupe counties were the most densely populated – 200 people per 1 km2 on average, but the smallest population density was in Rucava county in Kurzeme (3 persons per 1 km2) and in Rugāji county in Latgale (4 persons per 1 km2).

Population changes in counties in 2019, as %

Increase in population number

Decrease in population number

5.65 – 2.05

1.85 –

0.00

-0.02 –

-0.95

-1.05 –

-1.50

-1.53 –

-1.96

-2.16 –

-2.98

-3.05 –

-3.50

Stopiņi

Garkalne

Babīte

Mārupe

Saulkrasti

Ķekava

Carnikava

Ādaži

Ikšķile

Sēja

Sigulda

Limbaži

Aknīste

Engure

Olaine

Ozolnieki

Salaspils

Vecpiebalga

Līgatne

Ropaži

Inčukalns

Brocēni

Ogre

Skrīveri

Iecava

Amata

Rauna

Aizkraukle

Smiltene

Pāvilosta

Lielvārde

Cēsis

Grobiņa

Mālpils

Priekuļi

Beverīna

Krustpils

Kocēni

Tukums

Ventspils

Durbe

Krimulda

Salacgrīva

Talsi

Tērvete

Valka

Dobele

Ķegums

Jelgava

Līvāni

Kuldīga

Pārgauja

Kandava

Priekule

Rundāle

Baldone

Bauska

Gulbene

Naukšēni

Jaunjelgava

Burtnieki

Kārsava

Alsunga

Aizpute

Nīca

Baltinava

Jaunpils

Vārkava

Madona

Roja

Mazsalaca

Alūksne

Koknese

Vecumnieki

Jaunpiebalga

Rucava

Viesīte

Rūjiena

Saldus

Viļāni

Dundaga

Preiļi

Pļaviņas

Varakļāni

Balvi

Vaiņode

Mērsrags

Rugāji

Ludza

Rēzekne

Ape

Auce

Riebiņi

Daugavpils

Skrunda

Strenči

Viļaka

Krāslava

Zilupe

Nereta

Aglona

Ērgļi

Sala

Aloja

Cibla

Ilūkste

Cesvaine

Jēkabpils

Dagda

Lubāna

 

For comparison, here is some vital statistics for the Baltic states: at the beginning of 2020 population of Estonia accounted for 1 million 329 thousand people (rise of 4.2 thousand, compared to 2019). Natural increase in Estonia was negative as well – 1.3 thousand, while international long-term net migration was positive – 5.5 thousand.2


Provisional population of Lithuania accounted for 2 million 794 thousand at the beginning of 2020 (increase of the population number – 0.1 thousand). In Lithuania natural increase was negative as well – 10.7 thousand, while international long-term net migration was positive – 10.8 thousand.3


Annual population estimate was drawn up based on the data of the Population Register of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs and other administrative data sources. As e-services and eGovernment in public institutions increased, use of administrative data provides opportunity to gain objective and reliable information not only on population number and demographic composition, but also on other Population and Housing Census indicators.




Precisely after a year – on 28 May 2021 results of the Census 2021 will be published, which will be compiled from administrative data sources available in Latvia. Until that it is planned to start publishing data on several Population and Housing Census indicators – in summer 2020 on composition of family, but in autumn on education acquired by population.


Information on population number in administrative territories at the beginning of 2020, as well as data on key demographic indicators are available in the CSB database section „Population”.


Methodological explanations

Natural increase – the difference between the number of births and the number of deaths in a given period.

Net migration – difference between the total number of persons arriving in the country for usual residence for at least one year and total number of persons departing from it for usual residence or for at least one year.

Usually resident population in main age groups is calculated based on the age in full years in line with the working and retirement age set by the Latvian legislation. At the beginning of 2020, working age constituted 15–62 years (incl.) and retirement age – 63 years and over.

Press release published on Statistics Estonia website on 12 May https://www.stat.ee/news-release-2020-059

Statistics Lithuania website https://osp.stat.gov.lt






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