20 to 30% of Latvians living abroad want to return

Latvian emigrants, just below retirement age and with children, are the ones who think about coming back to the country the most, according to surveys by the European Latvian Association (ELA). 

While 20 to 30% of Latvians living abroad would like to return, the rate is much higher among people just under retirement age, reaching 70% of the surveyed people, said ELA vice-chairwoman Elīna Pinto in an interview with Latvian Radio February 6.

"The second group is families with little children who are in the process of choosing in which country and which culture to educate and bring up their children," she said.

"These are the groups that are simplest to address and could bring the best results," said Pinto.

The online survey, carried out December 28, 2017 to January 3, 2018, encompassed 110 people from 7 countries. The median age of the respondents was 49.8 years, of whom 28% were men and 72% women.  

The Latvian Foreign Ministry is working on a law that would help people who want to return to Latvia. It is based on research by the University of Latvia.

ELA wants a say as it's familiar with the problems migrants face in everyday life. The matters ELA wants to put on the agenda include double-taxation of diaspora pensions and others. In the aforementioned survey, 88.9% of the respondents said they wouldn't want to return to Latvia if their retirement benefits, which they earned abroad, were double-taxed in Latvia.

About 370,000 Latvians are living abroad, of which 250,000 in Europe. 

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