Residents of 'Pierīga' zone have the longest life expectancy at 71.3 years for men and 80.4 years for women.
The shortest lives are in Latgale – 67.1 years for men and 77.2 years for women, concluded the demographic review published by the CSB which underlined that longer life expectancy is characteristic of regions with higher numbers of young people and lower mortality.
In 2022, the average life expectancy of newborns in Latvia was 74.4 years. For men it was just 69.4 years, and for women 79.3 years.
Life expectancy increased by an average of 1.3 years during the year (likely as a result of a post-COVID rebound), while in the regions of Latvia, life expectancy increased the most in Latgale – by 2.5 years, followed by Zemgale with an increase of 2.1 years, Kurzeme and Rīga by 1 year, Pierīga by 0.9 years and Vidzeme by 0.3 years.
As previously reported by LSM, Latvia's demographic trends are among the least sustainable in the European Union and include a huge difference in life expectancy for men and women, while the number of "healthy life years" is the lowest in the EU.
Births at lowest level in a hundred years
In 2022, 15,954 children were born in Latvia – 1,466 fewer or 8.4% less than in 2021, which is the lowest figure in the last hundred years. The majority of children were born in Rīga (30.1% of the total number of births) and Pierīga (24.2%).
The highest birth rates in 2022 were in Pierīga and Vidzeme regions – 46 births per 1,000 women of reproductive age (15 to 49 years), the lowest birth rates were in Rīga itself (35 births per 1,000 women).
The indicator characterizing the change of generations - the total birth rate - in Latvia in 2022 was 1.47, which is far from the desired number of children (2.1-2.2) for a normal change of generations. The last time the total birth rate was 2.2 in Latvia was in 1986-1987. when 42 thousand children were born annually, which was the highest number of births since 1946. In the European Union in 2021, the total birth rate was 1.53 (ranging from 1.13 in Malta to 1.84 in France).
During the last year, the total birth rate has decreased in the regions, decreasing most in Pieriga - by 0.19, but increased only in the Vidzeme region (by 0.05).
Demographic trends in Latvia remains a serious cause for concern.