Almost a quarter of Latvia's population remains at risk of poverty

Almost a quarter of Latvia's population was at risk of poverty in 2018, according to data released by the Central Statistical Bureau January 16.

Data from the survey conducted by the CSB show that 434,000 persons or 22.9 % of the population of Latvia were at risk of poverty in 2018 – just 0.4 percentage points less than in 2017 with the reduction largely accounted for by an increase in the minimum wage from EUR 380 in 2017 to EUR 430 in 2018 plus changes in legislation on social benefits and changes in income tax application.

At risk of poverty rate in Latvia

The at-risk-of-poverty rate is the share of persons with equivalised disposable income below 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable income.

The largest share of population at risk of poverty was registered in Latgale (40.4 %) and the smallest in Pierīga and Riga (14.4 % and 16.1 %, respectively). In Vidzeme 34.6 % of population were at risk of poverty, in Kurzeme 27.0 % and in Zemgale 21.7 %.

In 2018, as the disposable income of the population grew, at-risk-of-poverty threshold went up as well – to EUR 409 monthly in single person households (EUR 367 monthly in 2017) and to EUR 860 monthly in households consisting of two adults with two children aged under 14 (EUR 770 monthly in 2017).

The highest at-risk-of-poverty rate is still among the single elderly population aged 65 and over. In 2018, this share constituted 74.9 % (in 2017 those were 74.0 %). The second highest at-risk-of-poverty rate was registered among single persons aged 64 and under – 31.7 % (31.0 % in 2017).

More information on poverty and social exclusion risks is available in the informative leaflet People at Risk of Poverty and Social Exclusion in Latvia in 2018 (in Latvian) and CSB database section Monetary poverty and income inequality.

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