With the country's demographic challenges an oft-discussed topic, the 144=page document should provide plenty for policymakers and social scientists to chew over.
The report can be read and downloaded in full HERE. Or via the attachment included in this news story. It is bilingual, including all sections in both Latvian and English.
LV Demographics 2017.pdfDownload
The headline figures are not encouraging.
"Latvia's population keeps declining. During the past seven years (since the beginning of 2010), population number in the country has diminished by 170 thousand, and at the beginning of 2017 it comprised 1 million 950 thousand.
"Population decrease rate in 2016 constituted 0.96 %, compared to 2.16 % in 2010. In 2016, as the number of deaths exceeded the number of births, Latvia population reduced by 6.6 thousand, while because of the long-term migration – by 12.2 thousand. Since 1991, natural increase in Latvia has been negative."
Though Latvians often like to think of themselves as a nation of rural dwellers, the truth is otherwise.
"At the beginning of 2017, Latvia's urban population accounted for 1 million 332 thousand (68 %) and rural population for 618 thousand. Riga residents (641.4 thousand) comprised 32.9 % of the total population – one of the highest indicators in Europe. Over the seven years, the number of population in urban areas has dropped by 7.4 % and in rural areas – by 9.4 %. At the beginning of 2017, population density in Latvia constituted 30 persons per 1 km2 (in 1990–1992 – 41). The lowest population density was recorded in Rucava and Rugāji county – 4 persons per 1 km2."
62% of the population was classed as Latvian.
There remain 222,000 "non-citizens" resident in the country, plus 56,000 foreigners and 176 stateless individuals. Despite the debate about refugees and immigrants to the country, the number of foreigners resident in Latvia was actually down very slightly in 2017 compared to 2016.
42,000 of the foreigners are Russian citizens. In contrast 495,000 are classed as of Russian ethnicity (as against 1.2 million ethnic Latvians). Other major ethnic groups are Belarusians (64,000), Ukrainians (43,000) and Poles (40,000).
At the other end of the scale, just 157 ethnic Livs remain.
"At the beginning of 2017, Latvians living in Riga, Daugavpils and Rēzekne accounted for less than half of the city population, moreover in Daugavpils the share comprised only 19.8 %. The highest share of Latvians was recorded in Valmiera city (83.9 %) and Vidzeme region (86.9 %), whereas the lowest in Latgale region (45.7 %)."
There are plenty more interesting facts to be gleaned from the data.