Number of births drops to 100-year low in Latvia

Take note – story published 1 year and 3 months ago

The demographic challenge facing Latvia shows little sign of easing with provisional data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) and published February 14 showing that the number of births recorded in 2022 was the lowest for a century. 

In total 15 535 children were born in 2022, which represents 10.8 % or 1 885 children fewer than in 2021.

Compared to 2021 when due to the COVID-19 pandemic the greatest nuber of deaths in the past 20 years was registered, last year the number of deaths fell by 12.3 %. Before the pandemic, namely from 2012 to 2019, the death number tended to reduce, while in 2022, compared to 2019, it grew by 9.5 %.

However, the population of the country did increase slightly – but solely on account of nearly 40,000 refugees from Ukraine adding to the number. On January 1, 2023, the provisional number of inhabitants in Latvia was 1 million 891 thousand, which is 15.2 thousand people more than on January 1, 2022.

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Death rate double the birth rate for second year in a row

Natural increase in Latvia has been negative since 1990, however in 2022, just like a year ago, the death number was twice the birth number, with the gap between the two being 14 811. This was slightly narrower than the widest gap which was recorded in 2021 when deaths exceeded births by 17 180.      

In 2022, 12 110 marriages were registered, which is 7.9 % (882 marriages) more than a year ago. The number of marriages concluded last year has reached that recorded before pandemic when over a six-year period (from 2014 to 2019) more than 12 thousand marriages were registered annually. In comparison, in 2020 when public gatherings were restricted 10 702 marriages were registered.

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