One fifth of Latvia's population were at risk of poverty in 2019

Data published by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) December 22 show that 407 thousand persons or 21.6 % of the population of Latvia were at risk of poverty in 2019.

This is 1.3 percentage points less than in 2018.

 Disposable income of this share of population was below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold.

As disposable income of the population grew last year, at-risk-of-poverty threshold went up as well – to EUR 441 monthly in single person households (EUR 409 monthly in 2018). In households consisting of two adults with two children aged under 14 in 2019 at-risk-of-poverty threshold reached EUR 927 monthly (EUR 860 monthly in 2018).

The largest share of population at risk of poverty was registered in Latgale (35.9 %) and the smallest in Riga (15.9 %) and Pierīga (16.1 %). In Kurzeme 27.9 % of population were at risk of poverty, in Vidzeme – 25.3 % and in Zemgale 20.7 %.

At-risk-of-poverty rate has increased among families with children and stays stable among elderly population

At-risk-of-poverty rate in families with children has risen, compared to the previous years. Very rapidly at-risk-of-poverty rate has grown among families consisting of one adult with children reaching 30.6 % last year (since 2018 annual growth of 4.4 percentage points). Among families consisting of two adults with two children at-risk-of-poverty rate rose by 1.7 percentage points (from 11.1 % in 2018 to 12.8 % in 2019) and among families consisting of two adults and three and more children – by one percentage point (from 16.7 % in 2018 to 17.7 % in 2019). Among children aged under 17 at-risk-of-poverty rate rose by 1.3 percentage points – from 14.5 % in 2018 until 15.8 % in 2019.

The highest at-risk-of-poverty rate may still be observed among single elderly population aged 65 and over. In 2019, this share constituted 71.7 % (in 2018 those were 74.9 %). The second highest at-risk-of-poverty rate was registered among single persons aged 64 and under – 30.0 % (31.7 % in 2018).

The lowest at-risk-of-poverty rate in 2019 was recorded among working population (8.2 %). Significantly higher at-risk-of-poverty risk was observed among unemployed population (51.7 %) and pensioners (46.5 %).

Without social transfers 38.4 % of people would be at risk of poverty

Over the last years, influence of social transfers on the population income has slightly increased. In 2019, support received from social transfers reduced the share of people at risk of poverty by 16.8 percentage points. Without social transfers 38.4 % of people would be at risk of poverty. In 2018, social transfers diminished risk of poverty by 16.4 percentage points and in 2017 by 15.8 percentage points.

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