Emigration from Latvia rising again, data show

Emigration from Latvia to other countries appears to be on the upswing this year after slowing in 2007, according to data provided by the Central Statistical Bureau in Rīga. At the same time, immigration continues to increase, although the net result is still a loss in population.

In the first six months of this year, 2,752 persons emigrated from Latvia compared to 2,110 during the same period in 2007, an increase of 30.4 percent.

Emigration from Latvia has been an up and down affair for the past decade. The most recent spike in emigration was in 2006—two years after Latvia joined the European Union—when a total of 5,252 people left the country. Last year, a total of 4,183 persons emigrated, but if the trend recorded in the first half of this year continues, the final number for 2008 could be higher again.

On the other hand, immigration to Latvia in the first half of this year jumped more than 33 percent over the same period in 2007. From January through June of last year, 1,410 persons came to live in Latvia. Through June of this year, 1,878 had immigrated.

From 1998 through 2003, immigration to Latvia declined steadily. But in 2004 the trend reversed. Last year, a total of 3,541 came to live in Latvia, an increase of 26.4 percent over 2006, when 2,801 persons immigrated to the country.

During the first half of this year, the difference between emigration and immigration resulted in a net loss of 874 persons, according to the Central Statistical Bureau. The net loss for all of 2007 was just 642 persons.

The population of Latvia in June stood at 2.266 million.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

2 thoughts on “Emigration from Latvia rising again, data show

  1. Ar pa’rsteigumu lasu par latvies’iem kas doma’ ka cita’s zeme’s ir vaira’k labumu. :-)) Bu’tu interesanti zina’t kuras ir ta’s zemes kas pievelk latvies’u uzmani’bu. Bu’tu ari’ interesanti zina’t par tiem kas izve’la’s dzi’vos’anu Latvija’. No kura’m zeme’m un ka’das tauti’bas ir tie kas doma’ ka Latvija ir laba vieta prieks’ dzi’vos’anas.

  2. Latvia and also her people are beautiful. I love this country for the facts that there are some similarity in the cultural development of the country and India.It has come to know from an English channel that the ancient Indian language Sanskrit has close resemblances with Latvian language. Also the people! They are simple , patient and co-operative and therefore they will enrich the country and people wherever they are emigrating. Many times I used to think emigrating to Latvia! Emigration and immigration as far as Latvia is concerned is like give respect and take respect. I am sure that it will enrich the cultural heritage of the country world wide! Thanks Andris Straumanis for your brief but detailed report.

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