Latvia’s population to lose 19,000; emigration, birth rate are top causes

Latvia’s population will have dropped by 19,000 individuals come the end of this year, which is a larger decline than experienced in 2009, according to the Central Statistical Bureau in Rīga.

The forecast is based on analysis of provisional data from the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA) and from civil registry offices that record births, deaths and marriages, the statistical bureau’s Elmīra Seņkāne announced Dec. 17.

At the close of 2010, Latvia’s population will be 2.229 million, the data suggest. Continued emigration from Latvia and a drop in the birth rate contributed to the population decline.

The total number of emigrants this year could reach 10,000, OCMA data show. Already in the first 10 months of 2010 the number of emigrants—8,800—topped last year’s total of 7,400. Meanwhile, immigration to Latvia has slowed.

At the same time, the number of children born in Latvia is decreasing. From 2004-2008, according to Seņkāne, a slight increase in births was recorded. The number of births in 2008 reached 23,900, the highest number since 1994. However, last year the number dropped to 21,600. This year, the statistical bureau warned, births will not top 20,000.

Also registering a continued decline is the number of marriages. While the drop this year compared to 2009 will not be large, from 2008 to 2009 the number of marriages in Latvia decreased by 3,000 to about 9,900, according to the data.

Death appears to be the one constant, according to the data. The number of deaths in Latvia this year figures to be about 29,000, or about the same as in 2009.

One thought on “Latvia’s population to lose 19,000; emigration, birth rate are top causes

  1. I belive that immigration to Latvia has slowed, because the new comers are misstreated by the locals. Very hard time is given to mixed marragie immigrants. Take the case in Ikšķile when a latvian married to an american wanted to start a business there. As I grew up in Ikšķile, I think of the people there as my people. I was ashamed of their behaviour. Placing one obstacle to them after an other. I think local people have to learn how to welcome newcomers.

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