Demographic data for the first half of 2010 show a continued decline in Latvia’s population, the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) in Rīga reports, while marriages dropped significantly compared to the same period last year.
The country’s population as of July 1 stood at 2.238 million, a decrease of 10,500 residents since the beginning of the year. The pace of population decline had slowed in the past several years, according to an Aug. 5 press release, but began increasing again last year. The capital city of Rīga had about 702,700 residents on July 1, a half-percent drop since the beginning of the year.
According to the statistical bureau, the population decline in Latvia is due in part to 5,600 more deaths than births being recorded. However, a total of 4,900 people also emigrated from the country in the first half of the year.
A 20 percent drop in marriages was recorded in the first half of this year compared to the first six months of 2009. The decrease continues a trend that began in 2009, according to the CSB. Since 2002, the number of marriages had been on the upswing. In the first half of this year a total of 2,876 marriages were recorded, compared to 3,592 during the same period last year.
Data for the first half of 2010 also show a decline in births. Two years ago, according to the CSB, Latvia saw the greatest number of births since 1994, but in 2009 the number of newborns began to slip. In the first half of this year a total of 9,630 births were recorded, a 13.4 percent drop from the same period last year.
At least residents of Latvia are not dying off as quickly. The death rate, according to the CSB, has not changed much in the past several years. In the first half of 2010, a total of 15,250 deaths were recorded in the country, compared to 15,394 in the first six months of 2009.
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