Second global Latvian émigré and return migrant survey launched

A team of researchers at the University of Latvia has launched a survey on current migration-related themes, with responses welcomed from those Latvians who live outside Latvia permanently or semi-permanently, as well as those who have returned or moved to Latvia after living or working abroad. This is the second large-scale survey of its kind being conducted in Latvia.

The study is being carried out within the frame of the project “Wellbeing and integration in the context of migration”, financed by the Latvian Council of Science. The aim of the survey is to find out how Latvians living abroad feel, providing in-depth analysis in a number of areas that are important for émigrés, including the availability of health care services, psychological wellbeing, integration into the labour market and the assessment of skills abroad and in Latvia etc.

The greatest focus will be on changes to the lives and future plans of those people who have left Latvia, what has motivated or hindered them from returning to Latvia. In short – the central theme is the wellbeing of emigrants and return migrants. However, in this survey, the response from exiled (trimda) Latvians and their descendants is especially welcomed – to be able to make a more precise assessment of the size of the Latvian diaspora.

The survey is open and may be completed by 31st October in Latvian or in English.  Recognising people’s time constraints, there is an option to either complete a shorter or longer version of the survey.

The first study of this kind was conducted in 2014 in the frame of the project “The Emigrant Communities of Latvia”, financed by the European Social Fund and became the largest survey in Europe of the diaspora of one country, with responses from 14 068 people. Due to the great response from Latvians and Latvian nationals living abroad, the survey resonated widely in Latvian society and dispelled many stereotypes that persisted regarding those of Latvian descent living abroad.

The survey methodology and results laid the groundwork not only for the systematic gathering of information on the experiences and lives of the Latvian diaspora in general but also highlighted the need to understand return migration processes, opportunities and restrictions, the motivation for return which was studied in-depth in the University of Latvia project «Returning to Latvia».

Summaries of results of the previous studies are available here (in Latvian).


Inta Mieriņa ir projekta "Labklājība un integrācija migrācijas kontekstā" zinātniskā vadītāja, ieguvusi socioloģijas doktora grādu Latvijas Universitātes Sociālo Zinātņu fakultātē.

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