Survey: Six in 10 households in Latvia have Internet access

Almost six in 10 Latvian households have Internet access, but regional differences reveal that Rīga and its suburbs have greater connectivity while Latgale lags, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB).

Internet access has increased 5 percentage points over last year to 58 percent, based on a survey of 3,900 households throughout Latvia, according to an Oct. 15 CSB press release.

Sixty-four percent of households in the capital city of Rīga have Internet access, while the capital’s suburbs have 65 percent. Vidzeme province, at 48 percent, and Latgale province, at 44 percent, have the lowest access, the CSB reported. In Kurzeme, 54 percent of households have access, but in Zemgale, the rate is 61 percent.

Not surprisingly, younger people are the most active users of the Internet. Almost all (96 percent) of people age 16-24 regularly use the Internet, the CSB survey found, while 85 percent of those aged 25-34 regularly use the medium. Regular Internet use is lowest, 20 percent, among persons aged 55-74.

Other findings of the survey include:

  • Forty-five percent of households in Latvia use desktop computers to connect to the Internet, while 20 percent use portable computers and another 20 percent use mobile telephones.
  • Almost all (97 percent) of Internet users are looking for information, while 90 percent use it for sending e-mail, chatting or other communication. Sixty-six percent use the Internet to access their bank accounts.
  • A total of 38 percent of Latvian Internet users bought something online this year, compared to 33 percent last year. Popular purchases included event tickets, electronics, clothing and sporting goods.

The CSB survey was taken during the second quarter of this year.

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

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