On changes in age structure of Latvia population

14.07.2011

In 2010 there was the second lowest number of births in Latvia since 1998 – 19.2 thousand (18.4 thousand in 1998), according to the data of the Central Statistical Bureau. Moreover, the number was observed in situation when death rates still are exceeding the birth rates and net migration is negative. Generally it causes unfavourable trends in the age structure of Latvia population, and, similarly as in Europe, also in Latvia the aging of the population continues.

Since 2000 the number of children and teenagers (aged 0 - 14 years) has decreased by 121.6 thousand (on average by 12.2 thousand per year), and their share in the total number of population has reduced from 18.0% at the beginning of 2000 to 13.7% at the beginning of 2011. However, due to the temporary birth increase, observed during the previous years, this drop is slowing down. In 2000 the number of children and teenagers diminished by 18.3 thousand, but in 2010 it reduced only by 2.6 thousand.

The share of population aged 15 – 64 years since the 2000 has grown by 1.7 percentage points. Nevertheless, the number of population aged over 65 years during this period has increased by 33.8 thousand, and their share in the total number of population has grown from 14.8% to 17.4% or by 2.6 percentage points.

Data on the number of permanent residents by age group are summarised in the following table.

Number of Latvia population by selected age group, 2000-2011
(at the beginning of the year)

Year

Age group (years)

0 - 14

15 - 64

65 +

number

% of total number

number

% of total number

number

% of total number

2000

428082

18.0

1600317

67.2

353316

14.8

2005

341415

14.8

1583843

68.7

381176

16.5

2006

328547

14.3

1580414

68.9

385629

16.8

2007

318463

14.0

1572881

68.9

389961

17.1

2008

312309

13.8

1567797

69.0

390788

17.2

2009

310311

13.7

1560129

69.0

390854

17.3

2010

309154

13.8

1549011

68.9

390209

17.3

2011

306529

13.7

1535986

68.9

387126

17.4

Analysis of the population number by gender shows that in 2010 the number of males aged under 14 exceeds the number of females at the same age by 2.2%, in age group 15-64 years the predominance of females by 2.7% may be observed, but in age group over 65 years the number of females exceeds the number of males by 35%.

Data on the number of males and females by age group are summarised in the following table.

Number of Latvia population by selected age group and gender, 2000-2011
(thousand, at the beginning of the year)

Year

Age group (years)

0 - 14

15 - 64

65 +

males

females

males

females

males

females

2000

219.0

209.1

765.3

835.0

112.6

240.7

2005

174.6

166.9

763.9

820.0

124.5

256.7

2006

168.1

160.5

763.3

817.1

125.9

259.7

2007

162.9

155.6

760.6

812.3

127.5

262.4

2008

159.7

152.6

759.4

808.4

127.8

263.0

2009

158.7

151.6

756.7

803.4

127.7

263.2

2010

158.1

151.1

752.2

796.8

127.2

263.0

2011

156.6

149.9

746.9

789.1

125.9

261.3

Since the 1993 the share of children and teenagers in the demographic burden has been lower than the share of population at retirement age, because birth rates have diminished and death rates and migration of population of working age has increased. At the beginning of 2011 the number of population of retirement age per 1000 population of working age was 1.5 times higher than the number of children and teenagers.

The following chart shows the changes of the demographic burden.

Level of demographic burden in Latvia at the beginning of 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2011
(at the beginning of the year, per 1000 population of working age)

The aging of the population is indicated also by the increase of the mean age of it. The changes are presented in the following chart. The rise of the age of Latvia population may be explained with both the low birth rates and increase of the life expectancy.

Mean age of Latvia population in 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010
(at the beginning of the year)

In 2010 the share of children and teenagers has reduced in all 27 European Union countries. Higher reduction than in Latvia (4.2%) was recorded only in Lithuania (5.2%) and Cyprus (5.9%). Also the share of elderly (aged 65 and over) in the European Union has grown - by 1.8%. Latvia with the 2.5% increase in this age group has the fourth highest indicator after Slovenia (2.6%), Malta (2.7%) and Germany (4.4%). In the most of the European Union countries, except Denmark, Greece, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Slovenia, Spain and France, the number of population aged 15-64 has risen.

Prepared by the Population Statistics Section
Melita Dimza
Tel. 67366901