Slower population decrease; higher birth rates in all regions


In 2012, population number in Latviacontinued to reduce; however, a decrease was slower. Provisional data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia show that on 1 January 2013 the number of resident population comprised 2 million 22 thousand, of which females accounted for 1 million 95 thousand, while males – for  927 thousand.

Comparatively - on 1 January 2012 population number constituted 2 million 42 thousand, and Population and Housing Census results indicated that on 1 March 2011 the number comprised 2 million 70 thousand. Thus in 2012, the number of Latvia population has dropped by 20.5 thousand or by 1%. Nevertheless, the decrease is smaller, as compared to 32.2 thousand persons or 1.6% in 2011.

In 2012, as the death number exceeded the number of births, Latvia population has diminished by 9.1 thousand persons, while because of the long-term migration - by 11.4 thousand persons.

Change in population number, thousand

Net migration – difference between the number of persons arriving in country or particular administrative territory for permanent residence or for at least one year and the number of persons leaving the territory for permanent residence or for at least one year.

During the time period from 2008 till 2011, Latvia witnessed reduction in the birth number, while in 2012 slight rise was recorded - 1.1 thousand children more, as compared to 2011. Also the share of 2nd and 3rd children in the total number of newborn is growing.

Rise in birth number was observed in all regions; still it was the highest in Riga and Pierīga region – 7.0% and 6.1%, respectively.

Death rates during the last years have changed rather insignificantly. In 2012, the number of deaths comprises 29.0 thousand. The highest rise in death number was recorded in Latgale region (of 4%), while in Zemgale and Kurzeme region the number has slightly diminished – by 3.7% and 0.1%, respectively.

Nevertheless natural increase in the country as a whole was negative, in twelve counties - Ādaži, Babīte, Garkalne, Ikšķile, Kandava, Krimulda, Ķekava, Mārupe, Ropaži, Salaspils, Sigulda, Stopiņi – it was positive. The highest natural increase in 2012 was observed in Mārupe county – there population number due to natural increase has risen by 168 persons.

Dynamics of key demographic indicators during the time period from 2010 till 2012





Natural increase

-10 259

-9 715

-9 128

Per 1000 population




Number of births

19 781

18 825

19 897

Per 1000 population




Number of deaths

30 040

28 540

29 025

Per 1000 population




Number of infant deaths




Per live 1000 births




Infant mortality during their first year of live is one of the most significant indicators characterising demographic situation and in Latvia it is one of the highest among EU countries.  In 2011, higher infant mortality was recorded only in Rumania (9.4 deaths per 1000 live births) and in Bulgaria (8.5); in Latvia this indicator comprised 6.6 and, in 2012, 125 children died before the age of one (6.3 per 1000 live births).Mentioned indicator was the highest in Latgale region – 10.0 infant deaths per 1000 live births.

Currently CSB is producing population statistics with the help of new methodology that is based on the statistical classification model. The model has been developed by using Population and Housing Census 2011 results and individual data from several administrative registers, e.g., databases supervised by the State Revenue Service, Social Insurance Information System of the State Social Insurance Agency, information systems of the Ministry of Education and Science etc. The model has been used for population estimates of 2012 and 2013.

CSB is still working on the long-term international migration estimates. CSB will give the latest information about the long-term international migration and provide more detailed number of population in 2012 in a CSB press conference that will be held on July 18.

Data on population number in 2012 and methodology thereof are available in the CSB databases.

More information:
Baiba Zukula
Population Statistics Section
Tel. 67366847