Results of the survey on welfare of households carried out by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that positive trends may be observed.
|Changes in economic situation of households according to their self-evaluation|
(as per cent of the household number)
Nevertheless only 5% of the respondents admitted that economic situation in their household has improved, the number of households taking measures to economize has diminished significantly. Whereas 14% of the households, were some of the members ran own business, admitted that during the last 12 months demand for the goods or services produced in and provided by his/her enterprise has increased.
However, almost 40% of the households indicated a decline in their welfare during the year. The following reasons were mentioned as the main:reduction of wages and salaries; growth of prices of food products and other goods of prime necessity; loss of job.
In the 1st quarter of 2010 the main reason for welfare decline, mentioned by 73% of the households, was reduction of wages and salaries, while in the 4th quarter of 2011 this reason was indicated only by 12% of the respondents. Starting from the 3rd quarter of 2010 more than 80% of the households evaluated the growth of prices of food products and other goods of prime necessity as the main reason behind the welfare decline.
In the 4th quarter of 2011 due to economic reasons 49% of households limited or postponed the purchase of clothing, and it is 17 percentage points less than in the 1st quarter of 2010, while 17% of the households cancelled or postponed doctor visit, and the number is 15 percentage points lower than at the beginning of the survey.
Share of households taking measures to economise (%)
2010 by quarter
2011 by quarter
Changes of 4th quarter 2011, in comparison with
1st qtr 2010
4th qtr 2010
Limitation or postpone of clothing purchase
Reduction of the consumption of basic food products (potatoes, bread, pearl barley, eggs, milk etc.)
Cancelled or postponed doctor visit due to the economic reasons
Did not use medication prescribed by the doctor because of the lack of resources to purchase it
Had to delay payments of rent or public utilities
The survey results show that in the 4th quarter of 2011 only in 14% of the total number of households, in which members were looking for a job, someone have found it during the last 3 months.
Financial savings, on which the household would live for at least one month, supposed it does not have other source of income, are significant aspect for ensuring economic stability. Approximately four fifths of the households admitted that they do not have savings, moreover during the year this indicator has slightly grown – from 79% in the 1st quarter of 2010 to 81% in the 4th quarter of 2011.
To improve the economic situation, households receive both formal (State and local government) and informal (relatives, friends, etc.) material aid. According to the survey data, 12% of the households have received aid from State and local governments (10% in 1st quarter of 2010). The share of households receiving material aid from relatives or friends has decreased slightly. At the beginning of the survey in the 1st quarter of 2010 13% of the households received financial aid from relatives in Latvia, whereas in the 2nd quarter of 2011 this indicator comprised 11%, and 4% of the households received financial aid from relatives or friends living abroad.
With an aim to acquire information on welfare of households, the CSB has been carrying out this survey for two years. Every quarter CSB acquired information on average from 3.5 thousand households, and the obtained data were extrapolated to all private households in the country. During a survey one person in the household provided information on changes in the economic situation of the whole household during the last 12 months.
More detailed information will be published in the informative leaflet “On changes in welfare of households in 2010-2011" that will be arranged basing on the results of the survey carried out for two years. The survey was developed in cooperation with the experts of the World Bank.Survey on changes in welfare of households will not be conducted in 2012.
Prepared by the Employment Statistics Section
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