The CSB continues to investigate the income and living conditions of the population of Latvia


The European Union expects from its MemberStates not only the implementation of an effective social policy to improve theliving conditions of the population but also a multilateral approach to itsinvestigation. This is why it is important to obtain precise and comprehensiveinformation on the living conditions of the population of Latvia concerning notonly society as a whole but also its typical groups (the employed, pensioners,families with and without children, etc.).

In the second half of March this year theCentral Statistical Bureau will launch the second survey "EU Statistics onIncome and Living Conditions (EU-SILC)". This survey is conducted in allcountries of the European Union. Within the framework of the survey the majorityof households that took part in the 2005 survey will be interviewed for thesecond time whereas one quarter will be selected for the first time. This isbecause the objective of the survey is to keep track of the changes in the maincharacteristic indicators of living conditions for a period of several years.The survey will allow throwing light on the main conditions that contribute tothe rising welfare level or, on the contrary, have an adverse effect. TheEuropean Council and the European Commission will use the obtained data in theirstruggle against poverty and social exclusion.

EU-SILC represents statistics that is compiledaccording to uniform methods and definitions ensuring in this way comparabilityamong the EU countries. For this reason close attention during the preparationand implementation of EU-SILC is paid to high statistical quality standards.

By means of the survey the statisticians will investigate the following issues:

dwelling conditions and dwelling costs;
household income; the problem of income insufficiency;
provision of households with durable goods;
health conditions and availability of health services;
education opportunities and childcare;

Regulation (EC) No.1177/of the EuropeanParliament and Council lays down that in Latvia 3750 households with 7650household members aged 15 years and over should be surveyed giving answers tothe questions included in the questionnaires. Households that will participatein the survey will be selected throughout the whole territory of Latvia.

The CSB Interviewers Service will implement theEU-SILC survey. Before the interviewer`s visit a letter informing the householdsabout the survey, its objectives and the planned date of the interview will bemailed to the sampled households. The informative letter will also includetelephone numbers for obtaining additional information or fixing another datefor the interview.

The survey begins in the second half of Marchand will take place until mid-summer. Upon arrival the interviewer will producehis identity card with a photograph and pose the questions included in thequestionnaire. The answers will be entered into a laptop computer. Thehousehold, which is included in each sample, will be visited only once a yearand answering questions will not take much time.

In compliance with the laws concerning theprotection of individual data the information provided by the respondents willbe published only in an aggregated form excluding the possibility to identifythe individual data.

Edmunds Vaskis, the Deputy Director of theCSB Social Statistics Department: the data acquired during the survey willprovide vast information on the living conditions of various population groups.There is no reason, however, to anticipate immediate rising of the welfare levelof the population. But a step forward will be made so that Latvia and Europe,too, should know how during the year living conditions have changed in both thecities and countryside, in the regions, various population groups in breakdownby income level. One thing is to surmise the real situation while the other isto prove it indisputably with all the numbers in hand. The survey will provide apossibility to effectively solve the particularly acute social problems.

The European Commission will use the results ofthe survey and the state and local government institutions of Latvia as well asresearchers will analyse the data. Government institutions will have to preparespecified measures for the elimination of poverty and social exclusion and forthe elaboration of the employment and family policies.

The Central Statistical Bureau requests thehouseholds to be responsive and to co-operate actively with the interviewers, asevery response is important for the acquisition of qualitative data that is aprecondition for the solution of social problems.

With the purpose to reduce the number ofquestions to be posed to respondents, the CSB is going to investigate what thepossibilities are to receive answers from various registers that are supervisedby various state institutions.

In parallel, the Labour Force Survey, theTravellers Survey and the Household Budget Survey will be continued in March anda survey on information technologies started.


Prepared by the CSB Press Service
Tel. 7366908