In Latvia, 424 thousand persons or 21.8 % of population are at risk of poverty


Data of the survey conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) in 2016 show that 424 thousand persons or 21.8 % of Latvia population were at risk of povertyin 2015 – 0.7 percentage points less than in 2014. The share of persons suffering from severe material deprivation2 has declined sharply – from 16.4 % in 2015 to 12.8 % in 2016.

In 2015, as population disposable income3 increased, the at-risk-of-poverty threshold rose as well – up to 318 euros monthly (291 euros monthly in 2014). Out of the total Latvia population, 21.8 % of the persons with monthly equivalised disposable (net) income below 318 euros were at risk of poverty in 2015.

Compared to 2014, the share of persons at risk of poverty declined by 0.7 percentage points. The drop was facilitated by12.5 % rise in minimum wage (up to 360 euros monthly), higher employment, incl., among young people and persons at pre-retirement and retirement age, as well as increase of benefits related to family and children by approximately one third, whereas the decline was hindered by comparatively slow growth of old-age pension size (on average by 2.7 % in 2015).

At-risk-of-poverty rate by age group, 2008–2015 (per cent)



















of which by age group (years):





































In 2015, the share of people aged 65 and over subjected to risk of poverty increased by 3.5 percentage points – from 34.6 % in 2014 to 38.1 % in 2015. If a person aged over 65 is living alone, the risk of poverty increases even more – from 67.4 % in 2014 to 74 % in 2015.

Over the year, the share of children at risk of poverty diminished from 23.2 % in 2014 to 18.6 % in 2015 or by 4.6 percentage points. The risk of poverty in single parent families is still high, reaching 34.4 % in 2015. In families consisting of two adults and two or more children, the poverty risk fell notably – by 9 percentage points or from 34.5 % in 2014 to 25.5 % in 2015. Significantly lower poverty risk may be observed in households consisting of two adults and one child or those consisting of two adults and two children – 11.2 % and 14.7 %, respectively.

At-risk-of-poverty rate in different socio-economic groups; 2004–2015 (per cent)

Every year, unemployed persons are the population group subjected to high poverty risk (above 50 %, except for 2009 with 47.9 %); in 2015 the indicator reached 55.7 %. The poverty risk among retired people has grown sharply – up to 41.9 % in 2015, compared to 36.7 % in 2014. In 2015, poverty risk of employed persons reduced to 8.3 % (9.2 % in 2014).

The data source of the relative poverty and social exclusion indicators is the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) survey 2016. The survey covered 6 thousand households, and 11.6 thousand respondents aged 16 and over were interviewed. The CSB will collect data on the household income received in 2016 during the period from February to June 2017, and until 14 February respondents will be able to complete electronic questionnaire (in Latvian and Russian) online at

More information on the results of the survey 2016 is available in the CSB database section Monetary poverty and income inequality.


Methodological explanations

1At-risk-of-poverty rate – share of persons with equivalised disposable income below 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable income.

At-risk-of-poverty threshold represents 60 % of the median equivalised disposable income. In 2015, the at-risk-of-poverty threshold constituted 318 euros monthly.

Median is a statistical indicator characterising central value (midpoint of the breakdown) of the observations grouped from the lowest value to the highest.

2Severe material deprivation is defined as the proportion of people lacking at least 4 items among the 9 following: the household could not afford:

1) to pay their rent, mortgage or utility bills;
2) to keep their home adequately warm;
3) to face unexpected expenses;
4) to eat meat or proteins regularly;
5) to go on holiday;
6) a car;
7) a washing machine;
8) a television set;
9) a telephone.

3Disposable (net) income– cash income from labour, employee income in kind received by using company car for private needs estimated in cash, income or losses received from self-employment, pensions and benefits received, regular material assistance from other households, profit from  deposit interest, dividends, shares, income received by children aged under 16, income from property rental,  tax return from the State Revenue Service due to overpaid income tax (for business activities, eligible costs – education, medical treatment etc.).

Equivalent disposable (net) income– household disposable income calculated per equivalent consumer. It is obtained by dividing household income by equivalised household size, which is made using the modified OECD equivalence scale (1.0; 0.5; 0.3). This scale gives a weight of 1.0 to the first adult, 0.5 to any other household member aged 14 and over, and 0.3 to each child aged less than 14.

The CSB monetary poverty and social exclusion indicators on 2015 reflect the information on population income received in 2015. Unlike the approach used by the CSB, Eurostat (Statistical Office of European Union) publishes monetary poverty and social exclusion indicators that are one year older, i.e., in the case of Latvia presenting the income and poverty risk data on 2014.


Media requests:
Sanda Rieksta
Information and Communication Section
media [at] csb [dot] gov [dot] lv
Phone: +371 67366621, +371 27880666


More information on data:
Income and Living Conditions Statistics Section
Viktors Veretjanovs
Viktors [dot] Veretjanovs [at] csb [dot] gov [dot] lv
Phone: +371 67366609