In Latvia there are 859.8 thousand private households; number of one-person households is growing

21.08.2013

Data of the Population and Housing Census 2011[1] compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia show that in Latvia there are 859.8 thousand private households occupying 809.2 thousand dwellings, while 50.6 thousand households are sharing their housing with some other household.

Population and Housing Census 2011 results indicate that average number of members in household comprises 2.38; and, in comparison with the data of Census 2000, the indicator has dropped slightly, since in 2000 it constituted 2.66. The largest households were recorded in Pierīga region – on average 2.59 members.

As compared to other Latvia counties, the region houses seven counties with the highest average household size,namely Ikšķile, Babīte, Mārupe, Garkalne, Ādaži, Krimulda and Jaunpils with the average household size exceeding 2.77 members. Pierīga is followed by Vidzeme region the average household size in which comprises 2.49 persons, Zemgale region with 2.47 inhabitants, Kurzeme region with 2.38 residents and Latgale region with 2.31 household members. The smallest average household size was observed in Riga – 2.24 members.

Households in Latvia by average number of household members(Population and Housing Census 2011 data, per cent)

The share of one-person households accounts for 34% of the total household number, and such households are resided by 296 thousand people, two-person households comprise 27% and are resided by 465 thousand residents,  while 1 million 283 thousand persons are living in households consisting of three or more persons.

Since the Population and Housing Census 2000, the number of one-person households has grown from 25% to 34%; and similar trend is indicated also by the statistics compiled in other European countries, e.g., the share of one-person households in Lithuania has risen from 29% in 2001 to 32% in 2011, in Norway from 28% in 1980 to 40% in 2011, while in Estonia the share of such households in 2001 was the same as in Latvia currently – 34%.

Single people, as compared to persons living in families, more rarely are owners of the living quarters, more often they are renting dwelling or occupying it basing on other type of agreement. Residents of one-person households were occupying the largest living quarters – average useful floor space of the dwelling comprises 53 m2.  Residents of one-person households are occupying on average 26 m2 per occupant, while the average useful floor space occupied by one family accounts for 71 m2. Residents of multifamily households are occupying on average 18m2 per occupant, and average useful floor space in multifamily comprises 93.8 m2.

Useful floor space in dwelling occupied by married couples, in its turn, was by 12 m2 wider than one in housings occupied by couples living in consensual union – on average 77.7 m2 and 65.2 m2, respectively.

Living quarter floor space occupied by lone father were on average by 10m2 larger than dwelling area resided by lone mother – 71.4 m2over 60.9 m2, respectively.

The largest share of lone mother households was recorded in Riga, Jūrmala and Valmiera cities – 18% of the total household number, followed by 17% in Ogre county, Jēkabpils city, Daugavpils city, Aizkraukle county and Salaspils county. The smallest share of lone mother households was observed in Cibla county – 7.5% of total household number, comparatively small share of such households was observed also in Vārkava county (8.5%) and Pāvilosta county (9.3%).

Whereas the highest share of lone father households was recorded in Carnikava county – 3.2% of the total household number, followed by Baldone, Ikšķile, Mārupe, Viesīte, Beverīna, Engure, and Ķegums counties with 2.9%. Also the smallest share of lone father households was recorded in Cibla county – 0.9%.

Regional breakdown indicates that the highest share of one-person households was recorded in Latgale region – 17.8% of females and 13% of males living in Latgale private households. Whereas breakdown of the data by county shows that the highest share of one-person households was in Cibla county – 31% of females and 28.2% of males, while Zilupe county was resided by 24.5% of single women and 20.9% of single men households. Strenči county indicated the third highest share of lone females – 22%, while Rugāji county – the third largest share of lone males – 19.6%. Riga city, in turn, was resided by 18% of lone females and 13.8% of lone males.

The smallest share of one-person households was observed in Pierīga region – 30%.  In eight out of twenty eight Pierīga counties there were 22-27% one-person households.

More information on households is available in the CSB database section "Population Census" -> Final results of the Population and Housing Census 2011.

More information:
Pēteris Veģis, Social Statistics Department
Phone: +371 67366771

More information on household census:

Common residency and joint housekeeping approach that was used to identify households in Population and Housing Census 2011 allowed acquiring more detailed data on Latvian households and types thereof.

Recommendations of international organisations include conceptions of both joint housekeeping and common residency in shared housing solely. In 2000, all occupants of the same housing unit were regarded as one household. Whereas in 2011, several households occupying the same housing unit may have been registered if there was separated housekeeping. E.g., if pensioned lady is renting one room in her dwelling to a student, it was considered that two separate households are occupying the dwelling – retired lady household and student household; while according to the conception of 2000, the housing was resided by one household. To ensure that data are internationally comparable, it has been set that EU Member States have to publish household data of the Population and Housing Census 2011 in line with the joint housekeeping conception.



[1]Data regard only so-called private households that exclude persons living in social care institutions or other collective accommodation institutions.