Migration of population in Latvia during 2005


The Central Statistical Bureau (CSB), by using data provided by Citizenship and Migration Board, has completed the summarization on migration of population in Latvia during 2005.

According to Recommendations of UNO, persons arriving in the corresponding country (municipality) to settle there permanently, or leaving it with the purpose to choose another permanent place of residence, are to be accounted for in statistics as long-term migrants for at least one year. A mandatory pre-condition is also the fulfillment of law requirements on declaration of the new place of residence with a competent authority. The application of this criterion – of one year or longer – allows to distinguish between long-term migrants and other persons crossing border, as tourists and travelers.

According to data of State Border Guards Service, the number of persons having crossed the border of our country exceeded 10 million during the preceding two years. This is much larger than the number of long-term migrants.

The above criterion is being applied also for the calculation of number of population of each country of European Union, which is being widely applied in resource distribution, voting at the institutions of EU, decision passing regarding the procedure of qualified majority, etc.

In 2005, 1886 persons arrived in Latvia for permanent stay (by 13.3% more than the preceding year), while 2450 persons left for permanent stay in other countries (decrease, in comparison with 2004, was 10.7%).

In 2005, reduction in the flow of international migration, the portion of EU countries was 60.4%, but that of other countries – 39.6%. Accordingly, 41.7% of persons having emigrated from Latvia headed for one of the countries of EU, but the rest – to other countries. Of the persons having emigrated, 31.2% chose Russian Federation as the country of their future residence, 10.7% – Germany, 7.7% – Great Britain, 6.8% – the USA, 5.8% – Ukraine, 4.6% – Byelorussia, 4.2% – Lithuania, 3.4% Ireland, and 3% – Estonia.

Of all international immigrants, 32.7% had the citizenship of Latvia, and the proportion of non-citizens of Latvia amongst immigrants was 1.2%. The proportion of citizens and non-citizens of Latvia amongst emigrants was larger, 40.4% and 10% respectively.

Data analysis regarding marital status of international migrants shows that the proportion of single persons is bigger under immigrants: males – 53.6%, and females – 52.8% of total figures. The proportion of single and family persons amongst emigrants is quite similar: 42.2% and 41.6% respectively.

The proportion of children up to 14 years of age amongst immigrants was 26.6%, while only 11.1% amongst emigrants. A new feature related to the increase of mobility of labor force was the considerable number of children born in 2005 amongst immigrants. There were 161 immigrants born in 2005 amongst international long-term immigrants (in comparison only 7 in 2000). Amongst them, the number of those born in the United Kingdom was 39, and 35 were born in Ireland.

The analysis of internal migration of population within Latvia shows that the Law on Declaration of Residence Place has a substantial influence upon its scale. Since it came into effect (on July 1, 2003), the number of change of permanent residence of population, or the number of cases of declaration of actually made changes, has increased by approximately two times. Both in 2003 and 2004, the number of persons having declared the change of their permanent residence from one administrative territory to another within the boundaries of our country exceeded 60 thousand persons. The respective figure in 2005 was 54437. It must be noted that, according to the effective methodology, this statistics does not comprise the change of permanent residence place within the boundaries of one administrative territory – city, county, pagasts.

The division of migration of population by months of the year is quite uneven. A higher figure was observes during summer and autumn months.

Long-term migration of population during 2005 by months

The total balance of migration of population in 2005 was positive only in Jurmala (359 persons), Jelgava (103), Rezekne (78), and Liepaja (57), as well as in the districts of Riga (3807), Ogre (386), Jelgava (152), and Tukums (47).

The relatively largest number of population due to emigration and re-settlement to central regions of the country was “lost” in 2005 by the districts of Madona (0.82%), Ludza (0.65%), Limbazi and Talsi (0.63% each), Balvi and Kraslava (0.62% each).

Due to the right of free movement of persons in the territory of European Union, the issue of providing precise and mutually comparable statistics of migration of population has become very topical in all countries of EU. It will be supported by the adoption in the nearest future of a corresponding legislative act being revised currently by European Parliament and EU Council.

Prepared by Section of Population Statistics
of Department of Social Statistics
Phone 7366900
Uldis Ushackis