Share of couples living in consensual union is growing
Latest data of the Population and Housing Census 2011 conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia show that in Latvia there are 588 thousand families. As population number during the time period between the two Censuses (of 2000 and 2011) has dropped by 307 thousand, the number of families, in comparison with 2000 when in Latvia there were 624 thousand families, has reduced by 36 thousand.
Smaller number of families was recorded in Riga, Zemgale, Vidzeme, Kurzeme and Latgale regions, while Pierīga indicated an increase.
Number of families in Riga has diminished from 196 thousand in 2000 to 191 thousand in 2011, in Zemgale – from 77 thousand to 71 thousand, in Vidzeme – from 67 thousand to 58 thousand, in Kurzeme from 85 thousand to 76 thousand, and in Latgale – from 103 thousand to 85 thousand. Rise in the family number has been observed in Pierīga – from 96 thousand in 2000 to 106 thousand in 2011. Average size of a family has dropped from 2.84 to 2.74 persons.
As compared to the data of the Population and Housing Census 2000, the share of families living in consensual union has grown, while the share of married couples has reduced. In 2000, the share of couples living in consensual union (with or without children) accounted for 6% of the total family number, while in 2011 the indicator constituted 13%.
In 2011, the share of married couples comprised 54% of all families, as compared to 62% in 2000. The share of lone mother families has remained the same as in 2000 – 29%; while the share of lone father families has increased slightly: in 2000 it constituted 3% of the total family number, whereas in 2011 – 4%.
Families by type (data of Population and Housing Censuses 2000 and 2011)
During the Census 2011, out of the 256 thousand young people (aged 16-24) 8 thousand were married and living with spouse, while 15 thousand were living in consensual union. Starting with the age 25, the number of Latvia residents living in marriage is growing rather notably.
In 2011, the share of families having no children or only one child has increased slightly. The share of families without children has risen from 24% in 2000 to 26% in 2011, while the share of families with one child has grown from 45% to 47%. The share of couples living in consensual union and having one child has gone up – from 29% in 2000 to 35% in 2011.
While the share of families having 2 children has dropped slightly – from 24% in 2000 to 21% in 2011, as has the share of families with 3 or more children – from 7% in 2000 to 6% in 2011.
Rise in the share of families without children mainly was due to the growth in the umber of married couples not having children – from 35% in 2000 to 40% in 2011. Share of couples living in consensual union and not having children has decreased – from 45% in 2000 to 40% in 2011.
Families by type and number of children in 2000 and 2011 (per cent)
Number of children in family
Number of children in family
Living in consensual union
Data source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia
The largest share of families with three or more children was recorded in Vidzeme region, there such families accounted for 8.2% of the total family number. In Kurzeme and Zemgale regions large families comprised 7% of the total family number, in Pierīga region – 6%, in Latgale region – 5%, and in Riga – 3%.
Regional breakdown indicates the highest share of families with three or more children in Naukšēni county – 16% of the total number of families in the county, followed by Jaunpils county with 14%, Vārkava and Rugāji counties with 13%, as well as Pāvilosta, Aloja, Vaiņode, Tērvete, Vecpiebalga, Kandava, Ape and Varakļāni counties with 12% of such families.
Sometimes grown-up males and females that have not started their own families are living together with parents and hold a status of son or daughter. Data of the Population and Housing Census 2011 indicate that 62 thousand men and 28 thousand women were living with one or both parents after the age of 30.
Grown-up sons and daughters living together with parent/-s by gender and age
More information on families 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
Usually all closest relatives are considered to form a family, while in statistics family is a married couple or couple living in consensual union, as well as parents or lone parent with child or several children regardless the child's age.Significant condition is a fact that child in this particular household does not have his/her own spouse or cohabiting partner or own children, as in opposite case they should be regarded as a separate family.
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