Survey on Income and Living Conditions - an important source of information on income level in the country
In March 2015 the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) will launch the eleventh annual survey on income and living conditions. 13 thsd people will be surveyed in 2015, and we kindly ask respondents to be responsive since only information provided by residents can accurately characterise their actual living conditions.
As pointed out by Evija Kūla, Senior Expert of the Ministry of Welfare Social Inclusion and Social Work Policy Department: "Any policy changes are planned and implemented on the basis of statistical data1. The greater respondent responsiveness, the more accurate data is obtained, which in turn contributes to a more efficient policy making process. Based on the results of the CSB survey on income and living conditions the first steps have been made for identifying the minimum income level. Since 1 January 2015 a number of changes to policies 23 have taken effect related to increase in personal income level. These changes include for example reduced personal income tax rate and increased minimum gross wage. State allowance for families with children has been increased for the second and third child, also increasing child maintenance payment. Also other populations groups exposed to major social risks starting from this year will receive larger income."
The CSB kindly asks respondents to be responsive, since the information they provide is of key importance for acquisition of high quality data. Respondents will be asked questions about household composition and social and economic characteristics of household members, housing conditions, income, self-perceived health status, social exclusion and material deprivation risks as well as additional questions concerning participation in social and cultural life.
Before the interviewer’s visit or telephone interview a letter informing the households about the planned date of the interview and contact information of the interviewer will be sent to persons included in the sample. Both face-to-face and telephone interviews will be conducted by interviewers, presenting a CSB work certificate. The CSB guarantees confidentiality of the information provided.
Key results of 2014 annual survey on income and living conditions
In 2013 household disposable income reached EUR 354 monthly per household member (increase of 10.6% compared to 2012). The most rapid income growth was observed in the poorest households (of 11.6%), as well as in the richest households (of 11.2%).
The share of social transfers – pensions, allowances and other budgetary payments – in the household disposable income decreased from 32.4% in 2010 to 26.2% in 2013.
Compared to other European Union Member States there is high income inequality level in Latvia, and in 2013 Latvian Gini coefficient was the highest (35.5%) among the EU Member States.
In 2013, 21.2% of the population in Latvia were at risk of poverty. It is 1.8 percentage points more than in 2012, which can be explained with the fact that growth in income from labour was more rapid than growth in income from pensions, allowance and other budgetary payments.
In 2013 men were subjected to risk of poverty to a lesser extent than women; in turn during the crisis period (2009 - 2011) women were less subjected to risk of poverty than men.
At-risk-of-poverty rate among people aged 18 and over with primary or lower education was 36.3%; among people with secondary eduction - 19.7%, and with higher education - only 7.6%.
About the survey
European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) aims at providing comparable and systematically collectable information on various aspects that impact well-being of households as well as of individuals. The survey is carried out on a regular basis in all European Union Member States, using a common methodology.
More information on the statistical data obtained in the Survey on Income and Living Conditions EU-SILC is available at the CSB database sections Personal Income, Monetary Poverty and Income Inequality, Material Deprivation, Housing Conditions and Self-perceived Health Status.
1 Presentation "How does the Ministry of Welfare use poverty indicators in the policy-making process?", "Use of monetary poverty indicators in reducing poverty and income inequality". The Ministry of Welfare. Available at: http://www.lm.gov.lv/text/2953
2 Changes in the social field in 2015. The Ministry of Welfare. Published on 17.12.2014. Available at: http://www.lm.gov.lv/news/id/6218
3 VIDEO: In 2015 minimum wage increases while personal income tax rate is reduced. The Cabinet of Ministers. Published on 29.12.2014. Available at: http://www.mk.gov.lv/lv/aktualitates/video-2015gada-pieaug-minimala-alga-un-samazinas-iedzivotaju-ienakuma-nodokla-likme
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