Welfare changes in households in 1st quarter of 2011

13.06.2011

Already for the second year in a row the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) is carrying out a survey with an aim to acquire information on welfare of households.The survey was developed in cooperation with the experts of the World Bank.During a survey one person in the household was providing information on changes of the economic situation in whole household during the last 12 months.In the 1st quarter of 2011 CSB acquired information from 3.5 thousand households, and the obtained data were extrapolated to all private households in the country.

The results acquired in the survey on welfare of the households show that situation has slightly stabilised, because the number of negative evaluations is diminishing, nevertheless it is not as rapid as previous year.

Share of households indicating the worsening of welfare during last 12 months (%)

 

 

2010 by quarters

2011

Changes of 1st quarter 2011, in comparison with 1st quarter 2010, percentage points

I

II

III

IV

I

Country totally

75

66

56

52

52

-23

urban areas

76

70

58

53

54

-22

rural areas

72

58

52

48

45

-27

Main reasons for welfare worsening mentioned in the households were:reduction of wages and salaries; growth of prices of food products and other goods of prime necessity; loss of job; discontinuation of job seeking, because person was discouraged to find a job etc. At the beginning of the previous year the main reason for welfare worsening mentioned was reduction of wages and salaries, but starting with the 3rd quarter of 2010 – the growth of prices of food products and other goods of prime necessity.

Finding a job still is significant problem.In the 1st quarter of 2011 only 11% of the total number of households, where members were looking for a job, someone found it.But 9% of the households, were some of the members had own business, admitted that during the last 12 months demand for the goods or services produced in his/her enterprise has increased.

Considering the reduction of the income and current economic situation during the last 12 months residents saved in various ways.

Share of households taking measures to save (%)

 

 

2010 by quarters

2011

Changes of 1st quarter 2011, in comparison with 1st quarter 2010, percentage points

I

II

III

IV

I

Limitation or postpone of clothing purchase

 

66

 

57

 

56

 

56

 

54

 

-12

Reduction of the consumption of basic food products (potatoes, bread, pearl barley, eggs, milk etc.)

 

50

 

40

 

38

 

38

 

40

 

-10

Cancelled or postponed doctor visit due to the economic reasons

 

32

 

23

 

22

 

22

 

22

 

-10

Did not use medication prescribed by the doctor because of the lack of resources to purchase it

 

28

 

21

 

20

 

18

 

20

 

-8

Had to delay payments of rent or public utilities

 

25

 

22

 

20

 

19

 

21

 

-4

Financial savings of the household are significant to ensure the economic stability.Unfortunately, approximately four fifths of the households admitted that there are no such, moreover during the year this indicator has slightly grown – from 79% in the 1st quarter of 2010 to 83% in the 1st quarter of this year.

To improve the economic situation, households receive formal (state and local government) and informal (relatives, friends, etc.) material aid.

According to the survey data, 13% of the households received aid from state and local governments.The share of households, which have received the aid, has a trend to increase slightly – from 10% in 1st quarter of 2010 to 13% in 1st quarter of this year.  The share of those households, which have received material aid from relatives or friends, has not changed.Just like prior, also in the 1st quarter of 2011 12% of the households received financial aid from relatives or friends in Latvia, but 4% of the households, in turn, had financial aid from relatives or friends living abroad (this kind of aid during a year has reduced slightly – a year ago such kind of aid was received by 6% of households).

CSB will continue to carry out such survey every quarter all year long and will inform on the survey results on regular basis.

 

Prepared by the Employment Statistics Section
Tel. 67366886
Zaiga Priede