Welfare changes in households in 2nd quarter of 2011

14.09.2011

Already for the second year in a row the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) has been carrying out a survey with an aim to acquire information on welfare of households. The survey was developed in cooperation with experts from the World Bank. During a survey one person in the household provides information on changes of the economic situation in the whole household during the last 12 months. In the 2nd quarter of 2011 the CSB acquired information from 3.4 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 the situation has slightly stabilised, as the number of negative evaluations is diminishing; nevertheless it is not as rapid as in the previous years.

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

 

 

2010 by quarter

2011

Changes  in the 2nd  quarter of 2011, in comparison to the 2nd quarter of 2010, percentage points

I

II

III

IV

I

II

Country, total

75

66

56

52

52

48

-18

urban areas

76

70

58

53

54

49

- 21

rural areas

72

58

52

48

45

46

-12

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

Finding a job still is significant problem. In the 2nd quarter of 2011 only in 14% of the total number of households, where the members were looking for a job, someone found it. But 11% of the households, where some of the members ran own business, admitted that during the last 12 months demand for the goods or services provided by his/her enterprise had increased.

Taking into account the decrease in income and the current economic situation, during the last 12 months residents have found different ways to economise.

Share of households taking measures to economise (%)

 

 

2010 by quarter

2011

Changes  in the 2nd  quarter of 2011, in comparison to the 2nd quarter of 2010, percentage points

I

II

III

IV

I

II

Limited or postponed purchase of clothing

 

66

 

57

 

56

 

56

 

54

 

56

 

-1

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

 

50

 

40

 

38

 

38

 

40

 

44

 

+ 4

Cancelled or postponed a doctor visit due to economic reasons

 

32

 

23

 

22

 

22

 

22

 

21

 

- 2

Did not purchase medication prescribed by the doctor due to lack of resources

 

28

 

21

 

20

 

18

 

20

 

22

 

+ 1

Delayed payments of rent or public utilities

 

25

 

22

 

20

 

19

 

21

 

20

 

-2

Financial savings of the households are a significant aspect for ensuring economic stability. Unfortunately, approximately four fifths of the households admitted that they did not have any savings; moreover during the year this indicator has slightly grown – from 79% in the 1st quarter of 2010 to 84% in the 2nd quarter of this year.

To improve the economic situation, households receive both - formal (state and local government) and informal (relatives, friends, etc.) material aid. According to the survey data, 13% of the households have received aid from state and local governments (10% in the 1st quarter of 2010). The share of households receiving material aid from relatives or friends has slightly decreased. If at the beginning of the survey in the 1st quarter of 2010, 13% of the households received financial aid from relatives in Latvia, then in the 2nd quarter of 2011 this indicator was 11%, whereas 5% received financial aid from relatives or friends living abroad.

In 2011 the CSB will continue carrying out such survey every quarter and will inform on the survey results on regular basis.

 

Prepared by the Employment Statistics Section
Tel. 67366886
Zaiga Priede