Welfare changes in households in 3rd quarter of 2011

13.12.2011

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 has been developed in cooperation with the experts from the World Bank. During a survey one person in the household provides information on changes in the economic situation in the whole household during the last 12 months. In the 3rd 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, as the number of negative evaluations is diminishing, nevertheless it is not as rapid as previous years.

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

 

 

2010 by quarter

2011

Changes of 3rd quarter 2011, in comparison with 3rd quarter 2010, percentage points

I

II

III

IV

I

II

III

Country, total

75

66

56

52

52

48

41

-15

     

urban areas

76

70

58

53

54

49

41

-17

 

rural areas

72

58

52

48

45

46

41

-11

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 the welfare decline 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 3rd quarter of 2011 only 13% of the total number of households, where the members were looking for a job, someone found it. But 12% of the households, were some of the members ran own business, admitted that during the last 12 months demand for the goods or services produced in and provided by his/her enterprise has increased.

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

Share of households taking measures to economise (%)

 

 

2010 by quarter

2011

Changes of 3rd quarter 2011, in comparison with 3rd quarter 2010, percentage points

I

II

III

IV

I

II

III

Limitation or postpone of clothing purchase

 

66

 

57

 

56

 

56

 

54

 

56

 

51

 

-5

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

 

50

 

40

 

38

 

38

 

40

 

44

 

 38

 

 

0

Cancelled or postponed doctor visit due to the economic reasons

 

32

 

23

 

22

 

22

 

22

 

21

 

21

 

- 1

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

 

28

 

21

 

20

 

18

 

20

 

22

 

19

 

            - 1

Had to delay payments of rent or public utilities

 

25

 

22

 

20

 

19

 

21

 

20

 

18

 

-2

Financial savings, on which the household would live for at least one month, supposed it does not have other source of income, are significant aspect for ensuring economic stability (regardless where these savings are kept – at home or in bank). Unfortunately, approximately four fifths of the households admitted that they did not have savings, moreover during the year this indicator has slightly grown – from 79% in the 1st quarter of 2010 to 81% in the 3rd 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, 12% of the households have received aid from state and local governments (10% in 1st quarter of 2010). The share of those households receiving material aid from relatives or friends has slightly decreased. At the beginning of the survey in the 1st quarter of 2010, 13% of the households received financial aid from relatives in Latvia, but in the 2nd quarter of 2011 this indicator comprised 10%, whereas 4% received financial aid from relatives or friends living abroad.

CSB will continue carrying out such survey until the end of 2011 and will inform on the survey results.

 

Prepared by the Employment Statistics Section
Tel. 67366886
Zaiga Priede


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