On 1 March 2011 population of Latvia was 2 070 371
Population of Latvia on 1 March 2011 in accordance with the 2011 Population and Housing Census data was 2 070 371.
Since the previous Population and Housing Census 2000 the population has decreased by 307 thousand population or by 13 %.
Greatest population drop in Latgale
Census data show that as compared with Census 2000 the population witnessed the greatest drop in Latgale (21.1 %) and Vidzeme (17.5 %). In turn, in Pierīga region it increased by 3.2 %.
Among cities under state jurisdiction the number of population during the above period fell most rapidly in the following four major cities: Daugavpils - by 19.3 %, Rēzekne - by 18.1 %, Liepāja - 14.6 %, in Riga - by 14.2 %. Decrease of population below the national average indicator (13 %) since 2000 was recorded in Jelgava (6.7 %), Jūrmala (8.9 %), Valmiera (9.7 %), Jēkabpils (11.8 %), and Ventspils (12.1 %).
Census data show that the smallest counties by the number of population were Baltinava county (1 178) Alsunga county (1 470) and Mērsrags county (1 638). In turn, the largest counties were Ogre county (36 173), Talsi county (31 192) and Tukums county (30 602 inhabitants).
Since the previous census, the number of population has increased in 16 counties. But in the remaining 94 counties it has decreased; the most dramatic drop of 25-33 % was recorded in Aglona, Aloja, Alsunga, Baltinava, Cibla, Dagda, Ērgļi, Jēkabpils, Kārsava, Nereta, Rugāji, Rundāle, Tērvete and Viļaka county.
The 2011 Census data show that 946.8 thsd of the Latvian population were men, and 1 121.1 thsd women. Men's share in the total population of the country has decreased from 46.1 % in 2000 to 45.8 % in 2011; the proportion of women has increased slightly - from 53.9 % to 54.2 %. There are about 174 thsd women more than men in Latvia; in Census 2000 this difference was 187 thsd.
Ageing of the population
Due to unfavourable demographic processes the rapid ageing of the population has become evident – the number of children is decreasing, while the number and share of older people in the total population is growing.
During the period between two Population and Housing Censuses, the total population of the country, as mentioned above, decreased by 307 thsd persons or by 13 %; among persons aged 0-14 the decrease was 138 thsd or 32.2 % of the total number in this age group, but in the working age group (15-61 years) - 185 thsd or 12.3 %. The number of children (0-14 years) fell most sharply in Vidzeme region - by 44.1 %, in Latgale region - by 41.7 %, in Kurzeme region - by 36.2 % and in Zemgale region - by 35.9 %.
At the same time the number of retirement-age population increased by 14 thsd or 3.3 %.
The share of retirement-age population compared with 2000 increased the most - by 24.9 % - in Pierīga region, while in Riga and Latgale the number of retired people as compared with the previous Population and Housing Census decreased.
Population age structure changes over a longer period also confirm the ongoing process of ageing of the population, which has become more rapid in the recent decades.
If before the Second World War according to the 1935 Census data the proportion of persons aged 0-14 years in the total population was 24.6 %, of persons aged 15-64 years - 67.4 %, and of persons aged 65 years or older - 8 %, the relevant data of the 2011 Population and Housing Census accounted for 14.2 %, 67.4 % and 18.4 %, respectively.
Before and including the Population and Housing Census 1989 the number of population was growing rapidly. During the period between Census 1935 and Census 1989 the population of Latvia increased by almost 40 %. The urban population in this period increased 2.7 times, while the rural population decreased by 35 %. Since 1990, both the total population of the country, as well as urban and rural population has been declining.