Press Release

International Youth Day in Latvia may be celebrated by 308 thousand youngsters

Data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia show that International Youth Day, on August 12, in Latvia may be celebrated by 308 435 young people (aged 13-251) or by 15% out of the total 2.024 million Latvia residents. 71% of the total youngster number or 217 474 people are Latvians. The highest share of youth in the total city population is recorded in Valmiera (16%), followed by Jēkabpils (15.16%), Jelgava (15.3%) and Liepāja (15.1%); whereas the share of young people in Riga comprises 13.2% or 85 092 people.

Latest data characterising the school period, starting from the age of 13, are:in the school year 2012/2013, the number of entrants in Grade 7 of general full time schools comprised 17 644, while the number of basic school graduates constituted 17 775. 61% of them continued studies in secondary schools, 34% in vocation schools, whereas 5% discontinued studies.

63% of the secondary school graduates continue studies in higher education institutions or colleges, while 6% – in vocational schools, e.g., in the school year 2012/2013, the number of entrants in vocational schools comprised 10 360, whereas the number of graduates constituted 8 684, and 31%, in its turn, discontinue studies.

The most common foreign languages learned in schools are English, Russian or German. In the school year 2011/2012, out of 218 442 pupils 83.2% were learning English, 34.5% – Russian, while 11.8% – German.

At age 16-17 young people are participating in voluntary work activities, NGOs, youth councils etc. More than a half or 53% of the youngsters aged 16-19 during the last year has done voluntary work at least once. In 2012, 98% of Latvia youth aged 16-24 were using Internet regularly (at least once a week), and only 1.6% of the adolescents were not using computer on regular basis.

At the beginning of the academic year 2012/2013, the number of entrants in Latvia higher education institutions and colleges accounted for 94 474. The most popular fields of education and training were social sciences, business and law (40%), engineering, manufacturing and construction (15.9%), health and welfare (11.8%); humanities and arts (8.6%), as well as science, mathematics and computing (8.2%); whereas education was chosen by 6% and agriculture only by nearly 2% of students. 89% of the total enrolment number acquired certificate for higher education, while 11% discontinued studies.

1883 students (2%) have participated in exchange programmes in 44 higher education institutions abroad; moreover, each 8th student went to Germany.  It should be noted that, in 2011, Latvia had the second highest number of female students (61.1%) among the EU countries (EU average – 55.2%). The first place was held by Iceland with 62.2%, while the third – by Slovenia with 60.6% female students.

Young people are actively integrating into the labour market: active population in age group 20-24 is comprised by 63%, while 26% are unemployed persons. In 2012, 2.7 thousand self-employed persons were aged 15-24 – 2.7% of the total self-employed number. The largest share of self-employed young people (30%) was working in Riga. In line with the results of the Population and Housing Census 2011, 830 youngsters (aged 15-25) are employers; moreover, men comprised the largest share of persons running own business – 70.2%.

In Latvia young people are starting families at rather young age: in 2012, 4.4% or 10 835 of all Latvia young people aged 15-24 were married. 49 males and females have married with a parental consent before they reached the age of 18.

In 2012, mothers aged 20-24 have given birth to 3 908 children – to each fifth or 19% of the babies born in 2012. As compared to other EU countries, the share of mothers aged under 19 (incl.) is comparatively high. In 2012, 783 children were born to mothers under age of 19 – 3.9% of the total number of births.  In other EU Member States this indicator varies between 1% and 2%. In comparison with Latvia, only Bulgaria and Rumania indicate higher share of young mothers. However the share of mothers at young age is gradually reducing, e.g., in 1993, 13.5% of children were born to mothers aged less than 19 (largest share during the last years), in 1995 – 11.2%, while in 2000 – 7.9%.


Sanda Rieksta
CSB Public Relations Manager
67366621; 27880666
Twitter: @CSB_Latvia


1 Basing on the Youth Law of Latvia young people are persons from 13 to 25 years of age.

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