Press Release

Development of demographic processes in Latvia in the 1st half-year of 2008

In 2008 the number of Latvian population still continues to decrease, according to the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) data. However, the decrease rate has slowed down during the recent years: In 2007 the number of Latvian population has decreased by 0.5%, compared to 0.7% in 2000. In July 1st this year 2 million 266 thousand residents lived in Latvia, which is less by 4.8 thousand people or by 0.2% than in the beginning of this year, according to the calculation of the CSB. The number of population due to natural movement (the number of deaths exceeding births) resulted in a population decrease of 3.7 thousand; excess of emigration over immigration resulted in a population drop of 1.1 thousand persons.

In the first half-year of 2008 the number of residents increased only in Jurmala (by 161 persons) and in 3 central districts of the country: Riga (by 2765), Jelgava (by 150) and Ogre (by 139). This happened only in the influence of internal migration because the number of deaths exceeds the number of births in almost all administrative territories, excluding Jelgava, Riga and Ventspils districts where small natural resident increase occurred (by 11, 171 and 13 persons, respectively).

During this period  net migration of population was positive only in Jurmala (265 persons), Jelgava district (178 persons) and Riga district (2594 persons).

Dynamics of main demographic indicators

in 2007

of which in first half-year of 2007

in first half-year of 2008

first half-year of 2008 over first half-year of 2007, in per cent

Number of concluded marriages





Per 1,000 population (calculation per year)





Number of births





Per 1,000 population (calculation per year)





Number of deaths





Per 1,000 population (calculation per year)





Since 2002 the tendency of marriage number increase was observed in Latvia. In 2007, 15,486 marriages were concluded which is the largest number since 1993. However, this year the number of marriages has significantly decreased. In the 1st half-year of 2008, 4,546 marriages were cocluded which is less by 800 marriages or by 15% than in the first six months of 2007.

Statistical indicators characterizing marriages concluded in the first half-year this year were higher in all seven cities, as well as in districts of Bauska, Daugavpils, Ogre, Rezekne, Riga, Saldus, Tukums and Ventspils, compared to average indicators in the country. However, the smallest numbers of marriages in this period, calculating per 1,000 population, were concluded in districts of Limbazi, Madona and Talsi.

Already for several years small birth increase tendency is observed in Latvia. In 2007 there was the highest birth rate in the country in the past 13 years- 23,273 children were born. In the 1st half-year of this year the number of births was 12,280 which is more by 846 children or by 7.4%, compared to the same period last year.

The highest birth rates in the first half-year were in Riga district– 13.0, Jelgava – 12.4, Jelgava district – 12.0 and Ogre district – 11.6 births per 1,000 residents; but the lowest birth rates were in the districts of Kraslava (7.6), Ludza (7.8) and Rezekne (8.2).

Within the nearest years, the birth rate might remain increase tendency because during the past years the number of women in fertile age (15-49 years) has become stable. If since 2000 the total number of women has decreased by 4.7%, the number of women aged 15 - 49 has decreased only by 1.8%. The highest birth indicators are for women aged 20 – 29 years. The rate of women in fertile age in this age group over the total of women has increased from 27.2% in 2000 to 29.4% in the beginning of 2008.

The death rate has been constant during the past 3 years: about 33 thousand deaths each year. The number of deaths within six months this year was 16.0 thousand (less by 1.212 persons or by 7% in the corresponding period of last year).

Number of births and deaths in the first half-year of 2007 and 2008 by months

Comparatively, the largest numbers of deaths were in Ludza district (21.8 deaths per 1,000 population) and Rezekne district (18.7), the smallest numbers – in Ventspils district (9.7) and Riga district (11.0).

Prepared by the Population Statistics Section
Tel. +371 67366903
Elmīra Seņkāne

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