Demographics of Latvia

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Population of Latvia (in millions) from 1920–2014

This article is about the demographic features of the population of the historical territory of Latvia, including population density, ethnic background, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Background[edit]

Latvia was settled by the Baltic tribes some three millennia ago. The territories along the eastern Baltic first came under foreign domination at the beginning of the 13th century, with the formal establishment of Riga in 1201 under the German Teutonic Knights.

Latvia, in whole or in parts, remained under foreign rule for the next eight centuries, finding itself at the cross-roads of all the regional superpowers of their day, including Denmark (the Danes held on lands around the Gulf of Riga), Sweden, and Russia, with southern (Courland) Latvia being at one time a vassal to Poland-Lithuania as well as Latgale falling directly under Poland-Lithuania rule. Through all this time, Latvia remained largely under Baltic German hegemony, with Baltic Germans comprising the largest land-owners, a situation which did not change until Latvia's independence.

Historically, Latvia has had significant German, Russian, Jewish and Polish minorities. The majority (roughly two thirds) of Latvians, under Swedish influences, adopted Lutheranism, while the minority (the remaining third) of Latvians under Poland-Lithuania, Latgale in particular, retained their Catholicism. Aglona, in Latgale, has been the site of annual Catholic pilgrimage for centuries, even through to today.

Recently introduced immigration law in Latvia provides framework for immigration through investment in various financial areas or real estate. In 2012, solely 2,435[1] applications for residence permit by investment in real estate were received by Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs. Main immigrant countries are Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania (Lithuania is in the European Union, thus no investment is needed). Moreover Latvia receives residence permit applications from people of nationalities such as Afghans, Chinese, Libyans and people from various other distant countries.

Historical shifts[edit]

Latvia's indigenous population has been ravaged numerous times throughout history. The earliest such event occurred during the conquest of Latvia by Peter the Great in the Great Northern War with Sweden.

In 1897, the first official census in this area indicated that Latvians formed 68.3% of the total population of 1.93 million; Russians accounted for 12%, Jews for 7.4%, Germans for 6.2%, and Poles for 3.4%. The remainder were Lithuanians, Estonians, Gypsies, and various other nationalities.

The demographics shifted greatly in the 20th century due to the world wars, the repatriation of the Baltic Germans, the Holocaust, and occupation by the Soviet Union. Today, only the Russian minority, which has tripled in numbers since 1935, remains important. The share of ethnic Latvians grew from 77% (1,467,035) in 1935 to 80% (1,508,800), after human loss in World War II and human deportation and other repressive measures, fell strongly to 52% (1,387,757) in 1989.

In 2005, there were even fewer Latvians than in 1989, though their share of the population was larger - 1,357,099 (58.8% of the inhabitants). People who arrived in Latvia during the Soviet era, and their descendants born before 21 August 1991, have to pass a naturalisation process to receive Latvian citizenship. Children born to residents after the restoration of independence in 1991 automatically receive citizenship. However, if both parents are non-citizens then the parents must take the extra step of choosing Latvian citizenship for their child—who is automatically entitled, but for whom citizenship is not automatic (neither granted nor imposed).

Over 130,000 persons have been naturalized as Latvian citizens since 1995, but 290,660 persons, as of March 2011, live in Latvia with non-citizen's passports. Large numbers of Russians, as well as some Ukrainians and Belarussians remained in Latvia after the fall of the Soviet Union.

According to the provisional results of the Population and Housing Census 2011, the total population of Latvia on March 1, 2011 was 2,067,887. Since the previous census in 2000 the country's population decreased by 309 thousand or 13%. The proportion of ethnic Latvians increased to 62.1% of the population.[2] Livonians are the other indigenous ethnic group, with about 100 of them remaining. Latgalians are a distinctive subgroup of Latvians inhabiting or coming from Eastern Latvia.

According to rankings provided by the United States Census Bureau—International Data Base (IDB)—Country Rankings, Latvia is estimated to have a population of 1,544,000 in the year 2050.[citation needed]

Immigration[edit]

Immigration in Latvia has traditionally been from neighboring countries such as Russia but now migrants also come from other areas such as Latin America and Africa.[3] The Latvian government have sought to work with Russia to stem the problem. [4] The Latvian government has been criticized for its treatment of illegals[5][6]

For immigrant not to be illegal a residence permit is required if a foreign national or a stateless person wishes to reside in the Republic of Latvia for more than 90 days within a 6-month period,[7] thus if the person does not acquire himself a residence permit, he is considered illegal immigrant.

Population[edit]

Age structure[edit]

Approximate demographic evolution in Latvia, 1920–2011. NB. the amount of time between each year in the diagramme is not the same which gives a somewhat garbled image of the evolution.
Population at census according to age groups[8][9]
Census year Children Working age Pensioners
1897 41.0 52.8 6.2
1920 38.3 52.9 8.6
1935 30.4 60.3 9.2
1943 29.1 60.6 10.3
1959 30.0 63.2 6.8
1970 23.1 56.2 20.7
1979 21.8 58.3 19.9
1989 22.7 56.6 20.7
2000 18.0 58.9 23.1
2011 14.1 64.1 21.8

On 1 January 2011 the average age was 41.6 years—6 months more than the average age published earlier.

Vital statistics[edit]

Source: Latvijas Statistika and UN Demographic Yearbooks
Average population (× 1000) Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) Total fertility rate Infant mortality rate (per 1000 births)
1920 1 727 29 434 33 891 −4 457 17.0 19.6 −2.6
1921 1 850 36 420 25 331 11 089 19.7 13.7 6.0
1922 1 883 41 146 27 553 13 593 21.9 14.6 7.2
1923 1 909 41 796 26 080 15 716 21.9 13.7 8.2
1924 1 845 41 172 28 399 12 773 22.3 15.4 6.9
1925 1 857 41 314 27 683 13 631 22.3 14.9 7.3
1926 1 871 41 073 27 557 13 516 22.0 14.7 7.2
1927 1 883 41 610 28 941 12 669 22.1 15.4 6.7
1928 1 895 39 126 27 299 11 827 20.7 14.4 6.2
1929 1 900 35 673 28 512 7 161 18.8 15.0 3.8
1930 1 910 37 835 27 110 10 725 19.8 14.2 5.6
1931 1 920 36 972 26 891 10 081 19.3 14.0 5.3
1932 1 931 37 366 26 342 11 024 19.4 13.6 5.7
1933 1 939 34 576 26 319 8 257 17.8 13.6 4.3
1934 1 947 33 383 27 065 6 318 17.2 13.9 3.2
1935 1 953 34 419 27 660 6 759 17.6 14.2 3.5
1936 1 961 35 468 27 646 7 822 18.1 14.1 4.0
1937 1 968 34 863 28 083 6 780 17.7 14.3 3.4
1938 1 978 36 386 26 703 9 683 18.4 13.5 4.9
1939 (e) 1 970 36 400 27 400 9 000 18.5 13.9 4.6
1940 (e) 1 900 36 700 29 800 6 900 19.3 15.7 3.6
1941 1 790 37 125 30 989 6 136 20.7 17.3 3.4
1942 37 219 30 568 6 651
1946 1 636 30 544 32 266 −1 722 18.7 19.7 −1.1
1947 1 787 34 832 32 435 2 397 19.5 18.2 1.3
1948 1 872 35 402 26 500 8 902 18.9 14.2 4.8
1949 1 886 35 671 25 640 10 031 18.9 13.6 5.3
1950 1 887 33 137 24 250 8 887 17.6 12.9 4.7
1951 1 895 32 764 23 898 8 866 17.3 12.6 4.7
1952 1 906 32 278 22 680 9 598 16.9 11.9 5.0
1953 1 926 30 986 22 761 8 225 16.1 11.8 4.3
1954 1 953 33 202 22 500 10 702 17.0 11.5 5.5
1955 1 981 32 968 21 330 11 638 16.6 10.8 5.9
1956 2 018 32 590 20 339 12 251 16.1 10.1 6.1
1957 2 054 33 714 21 087 12 627 16.4 10.3 6.1
1958 2 073 35 068 20 910 14 158 16.9 10.1 6.8
1959 2 092 35 028 22 601 12 427 16.7 10.8 5.9 1.94
1960 2 121 35 468 21 314 14 154 16.7 10.0 6.7 1.99
1961 2 153 35 993 21 759 14 234 16.7 10.1 6.6 2.01
1962 2 182 35 061 23 592 11 469 16.1 10.8 5.3 1.91
1963 2 211 33 843 22 703 11 140 15.3 10.3 5.0 1.85
1964 2 241 33 053 21 165 11 888 14.7 9.4 5.3 1.79
1965 2 266 31 212 22 780 8 432 13.8 10.1 3.7 1.74
1966 2 283 31 974 23 350 8 624 14.0 10.2 3.8 1.76
1967 2 301 32 232 24 362 7 870 14.0 10.6 3.4 1.80
1968 2 324 32 693 25 104 7 589 14.1 10.8 3.3 1.83
1969 2 343 32 915 26 229 6 686 14.0 11.2 2.9 1.88
1970 2 359 34 333 26 546 7 787 14.6 11.3 3.3 2.01
1971 2 376 35 239 26 275 8 964 14.8 11.1 3.8 2.04
1972 2 396 35 007 27 296 7 711 14.6 11.4 3.2 2.03
1973 2 416 34 008 28 139 5 869 14.1 11.6 2.4 1.96
1974 2 437 34 920 28 143 6 777 14.3 11.5 2.8 2.00
1975 2 456 34 810 30 042 4 768 14.2 12.2 1.9 1.96
1976 2 470 34 644 30 373 4 271 14.0 12.3 1.7 1.93
1977 2 485 34 240 30 869 3 371 13.8 12.4 1.4 1.88
1978 2 498 34 258 31 261 2 997 13.7 12.5 1.2 1.85
1979 2 506 34 683 32 162 2 521 13.8 12.8 1.0 1.87
1980 2 512 35 534 32 100 3 434 14.1 12.8 1.4 1.90 15.3
1981 2 519 35 732 32 090 3 642 14.2 12.7 1.4 1.90
1982 2 531 37 477 31 234 6 243 14.8 12.3 2.5 1.98
1983 2 546 40 572 32 330 8 242 15.9 12.7 3.2 2.13
1984 2 562 40 847 33 406 7 441 15.9 13.0 2.9 2.15
1985 2 579 39 571 34 166 5 405 15.3 13.2 2.1 2.09 13.0
1986 2 600 41 960 31 328 10 632 16.1 12.0 4.1 2.22
1987 2 627 42 135 32 150 9 985 16.0 12.2 3.8 2.21
1988 2 653 41 275 32 421 8 854 15.6 12.2 3.3 2.16
1989 2 667 38 922 32 584 6 338 14.6 12.2 2.4 2.04
1990 2 663 37 918 34 812 3 106 14.2 13.1 1.2 2.00 13.7
1991 2 651 34 633 34 749 −116 13.1 13.1 −0.0 1.85 15.7
1992 2 614 31 569 35 420 −3 851 12.1 13.6 −1.5 1.74 17.6
1993 2 563 26 759 39 197 −12 438 10.4 15.3 −4.9 1.52 16.2
1994 2 521 24 256 41 757 −17 501 9.6 16.6 −6.9 1.41 15.7
1995 2 485 21 595 38 931 −17 336 8.7 15.7 −7.0 1.27 18.8
1996 2 457 19 782 34 320 −14 538 8.1 14.0 −5.9 1.18 15.9
1997 2 433 18 830 33 533 −14 703 7.7 13.8 −6.0 1.13 15.3
1998 2 410 18 410 34 200 −15 790 7.6 14.2 −6.6 1.11 15.0
1999 2 390 19 396 32 844 −13 448 8.1 13.7 −5.6 1.18 11.3
2000 2 373 20 248 32 205 −11 957 8.5 13.6 −5.0 1.24 10.4
2001 2 355 19 664 32 991 −13 327 8.3 14.0 −5.7 1.21 11.0
2002 2 320 20 044 32 498 −12 454 8.7 14.1 −5.3 1.25 9.8
2003 2 299 21 006 32 437 −11 431 9.2 14.2 −4.9 1.32 9.4
2004 2 277 20 334 32 024 −11 690 9.1 14.2 −5.1 1.29 9.4
2005 2 250 21 497 32 777 −11 280 9.8 14.6 −4.9 1.39 7.8
2006 2 228 22 264 33 098 −10 834 10.3 14.9 −4.7 1.46 7.6
2007 2 209 23 273 33 042 −9 769 10.9 15.0 −4.3 1.54 8.7
2008 2 192 23 948 31 006 −7 058 11.2 14.2 −3.1 1.59 6.7
2009 2 163 21 677 29 897 −8 220 10.3 14.0 −3.6 1.47 7.8
2010 2 121 19 219 30 040 −10 821 9.4 14.3 −4.8 1.36 5.7
2011 2 075 18 825 28 540 −9 715 9.1 13.9 −4.8 1.34 6.7
2012 2 041 19 897 29 025 −9 128 9.8 14.2 −4.4 1.44
2013 2 005 20 340 28 815 −8 475 10.1 14.4 −4.3 1.52

e=estimate, p=provisional

Current vital statistics[edit]

-Number of births from January to September 2013 = Increase 15,595

-Number of births from January to September 2014 = Increase 16,320

-Number of death from January to September 2013 = Increase 21,502

-Number of death from January to September 2014 = Decrease 21,115

-Natural increase from January to September 2013 = Decrease −5,901

-Natural increase from January to September 2014 = Decrease −4,495

Ethnic groups[edit]

Ethnic Latvians and Russians
Smaller ethnic minorities

Latvians have always been the largest ethnic group in Latvia during the past century, but minority peoples have always been numerous. Before WW II the proportion of non-Latvians was approximately 25%, the Russians being the largest minority (app. 10%), followed by Jews (approx. 5%), Germans and Poles (2–3%). After World War 2 only small numbers of Jews and Germans remained and following a massive immigration of Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians, Latvians almost became a minority. In 1989, the proportion of Latvians had decreased to only 52% (75.5% in 1935). Despite the decreasing number of Latvians due to low fertility rates, the proportion of Latvians has considerably increased during the past two decades and reached 62.1% in 2011 (slightly higher than the 62.0% in 1959). This is due to large scale emigration of Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians. The number of these peoples almost halved between 1989 and 2011.

Population of Latvia according to ethnic group 1925–2013
Ethnic
group
census 1925 [10] census 1935 [10] census 1959 [11] census 1970 [12] census 1979 [13] census 1989 [14] census 2000 [15] census 2011[2] statistics 2014[16]
Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  %
Latvians 1,354,126 73.4 1,472,612 75.5 1,297,881 62.0 1,341,805 56.8 1,344,105 53.7 1,387,757 52.0 1,370,703 57.7 1,285,136 62.1 1,229,067 61,4
Russians 193,648 10.5 206,499 10.6 556,448 26.6 704,599 29.8 821,464 32.8 905,515 34.0 703,243 29.6 557,119 26.9 520,136 26,0
Belarusians 38,010 2.1 26,867 1.4 61,587 2.9 94,898 4.0 111,505 4.5 119,702 4.5 97,150 4.1 68,202 3.3 68,695 3,4
Ukrainians 512 0.0 1,844 0.1 29,440 1.4 53,461 2.3 66,703 2.7 92,101 3.5 63,644 2.7 45,798 2.2 45,282 2,3
Poles 51,143 2.8 48,949 2.5 59,774 2.9 63,045 2.7 62,690 2.5 60,416 2.3 59,505 2.5 44,772 2.2 43,365 2,2
Lithuanians 23,192 1.3 22,913 1.2 32,383 1.6 40,589 1.7 37,818 1.5 34,630 1.3 33,430 1.4 24,479 1.2 25,025 1,3
Jews 95,675 5.2 93,479 4.8 36,592 1.8 36,680 1.6 28,331 1.1 22,897 0.9 10,385 0.4 6,437 0.3 5,402 0,3
Roma 2,870 0.2 3,839 0.2 4,301 0.2 5,427 0.2 6,134 0.3 7,044 0.3 8,205 0.3 6,489 0.3 5,594 0,3
Germans 70,964 3.8 62,144 3.2 1,609 0.1 5,413 0.2 3,299 0.1 3,783 0.1 3,465 0.1 3,042 0.1 2,886 0,1
Estonians 7,893 0.4 7,014 0.4 4,610 0.2 4,334 0.2 3,681 0.2 3,312 0.1 2,652 0.1 2,007 0.1 1,882 0,1
Livonians 1,268 0.1 944 0.0 185 0.0 48 0.0 107 0.0 135 0.0 180 0.0 250 0.1 171 0,0
Others 5,504 0.3 3,398 0.2 8,648 0.4 13,828 0.6 16,979 0.7 29,275 1.1 24,824 1.1 26,640 1.3 54,134 2.7%
Total 1,844,805 1,950,502 2,093,458 2,364,127 2,502,816 2,666,567 2,377,383 2,070,371 2,001,468

Languages[edit]

Native languages in Latvia, 2011 census.[17]
Latvian
  
62.1%
Russian
  
37.2%
Other
  
0.7%

In the 2011 census, 1,164,894 persons in Latvia reported Latvian as their mother tongue; 698,757 respondents listed Russian as their mother tongue,[17] representing 37.2% of the total population, whereas Latvian was recorded as the mother tongue for 62.1%.[18] Latvian was spoken as a second language by 20.8% of the population, and 43.7% spoke Russian as a second language.[19] In total, 71% of ethnic Latvians said they could speak Russian, and 52% of Russians could speak Latvian in census 2000.[20]

Religion[edit]

In a 2005 survey, 24.1% described themselves as Russian Orthodox, 20.7% Catholics, 20.0% Lutherans, 4.4% Old Believers, 10.6% non-denominational believers and 15.8% non-believers.[21] Lutheranism was the majority religion before World War II, but has now fallen to third place behind Russian Orthodoxy and Catholicism.

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics[edit]

The following data are estimates as of September 2009, obtained from the CIA World Factbook.

Sex ratio[edit]

at birth: 1.054 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15–64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.48 male(s)/female
total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Life expectancy at birth[edit]

total population: 72.68 years
male: 67.56 years
female: 78.07 years (2011 est.)

Nationality[edit]

noun: Latvian(s) (archaic: Lett(s))
adjective: Latvian (archaic: Lettish)

Literacy[edit]

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.7% (2000 census)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.immigration-residency.eu/faq/latvia-real-estate-statistics-residence-permit-requests-history/ Statistics - residence permit requests
  2. ^ a b Population Census 2011—Key Indicators
  3. ^ "Illegal immigrants from Africa and Latin America increase in Latvia". The Baltic Times. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  4. ^ "Estonia urges cooperation with Russia in fighting illegal immigration". Baltic Review. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  5. ^ "2009 Human Rights Report: Latvia". US State Department. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  6. ^ "New measures for restricting employment of illegal immigrants". Saeima Press Service. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  7. ^ "Statistics show immigration in Latvia is growing". Baltic Legal. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  8. ^ 1897-1959. uzrādītas vecuma grupas līdz 20 gadiem, 20-65 g. un virs 65 g. (1959. - virs 70 g.), skat.: Jānis Rutkis. Latvijas ģeogrāfija. Apgāds Zemgale. Stokholma. 1960. 421. lpp.
  9. ^ 1970-2006. uzrādītas vecuma grupas atbilstoši attiecīgo gadu likumdošanā noteiktajam darbspējas un pensijas vecumam, skat.: Demogrāfija 2006. LR CSP. Rīga. 2006. ISBN 9984-06-287-2. 21–22 lpp.
  10. ^ a b "Ethnicities in region of Latvia. Statistics". roots-saknes.lv. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  11. ^ Всесоюзная перепись населения 1959 года. Национальный состав населения по республикам СССР (in Russian). demoscope.ru. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  12. ^ Всесоюзная перепись населения 1970 года. Национальный состав населения по республикам СССР (in Russian). demoscope.ru. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  13. ^ Всесоюзная перепись населения 1979 года. Национальный состав населения по республикам СССР (in Russian). demoscope.ru. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  14. ^ Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года. Национальный состав населения по республикам СССР (in Russian). demoscope.ru. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ http://data.csb.gov.lv/Selection.aspx?px_path=Sociala__Ikgad%C4%93jie%20statistikas%20dati__Iedz%C4%ABvot%C4%81ji__Iedz%C4%ABvot%C4%81ji%20skaits%20un%20t%C4%81%20izmai%C5%86as&px_tableid=IS0191.px&px_language=lv&px_db=Sociala&rxid=992a0682-2c7d-4148-b242-7b48ff9fe0c2
  17. ^ a b c [2] (Latvian)
  18. ^ [3] — choose "Results of Population Census Year 2011, in short" and "Iedzīvotāju dzimtā valoda un citu valodu prasme"(Latvian)
  19. ^ LR CSP preses izlaidums: 2000. Gada Tautas Skaitīšana Latvijā; 07.11.2000.(Latvian)
  20. ^ Dažādu tautu valodu prasme(Latvian)
  21. ^ Samazinās to Latvijas iedzīvotāju īpatsvars, kuri sevi uzskata par luterāņiem(Latvian)

External links[edit]