Demographics of Latvia

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

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, Polish and Lithuanian 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

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1863 1,240,988—    
1897 1,929,387+55.5%
1914 2,552,000+32.3%
1920 1,596,131−37.5%
1925 1,844,805+15.6%
1930 1,900,045+3.0%
1935 1,950,936+2.7%
1943 1,760,162−9.8%
1950 1,943,146+10.4%
1959 2,079,948+7.0%
1970 2,351,903+13.1%
1979 2,502,816+6.4%
1989 2,666,567+6.5%
2000 2,377,383−10.8%
2011 2,070,371−12.9%
2018 1,917,400−7.4%
Source: [2] [3]

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 expulsion 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. Their children born after the restoration of independence in 1991 are registered as citizens, if one of the parents requests it.

Ethnic Latvians have been one of the world's slowest-growing ethnic groups for a century.[citation needed] The number of Latvians today is actually less than it was in the 1920s.

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 Belarusians 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 1 March 2011 was 2,067,887. Since the previous census in 2000 the country's population decreased by 309,000 or 13%. The proportion of ethnic Latvians increased to 62.1% of the population.[4] Livonians are the other indigenous ethnic group, with about 100,000 of them remaining.[citation needed] 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 1,249,812 in the year 2050.[5]

Immigration

Illegal immigration in Latvia has traditionally been from neighboring countries such as Russia but now migrants also come from other areas such as Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa.[6] The Latvian government have sought to work with Russia to stem the problem.[7] In 2009 the US State Department criticized Latvia for its treatment of illegal immigrants.[8]

For an immigrant not to become an illegal resident, a permit is required for a foreign national or a stateless person wishing to reside in the Republic of Latvia for more than 90 days within a 6-month period,[9] thus if the person does not acquire himself a residence permit, he will be considered an illegal immigrant.

Population

Age structure

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 percentage at census according to age groups[10][11]
Census yearChildrenWorking agePensioners
189741.052.86.2
192038.352.98.6
193530.460.39.2
194329.160.610.3
195930.063.26.8
197023.156.220.7
197921.858.319.9
198922.756.620.7
200018.058.923.1
201114.164.121.8

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

Vital statistics

[12][13][14]

Average populationLive birthsDeathsNatural changeCrude birth rate (per 1000)Crude death rate (per 1000)Natural change (per 1000)Total fertility rateInfant mortality rate (per 1000 births)Life expectancy at birth (males)Life expectancy at birth (females)
19201 727 00029 43433 891−4 45717.019.6−2.6128.4
19211 850 00036 42025 33111 08919.713.76.093.2
19221 883 00041 14627 55313 59321.914.67.290.8
19231 909 00041 79626 08015 71621.913.78.288.4
19241 845 00041 17228 39912 77322.315.46.9100.8
19251 857 00041 31427 68313 63122.314.97.3107.2
19261 871 00041 07327 55713 51622.014.77.287.9
19271 883 00041 61028 94112 66922.115.46.795.7
19281 895 00039 12627 29911 82720.714.46.296.3
19291 900 00035 67328 5127 16118.815.03.8106.7
19301 910 00037 83527 11010 72519.814.25.690.0
19311 920 00036 97226 89110 08119.314.05.386.3
19321 931 00037 36626 34211 02419.413.65.789.3
19331 939 00034 57626 3198 25717.813.64.376.4
19341 947 00033 38327 0656 31817.213.93.295.1
19351 953 00034 41927 6606 75917.614.23.578.9
19361 961 00035 46827 6467 82218.114.14.080.1
19371 968 00034 86328 0836 78017.714.33.485.0
19381 978 00036 38626 7039 68318.413.54.968.1
19392 000 00036 93227 8279 10518.513.94.670.2
19401 940 00037 49330 3557 13819.315.73.673.2
19411 755 00036 29530 4345 86120.717.33.481.7
19421 750 00036 37029 9406 43020.717.13.681.1
19431 760 00035 91529 9046 01120.416.93.593.4
19442.30
194526 21732 230−6 013111.1
19461 553 57730 54432 266−1 72218.719.7−1.193.9
19471 716 77334 83232 4352 39719.518.21.3108.7
19481 856 41935 40226 5008 90218.914.24.879.3
19491 886 79235 67125 64010 03118.913.65.383.3
19501 884 07733 13724 2508 88717.612.94.770.0
19511 889 97432 76423 8988 86617.312.64.769.6
19521 898 57732 27822 6809 59816.911.95.052.9
19531 912 83730 98622 7618 22516.111.84.346.8
19541 939 13833 20222 50010 70217.011.55.545.9
19551 966 56732 96821 33011 63816.610.85.942.0
19561 995 35432 59020 33912 25116.110.16.133.9
19572 040 97833 71421 08712 62716.410.36.132.3
19582 066 36835 06820 91014 15816.910.16.829.5
19592 079 94835 02822 60112 42716.710.85.930.8
19602 104 12835 46821 31414 15416.710.06.71.9927.0
19612 137 83035 99321 75914 23416.710.16.62.0124.1
19622 167 53135 06123 59211 46916.110.85.31.9124.2
19632 195 64033 84322 70311 14015.310.35.01.8525.9
19642 226 19833 05321 16511 88814.79.45.31.7922.0
19652 255 04831 21222 7808 43213.810.13.71.7418.9
19662 276 78931 97423 3508 62414.010.23.81.7617.0
19672 289 64532 23224 3627 87014.010.63.41.8017.3
19682 312 79532 69325 1047 58914.110.83.31.8318.9
19692 334 44332 91526 2296 68614.011.22.91.8817.7
19702 351 90334 33326 5467 78714.611.33.32.0117.7
19712 366 42435 23926 2758 96414.811.13.82.0415.9
19722 386 35335 00727 2967 71114.611.43.22.0316.0
19732 404 99534 00828 1395 86914.111.62.41.9615.8
19742 426 64234 92028 1436 77714.311.52.82.0018.4
19752 447 73034 81030 0424 76814.212.21.91.9620.3
19762 464 52934 64430 3734 27114.012.31.71.9320.1
19772 477 44934 24030 8693 37113.812.41.41.8818.3
19782 492 69734 25831 2612 99713.712.51.21.8618.1
19792 503 14534 68332 1622 52113.812.81.01.8718.3
19802 508 76135 53432 1003 43414.112.81.41.9015.3
19812 514 64035 73232 0903 64214.212.71.41.9016.0
19822 524 20237 47731 2346 24314.812.32.51.9813.9
19832 537 95840 57232 3308 24215.912.73.22.1315.9
19842 554 06340 84733 4067 44115.913.02.92.1512.9
19852 570 03039 57134 1665 40515.313.22.12.0913.0
19862 587 71641 96031 32810 63216.112.04.12.2112.8
19872 612 06842 13532 1509 98516.012.23.82.2111.3
19882 641 09741 27532 4218 85415.612.23.32.1611.066.375.0
19892 665 77038 92232 5846 33814.612.22.42.0411.365.375.2
19902 668 14037 91834 8123 10614.213.11.22.0013.764.274.6
19912 658 16134 63334 749−11613.113.1−0.01.8515.763.874.8
19922 643 00031 56935 420−3 85112.113.6−1.51.7417.663.374.8
19932 585 67526 75939 197−12 43810.415.3−4.91.5216.261.673.8
19942 540 90424 25641 757−17 5019.616.6−6.91.4115.760.772.9
19952 500 58021 59538 931−17 3368.715.7−7.01.2718.860.873.1
19962 469 53119 78234 320−14 5388.114.0−5.91.1815.963.975.6
19972 444 91218 83033 533−14 7037.713.8−6.01.1315.364.275.9
19982 420 78918 41034 200−15 7907.614.2−6.61.1115.064.175.5
19992 399 24819 39632 844−13 4488.113.7−5.61.1811.364.976.2
20002 381 71520 24832 205−11 9578.513.6−5.01.2410.364.876.0
20012 353 38419 66432 991−13 3278.314.0−5.71.2211.064.575.7
20022 320 95620 04432 498−12 4548.714.1−5.31.259.864.776.1
20032 299 39021 00632 437−11 4319.214.2−4.91.329.465.676.0
20042 276 52020 33432 024−11 6909.114.2−5.11.299.365.976.3
20052 249 72421 49732 777−11 2809.814.6−4.91.387.765.276.5
20062 227 87422 26433 098−10 83410.314.9−4.71.467.465.276.3
20072 208 84023 27333 042−9 76910.915.0−4.31.548.565.376.2
20082 191 81023 94831 006−7 05811.214.2−3.11.596.666.777.7
20092 162 83421 67729 897−8 22010.314.0−3.61.477.667.777.8
20102 120 50419 21930 040−10 8219.414.3−4.81.365.668.178.1
20112 074 60518 82528 540−9 7159.113.9−4.81.346.668.778.7
20122 044 81319 89729 025−9 1289.814.2−4.41.456.369.178.9
20132 023 82520 59628 691−8 09510.214.3−4.01.534.469.579.0
20142 001 46821 74628 466−6 72010.814.3−3.51.653.869.179.3
20151 986 09621 97928 319−6 33011.014.3-3.31.714.169.779.3
20161 968 95721 96828 580−6 61211.214.5-3.31.74
20171 950 11620 82828 757−7 92910.614.6-4.01.70
20181 934 37919 31428 820−9 5069.914.7-4.81.64


Current vital statistics

[15]

  • Number of births for January-May 2018 = Decrease 8,068
  • Number of births for January-May 2019 = Decrease 7,419
  • Number of deaths for January-May 2018 = Negative increase 12,981
  • Number of deaths for January-May 2019 = Positive decrease 12,428
  • Natural growth for January-May 2018 = Decrease -4,913
  • Natural growth for January-May 2019 = Decrease -5,009


  • Number of marriages from January-May 2018 = Decrease 3,065
  • Number of marriages from January-May 2019 = Increase 3,331

Ethnic groups

Distribution of Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians in 2011
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% (from 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 1925–2017
Ethnic
group
census 1925 [16]census 1935 [16]census 1959 [17]census 1970 [18]census 1979 [19]census 1989 [20]census 2000 [21]census 2011[4]statistics 2018[22]
Number%Number%Number%Number%Number%Number%Number%Number%Number%
Latvians1,354,12673.41,472,61275.51,297,88162.01,341,80556.81,344,10553.71,387,75752.01,370,70357.71,285,13662.11,202,78162.2
Russians193,64810.5206,49910.6556,44826.6704,59929.8821,46432.8905,51534.0703,24329.6557,11926.9487,25025.2
Belarusians38,0102.126,8671.461,5872.994,8984.0111,5054.5119,7024.597,1504.168,2023.362,7133.2
Ukrainians[23][24]5120.031,8440.0929,4401.453,4612.366,7032.792,1013.563,6442.745,7982.243,1282.2
Poles51,1432.848,9492.559,7742.963,0452.762,6902.560,4162.359,5052.544,7722.239,6872.1
Lithuanians23,1921.322,9131.232,3831.640,5891.737,8181.534,6301.333,4301.424,4791.222,8311.2
Roma2,8700.23,8390.24,3010.25,4270.26,1340.37,0440.38,2050.36,4890.35,0820.3
Jews95,6755.293,4794.836,5921.836,6801.628,3311.122,8970.910,3850.46,4370.34,7210.2
Germans70,9643.862,1443.21,6090.085,4130.23,2990.13,7830.13,4650.13,0420.12,5540.1
Estonians7,8930.47,0140.44,6100.24,3340.23,6810.23,3120.12,6520.12,0070.11,6760.09
Livonians1,2680.079440.051850.01480.01070.01350.011800.012500.011610.01
Others5,5040.33,3980.28,6480.413,8280.616,9790.729,2751.124,8241.126,6401.361,7953.2
Total1,844,8051,950,5022,093,4582,364,1272,502,8162,666,5672,377,3832,070,3711,934,379
Distribution of Russian speakers in 2000

Languages

Main language spoken at home in Latvia, 2011 census.[25]
Latvian
62.1%
Russian
37.2%
Other
0.7%

In the 2011 census, 1,164,894 persons in Latvia reported Latvian as their main language spoken at home; 698,757 respondents listed Russian as their main language spoken at home,[25] representing 37.2% of the total population, whereas Latvian was recorded as the main language spoken at home for 62.1%.[27] Latvian was spoken as a second language by 20.8% of the population, and 43.7% spoke Russian as a second language.[28] In total, 71% of ethnic Latvians said they could speak Russian, and 52% of Russians could speak Latvian in census 2000.[29]

Religion

Religion in Latvia (2011)[30]
Lutheranism
34.2%
Roman Catholicism
24.1%
Russian Orthodox
17.8%
Old Believers
1.6%
Other Christian
1.2%
Other or none
21.1%

The largest religion in Latvia is Christianity (79%),[30] though only about 7% of the population attends religious services regularly.[31] The largest groups as of 2011 were:

In the Eurobarometer Poll 2010, 38% of Latvian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", while 48% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 11% stated that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".

Lutheranism was more prominent before the Soviet occupation, when it was a majority religion of ~60% due to strong historical links with the Nordic countries and influence of the Hansa, and Germany in general. Since then, Lutheranism has declined to a slightly greater extent than Roman Catholicism in all three Baltic states. The Evangelical Lutheran Church, with an estimated 600,000 members in 1956, was affected most adversely. An internal document of 18 March 1987, near the end of communist rule, spoke of an active membership that had shrunk to only 25,000 in Latvia, but the faith has since experienced a revival.[32] Moreover, modern Evangelical Protestant denominations are spreading worldwide, including Latvia. The country's Orthodox Christians belong to the Latvian Orthodox Church, a semi-autonomous body within the Russian Orthodox Church. In 2011, there were 416 Jews and 319 Muslims living in Latvia.[30]

There are more than 600 Latvian neopagans, Dievturi, whose religion is based on Latvian mythology.[33] About 21% of the total population is not affiliated with a specific religion.[30]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Statistics - residence permit requests". Immigration-residency.eu. 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Number of Resident Population in Latvia". Central Statistics Office of Latvia. Archived from the original on 2016-05-08. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Population Census 2011 - Key Indicators". Central Statistics Office of Latvia. Archived from the original on 2016-05-29. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Population Census 2011 - Key Indicators - Latvijas statistika". Csb.gov.lv. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  5. ^ "International Data Base Country Rankings". Census.gov. Archived from the original on March 29, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  6. ^ "Illegal immigrants from Africa and Latin America increase in Latvia". The Baltic Times. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
  7. ^ "Estonia urges cooperation with Russia in fighting illegal immigration". the original on 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
  8. ^ "2009 Human Rights Report: Latvia". US State Department. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
  9. ^ "Statistics show immigration in Latvia is growing". Baltic Legal. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-27. Retrieved 2012-05-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "United Nations Statistics Division - Demographic and Social Statistics". Unstats.un.org. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  14. ^ "ISG010. Iedzīvotāju skaits, tā izmaiņas un dabiskās kustības galvenie rādītāji".
  15. ^ "Population change and demographic balance by month". Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Ethnicities in region of Latvia. Statistics". roots-saknes.lv. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  17. ^ Всесоюзная перепись населения 1959 года. Национальный состав населения по республикам СССР (in Russian). demoscope.ru. Archived from the original on 2010-03-16. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  18. ^ Всесоюзная перепись населения 1970 года. Национальный состав населения по республикам СССР (in Russian). demoscope.ru. Archived from the original on 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  19. ^ Всесоюзная перепись населения 1979 года. Национальный состав населения по республикам СССР (in Russian). demoscope.ru. Archived from the original on 2010-03-24. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  20. ^ Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года. Национальный состав населения по республикам СССР (in Russian). demoscope.ru. Archived from the original on 2010-03-16. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
  21. ^ "Integrācijas politika Latvijā: daudzpusīga pieeja" (in Latvian). 2010-04-10. Archived from the original on May 10, 2011. Retrieved 2015-12-26.
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ "Численность и удельный вес украинцев в Латвии, 1897–2011 гг. / Завьялов А. В. Социальная адаптация украинских иммигрантов : монография / А. В. Завьялов. – Иркутск : Изд-во ИГУ, 2017. – 179 с." (PDF).
  24. ^ "Численность и удельный вес украинцев в муниципальных образованиях Латвии, 2011 г. / Завьялов А. В. Социальная адаптация украинских иммигрантов : монография / А. В. Завьялов. – Иркутск : Изд-во ИГУ, 2017. – 179 с." (PDF).
  25. ^ a b c "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2014-02-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ "SPECIAL EUROBAROMETER 386 Europeans and their Languages" (PDF). Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  27. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20140227144111/http://data.csb.gov.lv/Table.aspx?layout=tableViewLayout1&px_tableid=TSG11-07.px&px_path=tautassk_11__2011.gada%20tautas%20skait%C4%AB%C5%A1anas%20gal%C4%ABgie%20rezult%C4%81ti&px_language=lv&px_db=tautassk_11&rxid=992a0682-2c7d-4148-b242-7b48ff9fe0c2. Archived from the original on 2014-02-27. Retrieved 2014-02-23. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ LR CSP preses izlaidums: 2000. Gada Tautas Skaitīšana Latvijā; 07.11.2000. Archived 2006-09-11 at the Wayback Machine(in Latvian)
  29. ^ "Valsts valoda - Statistiska". Vvk.lv. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g "Tieslietu ministrijā iesniegtie reliģisko organizāciju pārskati par darbību 2011. gadā" (in Latvian). Archived from the original on 26 November 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  31. ^ Eunice K. Y. Or (23 September 2004). "Trust in Religious Institutions does not convey to Church Attendance". Christian Today. Retrieved 28 July 2007.
  32. ^ "Latvia – SOCIETY". Mongabay.com. 18 March 1987. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  33. ^ "Statistics of approved parishes in Latvia". Reliģiju Enciklopēdija (in Latvian). The Latvian Bible Society. 1 January 2004. Retrieved 7 March 2007.

External links