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Ceturtdiena 19.10.2017 | Name days: Drosma, Drosmis, Elīna

Demographer: immigration impacts the population of this generation

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Author: Ieva Lūka/LETAMost Latvian residents believe immigration is the largest threat to Latvia’s demography. 60% of respondents agree with this statement, which is 6% more than there were in 2010 (54%).

Most (60%) of respondents claim they have heard about Economy Ministry’s (EM) developed re-immigration plan. A total of 59% of respondents believe the activities included in the plan could potentially contribute to the return of their compatriots home. Respondents note that the information available on Latvia’s job market (33%) and providing financial support to employers for the attraction of highly qualified workforce (26%) are two of the most effective measures, according to results of DNB Latvian barometer.

Nearly half of the respondents have mentioned that they have friends that have left for foreign countries, and still live and work there. 33% of respondents said their relatives or friends had used the opportunity to return home. Only 14% of respondents have noted that they have no friends or relatives that have left Latvia in search of a better life.

“Rapid immigration rates cost Latvia more people than low birth rates and high mortality. For example, mortality claims around 10 000 residents every year. The “losses” caused by immigration are much higher. Consequences of immigration will be felt after 4-5 years, when the number of jobs in Latvia exceeds that of available people of working age”, – Ilmars Mezs, a demographer of the International Organization for Immigration, explains.

“When asked as to how many of those that have left could return to Latvia in the next five years, more than half of respondents (56%) said – less than 10%. 18% of respondents said 10-25% could return, 5% said 26-50%. Only 1% of respondents said more than 50% of Latvians would return to Latvia.”

When evaluating different aspects that could potentially contribute to the people’s return to Latvia, respondents mentioned: larger salaries (81%) and more jobs (68%). Other possible aspects include lowering general costs for goods and services to live in Latvia. 16% of respondents believe social benefits are of the utmost importance, while 15% of respondents believe the state should offer more support to entrepreneurship.

“It is no surprise that residents believe immigration is the largest threat to Latvia’s demography, and that their return could, most likely, be motivated by larger salaries. The second most often mentioned aspect is a larger number of available jobs. We need to keep in mind that the imbalance between Latvia’s job market’s offered remuneration options and the residents’ demand will remain for some time”, – says Providus researcher Valts Kalnins.

“Unfortunately, the reasons often mentioned by respondents as to why they chose to stay in Latvia cannot be linked to the feeling of economic comfort (only 14% have said they have good jobs and salaries).

The reasons mentioned are mostly conditions that limit immigration opportunities. This does not offer certainty that the wave of immigration will rapidly reduce in the near future. According to data from the European Commission, unlike Bulgaria and Romania, people with higher or medium qualifications leave Baltic countries. One third of EU immigrants are even over-qualified for some jobs abroad”, – Latvian Employers Confederation director general Liga Mengelsone comments the survey results.


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  1. JPR says:

    Keep the Muslims out!

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