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Monday 19.03.2018 | Name days: Jāzeps

Latvia reports second lowest birth rate since 1998

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULast year reported the second lowest birth rate since 1998 – 19.2 thousand (18.4 thousand in 1998). This happens at a time when death rates are still exceeding births and the net migration is negative. Consequently, it causes unfavourable trends in the age structure of population, with the residents’ aging continuing in Latvia, similarly as in Europe.

Since 2000, the number of children and teenagers (aged 0 – 14 years) has declined by 121.6 thousand (on average by 12.2 thousand per year), and their share in the overall population has dropped from 18.0% in early 2000 to 13.7% in early 2011. However, due to temporary birth rise observed during the past years, this decrease is slowing down. In 2000, the number of children and teenagers shrunk 18.3 thousand, while last year it fell only by 2.6 thousand, according to the Central Statistical Bureau data.

Moreover, the share of population aged 15 – 64 years has grown 1.7 percentage points since 2000. Nevertheless, the number of residents aged over 65 years rose by 33.8 thousand during this period, and their share in the overall population has climbed from 14.8% to 17.4% or by 2.6 percentage points.

After analysing the population number by gender, it is possible to conclude that in 2010 the number of males aged under 14 years exceeded the number of females by 2.2%, while the number of females prevailed 2.7% in the age group 15 – 64 years. However, in the age group over 65, the number of females is 35% higher than the number of males.

Since 1993, the share of children and teenagers in the demographic burden has been lower than the share of residents of pension age, as birth rates went down, while death rates and the migration of working age population increased. In early 2011, the number of residents of retirement age per 1000 population of working age was 1.5 times higher than the number of children and teenagers.

In 2010, the share of children and teenagers reduced in all 27 European Union (EU) countries. An even larger drop than in Latvia (4.2%) was only observed in Lithuania (5.2%) and Cyprus (5.9%). Also, the share of elderly people (aged 65 and over) was up 1.8% in the EU. Latvia posted the fourth highest increase (2.5%) in this age group after Slovenia (2.6%), Malta (2.7%) and Germany (4.4%). The number of population aged 15 – 64 has surged in majority of EU member states, except Denmark, Greece, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Slovenia, Spain and France.

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