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Wednesday 25.04.2018 | Name days: Līksma, Bārbala
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Latvians acknowledge low birthrate risks but are not prepared to plan bigger families

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia’s demography is threatened the most by residents leaving the country to live and work in other countries. Risks are the highest among young people. It should be added, however, that young people are also usually the most optimistic, because 25% to 50% of the people who left also expect to return to Latvia later on, according to Baltic International Bank Latvian Barometer.

Only 8% of respondents expect 25% or more departed residents to return to Latvia, whereas 2/3 of residents believe no more than 10% will return. Residents of Zemgale more often than residents of other regions of Latvia mentioned how they expect more than a quarter of departed residents to return to Latvia. Residents of Vidzeme seem to be the biggest sceptics among their countrymen – 75% believe no more than one-tenth of departed residents will return.

Residents of different regions also expressed different opinions as to what could motivate residents to return to the country. In Latgale and Kurzeme respondents mentioned that more jobs would motivate residents to come back. Residents of Vidzeme most often mentioned bigger support for business activities. Residents of Zemgale mentioned more generous support for families with children. 81% of residents in all regions believe re-emigration would benefit the most from larger wages.

High income does not contribute to formation of large families

What is especially worrying for residents is that emigration is not the only factor that affects a country’s demographic state. While emigration was mentioned as the primary threat by 63% of respondents, 22% are also worried about low birthrates. The majority of respondents who mentioned this are in the 35 to 44 year group.

Although insufficient finances (81.4%) and inappropriate living conditions (48.6%) are mentioned as the most often reasons why Latvian families do not grow, people with large income are those who believe an ideal family is one with two children (38.7%). 50% of this group’s respondents have no children at the moment.

Larger families – three and four children – are more often considered ideal by people with average low and medium income. 56% of residents in countryside regions lean more towards having three children, whereas residents in cities prefer having two children (40%).

The desire to have many children increases the desire for better conditions that contribute to childbirth. 46% of residents in Riga mentioned availability of kindergartens as the main factor, whereas 50% of countryside residents mentioned support and benefits for large families. 71% of Latvian residents are in agreement – it is necessary to improve the existing family support system and increase benefits for families with children.

When asked about the possible reasons why Latvian families have fewer children than what they want, 60% of Riga’s residents mentioned inappropriate living conditions. In spite of the high index, Riga residents, more than residents of other regions in Latvia, feel the most secure about their future.

Ref: 224.109.109.4249


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