At the beginning of 2015, there were 277 thousand young people aged 13 to 25 in Latvia. Of them 142 thousand were males, and 135 thousand – females. Over the last five years the number of youth shows on average 5.7% decrease annually.
Also the share of young people in the total number of population keeps declining each year. While in 2005 each fifth (20%) Latvian national was aged 13 to 25 years, in 2010 the share of youth dropped to 17%, and in 2015 – to 14%, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
172,000 children attended primary schools in the academic year 2014/2015. After graduating from primary school, 61.3% continued studies in secondary school, 33.8% chose to continue their studies in vocational education institutions, and 4.9% discontinued their studies.
37,000 school students attended secondary schools in Latvia in the academic year 2014/2015. In 2014, 63.8% of secondary school graduates continued their studies in universities and colleges, and 7.3% – in vocational education institutions. In 2014 the share of youth who discontinued their studies after secondary school graduation decreased to 28.9% (in 2010 – 36.9%).
29,137 first-year students were enrolled in universities and colleges in the academic year 2014/2015, of them 24 135 – in undergraduate studies. As compared to the previous year, the number of enrolled students decreased by 7%. Over the last decade the number of students has been decreasing. The largest drop in the number of enrolled students was witnessed in the academic year 2009/2010, when the number of first-year students as compared to the previous period declined by 10,048 persons or 24.2%.
During the pre-crisis period in the academic year 2007/2008, 25% of the university and college students were studying for state and local government budget funding, and 75% – for personal funding. In recent years this proportion has changed – in the academic year 2014/2015, 40% of the students received state or local government funding, and 60% were studying for personal funding.
In 2014, 40.4% of young people aged 15 to 24 were economically active. 32.5% were employed, and the majority had a paid job. Of all employed young people aged 15 to 24, 68.3% worked in services sector (69.4% of them in trade), 24.9% – in production sector, and 6.8% – in agriculture. Compared to the previous years, youth unemployment has decreased (in 2014 – 19.6%); however, it still exceeds the average unemployment level in the country two times. The main reasons for youth unemployment include lack of experience and professional qualification.