Some 238,000 emigrants have left Latvia in the last 14 years, Latvian Economics Ministry data showed Wednesday.
Ministry official Olegs Baranovs told members of the Latvian parliament’s citizenship, migration and society cohesion committee that Latvia’s population shrank by 16 percent between 2000 and 2014. “Two thirds of this is attributable to emigration,” he said.
Baranovs told lawmakers that about 125,000 people had left Latvia since the wave of emigration started in 2009. Since 2011, however, the emigration rate has been slowing and immigration rising. The number of people arriving in Latvia is still lower than the number of those moving to foreign countries, however.
Better opportunities to find well-paid jobs in their native country would be the main stimulus for emigrants to return to Latvia, the Economics Ministry said.
Latvia’s population decreased to below two million in 2014, according to the national statistics office data. Enditem