Research programmes


In the second part of the 1990s two scientific programme on population of Latvia were worked out:

"Population of Latvia and people's health" (1995-2001)

  Project's co - directors Dzerve (Latvian Institute of Cardiology), Dr.habil.demogr. Parsla Eglite (Institute of Economics), Dr.habil.chem. Elmars Grens (Biomedical research and study centre), Dr.habil.demogr. Peteris Zvidrins (Centre of Demography).

A programme "Population of Latvia and people's health" was among the first five research programmes accepted by the Latvian Council of Science in 1995. The research is aimed to investigative more actual population replacement, people's health and cardiovascular and oncological problems. The programme has four subprogrammes, whose titles and objectives for every year are precised. Further the tasks of subprogrammes are briefly characterized.

The objectives of the subprogramme "Population replacement in Latvia" are the formation of the data system in the sphere of the population reproduction and investigation of the situation of the replacement of generations in Latvia and its rayons and cities as well as ethnic groups, in the 1990s. In 1998 population projections were worked out for Latvia and its regions for the period up to 2025.

In the second subprogramme the researches on "Efficiency of social policy as regards replacement of generations and health promotion" were envisaged. The research was aimed to find out the efficiency of actual state's policy in the fields of replacement of generations, health promotion and relevant education, its impact on real reproductive activity in families and dynamics of average life expectancy and also to work out recommendations for improvement of this policy, based on the results of the research.

The principal aim of the third subprogramme was to investigate the most prevalent CVD diseases and their social, environmental and other factors of risk in the longitudinal investigation based of the previous crossectional study "Epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases" (CVD) and, as a result, work out a programme of prophylaxis.

This investigation was the first longitudinal epidemiological research of this kind in Latvia. It was performed on randomized selection of the Riga population both males and females in the range between 20 and 69 years (4,500 people).

The fourth subprogramme's researchers from many institutions - Biomedical research and study centre, Latvian Medical Academy, National Health Centre, Institute of Microbiology and Virology, Institute of Organic Synthesis - were working on molecular and cell biology, immunology, oncology, organic synthesis and virology. The subprogramme includes also clinic studies.

"Human potential in Latvia, its quantitative and qualitative reproduction at the rise of XXI century" (1997 - 2000)

  Project's director Dr. habil.demogr. Parsla Eglite (Institute of Economics).

The research was aimed to find out changes in human potential in Latvia both during transition period and years to come, including characteristics and forecasts of educational level and human potential.

"Development of households and families in Latvia" (1995-2000)

  Project's director Dr. habil. Demogr. Peteris Zvidrins (Centre of Demography, University of Latvia).

On the base of materials obtained during the fulfilment of two international research projects the development of marriages, families and households have been analysed. The research was realized in cooperation with specialists of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in accordance with accepted programme in about 20 countries. Standard country (Latvia) report has been prepared on family change and economic and social status of older inhabitants.

"National processes in Latvia"

  Project's director Dr. phil. Elmars Vebers. (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology). The aim of the programme is to work out the conception of the political nation of Latvia, the conception of Latvia as a nation state, and the conception of national politics in Latvia.

"Change of spatial structure of towns and mobility of population"

  Project's director Dr. geogr. Andris Bauls (Department of Human Geography, University of Latvia).

The target of this project was to analyse social - economical and spatial behaviour of population and to find out the structurization of objects of manufacture and social infrastructure in different areas of the towns in transition period to market economy. Social - economic behaviour takes shape under conditions of variety of interacting human cultural pursuits (social, economic, psychological, spatial). Awareness of societies' heterogeneous nature and clarification of differences in human understanding and behaviour patterns are of paramount importance in developing a new human planning system.

"Stratified analysis of the standard of living of population of Latvia, using statistical and econometrical methods" (1997 -2000)

  Project's director Dr.econ. Inta Ciemina (Department of Statistics and Demography, University of Latvia).

Main tasks of the project are: to investigate the peculiarities of living standards of different ethnic groups and pensioners.

In 1998 - 1999 the work was continued maintaining the initial aims:
  - to investigate the peculiarities of the living standards of the population of Latvia taking into account the differences among national, social and territorial groups (this investigation should be carried out on the basis of the data on household budgets provided by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia);
  to work out the econometric models of the living standards of the above - mentioned groups;
  to work out recommendations for the Central Statistical Bureau concerning the improvement of collecting information on the living standards of the population.

"Results of population policy in Latvia" (2001 - 2003)

Project's director Dr. habil.demogr. Parsla Eglite.

"Changes of demographic structures in Latvia at the turn of 20th and 21th centuries and their consequences ” (2001 - 2003)

Project's director Dr. habil. Demogr. Peteris Zvidrins

The objective of the project is to investigate the dynamics of demographic structures and consequences of tese changes complexly and in detail.

"Differentiation of population ageing and prolongation of length of active life" (2002 - 2005)

Project's director Dr. habil. Demogr. Peteris Zvidrins

The objective of the subprogramme is to investigate the level, differentiation and factors of population ageing in Latvia during the last decade and determine the possible ways of increasing the length of active life.



„Latvian demographic development projections” (2004-2006)

Project’s director Dr. habil. Demogr. Peteris Zvidrins.


The aim of the project was to work out projections of population size, composition and  demographic processes and analyse the findings of the projections. Demographers of the University of Latvia in cooperation with CSB and Eurostat introduced a new approach in the calculation cycle of national population projections in Latvia. The basic variant envisages moderate fertility increase and mortality decrease, as well as first negative but later positive net migration indicators, especially after 2025. Projections’ calculations show that population decrease in Latvia will continue. The basic variant envisages the decrease up to 2.1 million in 2025 and 1.9 million in 2050. In the future, population decline is to be expected in all Latvian reģions and largest cities, except the Riga vicinaty region.



“Research of socio-demographic regularities of population ageing” (2006 -2009)

Project’s director Dr. habil. Demogr. Peteris Zvidrins.


The purpose of the cooperation project ”Research of socio–demographic regularities of population ageing, social consequences of ageing” is to investigate the level of Latvia population ageing, dynamics and difference in socio-demographic groups and regions as well as determine the social consequences of ageing. Since the restoration of independence in Latvia the ageing of population is a big problem. The average age of population has increased rapidly and ageing rates are among the highest in the Europe. Latvia is characterized by the biggest gap between women and men ageing indicators. Special attention was devoted to the analysis of population ageing in different regions as well as ageing of working population. On average the oldest population is in Latgale region and major cities (especially in Riga).



“Demographic development of Latvian regions” (2007-2008)

Project’s director Dr. habil. Demogr. Peteris Zvidrins.


Latvia nowadays finds itself in a deep demographical crisis. The number of inhabitants in the country has been continually decreasing for the last twenty years. The existing low fertility level does not ensure the simple generation replacement. Latvia has turned into a statistically unestimated active emigration country. There exist differences in the indicators of regional demographical processes. Latgale and other farther districts from Riga meet extremely critical demographical situation. To improve the situation in the country it is necessary to realize an active demographical policy.



“Depopulation in Latvia: development, causes and consequences” (since 2009)

Project’s director Dr. habil. Demogr. Peteris Zvidrins.



„ Prolongation of individuals’ active life” (2003-2006)

Project’s director Dr. habil. Demogr. Parsla Eglite


Eventual prolongation of individulal’s healthy and active life depends on his/her total burden of work and diversity of leisure activities. These charactiristics for Latvia are available from time use data collected in years 1972, 1987, 1996 and 2003. To find out the changes since previous time use study and existing differences among certain groups of the population additional calculations to those published by statistics were maintained for rather homogenous groups: by gender, employment and age; gender, employment and education; gender, employment and age of the youngest child if any. Comparison of a week’s time use by these groups in 1996 and 2003, show that time spent at job has increased, but that of unpaid domestic care decreased.



„Migration and its consequences in Latvia after joining the EU” (2004-2008)

Project’s director Dr. habil. Demogr. Parsla Eglite.


There is no statistical data on labour migration of Latvians to other member states of EU, not mention about the experience and satisfaction of individuals involved. To fill this gap at 1st stage of the research the survey was carried out among persons with such experience and witout it. It was found out that most mobile are young people and those who have already studied or worked abroad. The most popular motivation for working abroad is larger income and desire to learn more about life in other countries.

Guest workers from Latvia, who have left for „old” memberstates of EU, use not to declare change of their permanent residence as great share of them plan to return.


“Social consequences of aging and ways of compensation” (since 2007)

Project’s director Dr. habil. Demogr. Parsla Eglite.


The stage of the research in 2007 was devoted to relations between older and younger generations at work. For this purpose a survey among employees working in most of industrial branches of economy and services was carried out (N-527). Evaluation of skills and attitudes to work of rather young and elderly work mates is more diversified by age.

The part of the research carried out in 2008 deals with distribution of employed by age and professional groups, as well as possibilities to replace those to retire by youngsters, taking into account composition of professions chosen by representatives of both genders and motivation of their choice.