The changing face of Latvian emigration …and the changing face of Latvia

March 1, 2012
AmCham Outlook on demographics

Mihails Hazans
University of Latvia Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA, Bonn)

Dynamics of Latvia’s population, natural increase and net migration, 2000-2011
140 120 100 1000 80 60 40 20 0
2000-2003 2004-2008 2009-2010 2011

Net emigration Natural decrease

2500 2400 1000 2300 2200 2100 2000 1900 1800 2000 2004 2009 2011 2012
Population on January 1

Population change in the Baltics. 2000-2011 (% of the inititial population) .

1970-2011 .Birth & Death Rates (per 1000): The Baltics vs. The Old Europe.

Net migration (per 1000): The Baltics vs. The Old Europe. 1970-2011 .

• About 80% of recent (2009-2011) emigrants from Latvia are younger than 35 • Hence..and faster than population of the countries which host our emigrants . the remaining population is aging faster than each of us... • ....Most emigrants are young.

Population by age: 2011 vs. 2000 .

Labour Supply in Latvia: Back-of-the-Envelope Forecast Economically active population 1040 1020 1000 980 1000 960 940 920 900 880 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 .

Three emigration waves • Pre-accession: 2000-2003 • Post-accession: 2004-2008 • Crisis: 2009-2011 .

and willingness to accept risk – Comparative advantage for university graduates – A higher than average proportion of ethnic minorities – A high degree of geographical diversification of migration flows – – – – – . access to information.(i) 2000-2003: Personal initiative and effort • High unemployment.) • Emigration potential was reduced by Hopes for a better life in Latvia Institutional obstacles for labour migration Difficulties related to information and job search High monetary and psychic costs In sum: rather high de facto thresholds with respect to own-initiative. low income large emigration potential (2000: ~15% of active pop.

these gains were. migrant networks. the intensity of emigration declined due to strong economic growth in Latvia. less so. larger for persons with secondary or lower education • Migration flows to a large extent re-directed towards the United Kingdom and Ireland (and. while return migration increased . fallling communication and transportation costs  further reduction of migration costs • Emigrants’ self-selection in terms of human capital was driven mainly by expected gains in terms of income and working conditions.(ii) 2004-2008: Institutional and market forces • Migration-friendly institutional changes along with technical progress reduced all kinds of migration costs • Emigration boom  growing diasporas. on average. Sweden) • The proportion of non-Latvians (especially non-citizens) among emigrants declined • In the second half of the period.

loss of hopes and uncertainty of Latvia's development path) in shaping migration flows increased The role of host country's social protection system increased among pull factors Migrants are more oriented towards permanent emigration and more often move as whole families The proportion of the highly educated among emigrants increased significantly and exceeded corresponding proportion among stayers The proportion of individuals oriented towards own business among emigrants increased The proportion of ethnic minorities (especially those with Latvian citizenship) among emigrants increased. but also lack of prospects. .• • • • • • • (iii) 2009-2011: Lost jobs and lost hopes The intensity of emigration from Latvia increased The role of push factors (especially unemployment & wage cuts.

Emigrants from Latvia (aged 22+) by completed education at the end of 2010 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 2000-2003 2004-2008 2009-2010 Continental Europe Latvian/Latvian Minority/Latvian Minority/Other Other/NA Ireland Total UK 31 24 32 23 36 25 15 28 30 36 27 Tertiary Secondary Basic or less NA Period of moving Ethnicity and citizenship Host country .

Emigrants’ main occupation. by education level. host country & period of moving 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 2000-2003 2004-2008 Below Secondary 2009-2010 Secondary Other/NA Tertiary Ireland Continental Europe Total UK Other/NA Job seeking Studies/Training Self-employment Paid work not using one's qualification Paid work using one's qualification Education Host Time of departure .

Estonian and Latvian (net) emigration flows by direction and period. 2000-2010 100% Other 80% FI FI FI FI FI 60% Nordic counties 40% Western Europe 20% 0% 2000-2003 2004-2005 2006-2008 2009-2010 2000-2010 2000-2003 2004-2008 2009-2010 2000-2010 Ireland Estonia Latvia UK .

11 years 3 .Latvian emigrants' plans to return within 6 months and within 5 years.3 years 1 .2 years Less than 1 year Total 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% Elapsed duration of stay abroad Host country Education Plans to return within the next 6 months Plans to return within 5 years (but not within 6 months) . 2011/01 Ethnicity and citizenship Minority/Other Minority/Latvian Latvian/Latvian Tertiary Secondary Basic or less Other/NA Continental Europe Ireland UK 5 .5 years 2 .

early 2011 .Emigration plans of Latvia’s residents aged 18-65.

early 2011 .Emigration plans of Latvia’s residents aged 18-65.

the UK. Latvia has lost at least 230 thousand persons due to [mostly unregistered] emigration • Latvia's society is much older than we used to think and is aging faster than societies in the countries of the old Europe • Latvia’s birth rate is lower but death rate higher than in Estonia.Main findings (1) • In 2000 – 2011. Lithuania. Ireland and Norway. and it is getting worse .

In a longer perspective (within five years) about 20% might come back • The propensity to emigrate due to only non-economic reasons among citizens of Latvia does not depend on ethnicity and is larger than among non-citizens • Overall propensity to move abroad during the crisis is larger among non-Latvians (especially those holding Latvian citizenship) • The proportion of the highly educated among emigrants increased significantly and exceeded corresponding proportion among stayers. The brain drain risk becomes not negligible . • Students are strongly over-represented among the potential emigrants.Main findings (2) – from surveys conducted in early 2011 • Just 8% of emigrants plan to return within six months.

to avoid increasing motivation to emigrate among large groups of population • State and municipalties should engage in strengthening the links with the emigrants • Liberalise [selective] immigration • EU-wide compensation mechanisms • EU-wide demographic stimulus (means tested child benefit floor) .Policy recommendations • Expert assessment should apply to any significant policy change.

Mobility and Capability”.lu. Human Development Report 2010/2011: National Identity. • Ad hoc calculations . Farnham. Riga: Univ. http://www. Klave (eds). 12. “Latvia. Who lives in Latvia today? A snapshot of real demographic situation. M (2012). Selectivity of migrants from Baltic countries before and after enlargement and responses to the crisis. M (2011). in Bela Galgoczi. Intra-EU Migration in Troubled Times: Skills Mismatch. Return Migration and Policy Responses. In: B. The changing face of Latvian emigration.2011. 2000-2010. M. Janine Leschke and Andrew Watt (eds). Public presentation.lv/zinas/t/7594/ • Hazans.09.Sources: • Hazans. of Latvia Press: 70-91 • Hazans.Zepa and E. UK: Ashgate (forthcoming). University of Latvia.

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