It is difficult for me to imagine what should happen so that the absolute minimum number of newborns in Latvia is not reached during the last century, Mežs said.
The demographer sharply criticized the family policy implemented by the Latvian government, emphasizing that “state support in family policy is absolutely insufficient”. He noted that the government often forgets about family issues, for example, the Ministry of Finance has once again forgotten to model how its proposal will affect families with children in its latest tax reform proposals.
Mežs is convinced that the Latvian government needs a member of the government with the right to vote who could oppose or stop proposals harmful to families with children.
The demographer noted that the Latvian government often hopes that the growing demographic situation will bring improvements in the growing economy, but the growth of the “naked” economy does not stimulate the birth of children, but it also requires a purposeful family policy. In addition, a successful family policy would allow Latvia to attract re-emigrants back, Mežs is convinced.
Referring to Eurostat forecasts, Mežs noted that as a result of such a policy, Latvia will lose another half a million people by 2050, while in Estonia the reduction will be only a few percent, thus in a few generations Latvia will become smaller than Estonia in terms of population.
In Latvia, 1% -1.5% of the gross domestic product is allocated to family policy, while elsewhere in Europe it is 2% -2.5%. “But it can be changed,” Forest added.
As reported, 12,014 newborns were registered in Latvia in the first eight months of this year, which is 3.7% or 462 newborns less than in the corresponding period last year, according to preliminary data published by the Central Statistical Bureau.
Among them, 1543 newborns were registered in August, which is by 8% or 135 less than in the corresponding month of 2019.
At the same time, in the eight months of 2020, 18,474 deaths were registered, which is 0.9% or 175 less than in the corresponding period of the previous year. Including 2186 deaths were registered in August, which is 11.6% or 227 more than in August of the previous year.
Thus, the number of registered deaths in the eight months of this year exceeded the number of births by 6460, including the number of deaths registered in August exceeded the number of births by 643.
According to preliminary data, on August 1, 2020, Latvia had a population of 1.899 million.