If to assess welfare of the state by routine emigration of its common people rather than by celebratory speeches of its highest-level leaders, then the preceding year showed stagnation in the development of Latvia. In 2015 the country was shrinking by 30 people a day.
In general, during the year just according to the official data 10.6 thousand people left Latvia in quest of better fortune. This, of course, is less than during the recessionary 2009-2010, when per 35 thousand Latvians used to make for the emigration yearly. But more than in 2014. So, the trend is negative, the depopulation rates grow.
If to add deceased Latvians to the emigrants, then, despite slight gain in new-born residents of the country, one must state — a small country Latvia over the year 2015 became yet smaller. Over the year Latvia shrank by 17.1 thousand residents. To be more accurate, as at the begging of the year just 1 968 957 of us remained.
To put up with the inevitable departure to a better world or to the western world? To make sure that the last Latvian would not forget to switch off the light at Riga Airport? To pass the bug to unfavorable political, economic, anthropological and etc. factors? But others can preserve and increase population after all!
This is not about fertile Africa. This is about our neighbours. In Estonia in 2015 for the first time over the last 25 years immigration exceeded emigration and compensated surplus of deaths over births. Thus, last year there were more of the Estonians than the year earlier. The same trends are observed in Russia — last year the number of the Russians grew by 60 thousand people. Both in Estonia and in Russia the positive demographic balance is inconsiderable as against the total population of the countries. But here the trend matters.
Interestingly, people left in Latvia try to stick together stronger. Maybe they are scared to stay in the desert country, maybe it is more difficult to survive alone, maybe these are postponed weddings, but that is just the point — over recent years the number of new marriages has shown a steady growth (from 11.2 thousand in 2012 to 13.6 thousand in 2015) and the number of divorces falls (from 7.3 to 5.2 thousand accordingly).
Improvements in many spheres are required to facilitate faster return of the departees. Of course, well-paid jobs are required. What is the point to leave suburbs of Stockholm for suburbs of Riga, if the Latvian earnings in consideration of the purchasing power are twice less than in Scandinavian countries?
The general business environment is important as well. So, a study dedicated to the Latvians born in the USA and in Canada shows that their re-immigration is hampered by fears of a high level of corruption.
In general, like five and ten years ago, Latvia needs the development of a detailed migration national policy. The policy which dissolves in speech.