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Riga’s population declined in 45 out of 58 neighbourhoods in past 17 years

Since 2000, Riga’s population has declined by 121 thousand people – from 762,443 to 641,481.

Analysis of the changes in breakdown by Riga city neighbourhood shows the sharpest usually resident population decline in the neighbourhoods located in Riga city centre – at the beginning of 2017, Riga centre was resided by twice as few people (30 171) as during the Population and Housing Census 2000 (50,829), followed by a drop of one third (-38 %) in Old Riga, as well as neighbourhoods Avotu (-35 %) and Grīziņkalns (-27 %).

Geospatial analysis of the population change within the Riga city area shows that population of the capital is moving “into the woods” – the most significant population increase may be observed in neighbourhood Dreiliņi (53 times) and Dārziņi (24 times), according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Population rise was recorded also in neighbourhoods Suži, Pleskodāle, Mūkupurvs, Berģi, Bieriņi, Trīsciems, Atgāzene, Buļļi, Vecāķi, Beberbeķi, Skanste and Kleisti.

More detailed geospatial analysis indicates places in which absolute change in the usually resident population during the period 2000–2017 was highly above or highly below the average. Obvious population increase may be seen in territories with the largest multi-dwelling buildings commissioned during this period, for example in neighbourhoods Dreiliņi and Skanste. However, the most dramatic population decline may be observed in the central part of the city and many neighbourhoods with multi-dwelling buildings erected during the Soviet period. Geospatial data reflect also influence caused by the closing of the prison in neighbourhood Šķirotava.

The average age of Riga population accounts for 42 years, and since 2000 the indicator has grown by two years. At the beginning of 2017, the lowest average age of population was recorded in neighbourhood Skanste (34 years), whereas the highest in neighbourhoods Ķengarags, Rumbula and Voleri (45 years).

Young people more commonly choose to live in neighbourhoods Skanste, Kleisti, Atgāzene, Centrs, Dreiliņi, Katlakalns, Vecpilsēta, Avoti, Brasa, Dārziņi and Trīsciems – the average age of population in these neighbourhoods has decreased, e.g., in 2017 the average age of persons residing in neighbourhood Skanste is seven years smaller than in 2000.

Out of the total number of Riga inhabitants, 78 % or 498,370 people are citizens of Latvia, 18 % or 114,361 are non-citizens of Latvia, 3 % or 20,512 people are citizens of Russia, whereas 1 % or 8,238 people are citizens of other countries. The largest proportion of Latvia citizens are inhabitants of neighbourhood Bieriņi (94 % of the total population in this neighbourhood) and the greatest share of non-citizens – in neighbourhood Daugavgrīva (31 %). The largest share of Russia citizens is recorded in neighbourhoods Daugavgrīva (8 %) and Skanste (6 %). Atgāzene, being the neighbourhood in which Turība University is located, has the highest proportion of inhabitants having citizenship of other countries – 14 %. Comparatively high proportion of foreigners is living also in Riga old-town (neighbourhood Vecpilsēta) – 6 %.

Analysis of the data in breakdown by ethnicity shows that neighbourhood Bieriņi (82 % of the neighbourhood population) is resided by the greatest share of Latvians, followed by neighbourhoods Buļļi (80 %) and Kundziņsala (79 %). The largest proportion of Russians is living in neighbourhoods Daugavgrīva (56 %) and Bolderāja (50 %).

Riga city neighbourhood statistics is based on the information acquired in Population and Housing Censuses of 2000 and 2011, as well as CSB population estimate of 2016 and 2017.


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