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Barometer: the real threat for Latvia is low birth rate, not terrorism

Predicting the main risks for Latvia in the coming 2018, nearly half of respondents (46%) mentioned demographic problems. Terrorism was mentioned only by 11% of respondents, according to results of the latest Baltic International Bank’s Latvian barometer.

At the same time, residents in Latgale more often than residents of other regions mentioned economic decline (37%) as the main threat for Latvia.

Residents also mentioned other important factors that could potentially threaten Latvia in the coming year. Residents in Zemgale (32%) see a major threat to the country’s continued existence in poor state management. Residents in Riga (30%) believe migrants can cause a major threat to the country, whereas interviewed residents in Kurzeme (23%) and Vidzeme (19%) said rise of corruption will be a major threat for Latvia in the coming year.

Residents were asked to look back at 2017 and mention the most noteworthy events that would best describe this year. Among the most popular events mentioned by respondents were accomplishments of Latvian athletes in sports (60%) and floods in Latgale (43%).

A comparison based on regions shows that opinions differ among residents of different regions of Latvia. Those living in Riga value road and street repairs (32%) the most, whereas people in Pieriga and Kurzeme remembered the strike organized by doctors this year (30% and 29%). Residents of all regions also mentioned the publication of oligarch talks and the consequences that followed it (9%).

Results show that residents of Zemgale are more optimistic than the rest about 2018 – 74% of them expect the year to be more successful than 2017. Students and schoolchildren (48%), households (46%) and officials (44%) all expect the next year to be better than the last. Unemployed people (12%) are the most pessimistic of the lot, believing that 2018 will turn out worse than 2017.

Looking at data from perspective of each separate region, it becomes clear than residents of Zemgale (42%) and Pieriga (41%) are the most optimistic about 2018, whereas their neighbours from Kurzeme are less optimistic – 32%.

When asked to list three fields in which they have had the best accomplishments in 2017, residents in Zemgale mentioned family, relationships and love (37%). Material welfare was mentioned the most by residents of Vidzeme (18%). The majority of people obsessed with their careers were found in Riga (15%). 25% of residents of Kurzeme found it difficult to remember the fields in which they have had the biggest accomplishments this year.


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