In 2019 the share of households who paid for usual necessary expenses with difficulty or great difficulty constituted 28.6%, down by 7.1% YoY.
The share of households making ends meet with some difficulty or fairly easily increased between 2018 (56.8%) and 2019 (62.4%), as had the proportion of households making ends meet easily or very easily (7.4% and 9%), according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSB).
The most optimistic assessments in respect to making ends meet were observed in Riga and Pieriga households. Out of them, 67.6% and 59.7% had paid for usual necessary expenses with some difficulty or fairly easily, respectively, whereas 10.7% and 9.9% – easily or very easily, respectively. In Kurzeme and Zemgale regions majority of households admitted that are able to meet daily expenses with difficulty or great difficulty – 34.7% and 35.7%, respectively.
The greatest difficulty to pay for usual necessary expenses was observed in households consisting of single elderly people (aged 65 and over) and one adult with children – 47.8% and 40.1% of them admitted that make ends meet with difficulty or great difficulty, respectively. The smallest share of households having difficulties to make ends meet was observed among couples with one child (12.7%).
In 2019, inhabitants of Latvia indicated that one household member would need at least EUR 579 monthly to make ends meet. It is EUR 24 or 4.3% more than a year ago, when the sum amounted to EUR 555 monthly, while household disposable income constituted 98.3% of the sum.
The greatest difference between the needed and disposable income was observed in the poorest households. In 2019, the minimum sum needed to pay for usual necessary expenses in the poorest households (those belonging to the first quintile group) constituted at least EUR 429 per household member monthly, which is EUR 15 more than a year ago when the needed sum amounted to EUR 414, while income reached only a half of the sum (44.8%).
In 2019, half or 52.9% of the poorest households paid for usual necessary expenses with difficulty or great difficulty. The share of such households among richest households (those belonging to the fifth quintile group) was notably smaller – 7.1%. Moreover, the minimum sum needed to make ends meet in these households constituted EUR 820 for household member monthly.
Population opinion about sums needed to make ends meet and data on household disposable income were acquired with the help of the survey European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) 2019 conducted by the CSB. The survey covered more than 5 thousand households and 10 thousand respondents aged 16 and over. (BNN/Business World Magazine)