In 2020, 27.2% of households covered their daily expenses with difficulties or with great difficulties, down by 1.4% YoY.
The share of households that covered their daily expenses with some difficulty or fairly easily remained unchanged (62.4% in 2019 and 62.8% in 2020). In turn, the share of households that covered their daily expenses easily or very easily increased slightly – from 9% in 2019 to 10% in 2020, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
Households in Riga and Pieriga were the most optimistic about their ability to cover daily expenses – 12.9% of Riga households and 10.5% of Pieriga households stated that daily expenses were covered easily or very easily.
The majority of households in Vidzeme and Kurzeme indicated that they covered them with some difficulty or fairly easily (68.5% and 66.9%, respectively).
In Zemgale and Latgale, about a third of households were pessimistic about their ability to cover daily expenses – 35.1% and 32% of households, respectively, admitted that it caused difficulties or great difficulties.
Households of single seniors (aged 65 and over) and households with one adult and children had the greatest difficulty in meeting their daily expenses – 42.1% and 37.5% of these households, respectively, acknowledged that their daily expenses were covered with difficulty or with great difficulty.
Couples with two children had the least difficulty in covering daily expenses – only 11.1% indicated that daily expenses are covered with difficulty or with great difficulty.
In 2020, Latvian residents indicated that the necessary minimum amount to cover daily expenses per person would be at least EUR 561 per month. This is EUR 18 or 3.2% less than a year ago, when the necessary amount was at least EUR 579 per month. Income in 2019 slightly exceeded this amount, reaching EUR 583 per month per household member.
The poorest households had the largest difference between their necessary and disposable income. In 2020, for the poorest or the first quintile group households, the minimum amount to cover daily expenses per person was at least EUR 422 per month – EUR 7 less than a year ago, when the desired amount was EUR 429, but income reached only half (47.4%) of this amount.
In 2020, more than half or 53.9% of the poorest households (first quintile group) covered their daily expenses with difficulty or with great difficulty. Among the wealthiest (fifth quintile group) households, this share was significantly lower (5.9%) and their preferred minimum amount to cover daily expenses was at least EUR 784 per person per month.
The opinion of the population on the necessary funds to cover daily expenses and data on the disposable income of households were obtained in the 2020 Survey on Income and Living Conditions conducted by CSB. It surveyed 6.1 thousand households and interviewed 11.1 thousand respondents aged 16 and over. Due to the declaration of a state of emergency due to the spread of COVID-19, face-to-face interviews were completely discontinued from March 13, 2020 and telephone surveys were conducted. (BNN/Business World Magazine)