Regional topics: mobility in the Latvian countryside
Zaiga Krisjane, University of Latvia
Elina Apsite-Berina, University of Latvia
Ineta Grine, University of Latvia
Maris Berzins, University of Latvia
Janis Krumins, University of Latvia
Taking internal and international migration between Latvia and other EU countries as an empirical lens, this analysis explores the complex relationship between regional attraction and different types of migration. Depopulation in rural parts of the country is a concern in many countries. It has been argued that out migration serve as an important land use change factor. Previous studies in densely populated countries greatly concentrate on in migration processes and changes of the society and land usage structure. However countries with sparsely populated regions experience population decline which is result of young people out migration mainly due to lack of employment and life experience opportunities. This is undertaken through analysis of a face-to-face survey of population in northern and eastern part of Latvia. We attempt to compare rural residents to provide an overview of migration patterns to the different types of areas in rural periphery, on the basis of the characteristics and motives of the people migrating there. We used a survey of local residents from randomly selected households that was conducted within 8 rural municipalities in 2013 and 2014. The findings point towards migration flow linkage to broader processes of rural transformation which are producing an increasingly differentiated countryside. Unfavourable socio-economic conditions, including a high level of unemployment and a lack of jobs, led to a different migration flow, with people once again flowing away from the peripheral districts of the country.