Millennium Development Goals – Environment and Development

Fons ANO Tūkstošgades attīstības mērķi infografikai

Infograph “Environment and Development”


Goal No. 1: To reduce poverty.

In total 740 thousand or 35.2% of population, which is one in five people, in Latvia were subject to risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2012.[1]

Latvia’s possibilities to reduce income inequality during the economic crisis and while combating its consequences in 2009–2011 were rather restricted; therefore, the social assistance was targeted at the most disadvantaged people which gave a positive impulse to reducing the income inequality. However, after the crisis in 2008 there was little decrease in the inequality.

[1] Eurostat, 2014. At risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU28. More than 120 million persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2013. Eurostat Press Office, 168/2014 – 4 November 2014. Available:


Goal No. 2: To provide primary schooling and the possibility to acquire general secondary or vocational secondary education to all people

A number of investments have been made to ensure education availability to disabled children, and municipalities allocate financing to provide children from low-income families with lunch. The measures taken have facilitated general accessibility of primary education — 98.6% of adults in Latvia had acquired primary education by 2011.

Remarkable progress has been achieved with regard to expanding accessibility to general secondary education. Only 68.9% of adult young people attended an education institution in 2000, but this indicator had gone up to 88.5% by 2010 and reached 89.2% in 2011. Latvia has achieved its goal.

Although there are quantitative indicators, they have not closed all the possibilities for discussions about equal availability of education to all, and it is still not possible to assess the quality of the education.


Goal No. 3: To promote gender equality

Latvia desires to wind down the differences in lifespan between genders and bring it close to the European average, as well as to mitigate differences between the amount of financing possessed by women and men.

Latvia has undertaken a commitment to advance gender equality both in legislation and practice. For example, one third of ministers in our government are women, which is the best result among the Eastern Europe countries.

Latvia still faces inequality as to income level: the average gross wage of women has been lower by 15–19% than that of men in 2007–2013. This difference is even bigger in some specific sectors reaching even 60%.[1]



Goal No. 4: To reduce child mortality

The rate of child mortality shows steady decrease: while the infant mortality rate was 7.8 per 1000 live births in 2005, it had reduced to 5.7 in 2010. Now it has approached the EU-27 average of 4 even more. Remarkable success has been achieved in reducing the mortality rate among children less than five years of age. In 2005, mortality rate among children less than five years of age was 2 per 1000, but the indicator had dropped to the lower 1.4 by 2011. Over time, Latvia has managed to reduce the proportion of perinatal mortality rates.

Although traumas still appear to be one of the main reasons for children mortality, rate of deaths caused by external factors still continue to decrease. Overall, 18.8 per 1000 children (0–14 years of age) died due to external factors in 2005, but this indicator dropped by more than a half reaching 7.9 in 2012.


Goal No. 5: To improve maternal health

According to the data of the World Health Organisation, the maternal mortality rate in Latvia has ranged between 4 and 46 cases per 100,000 live births over the last ten years, while the average EU maternal mortality rate was approximately 6/7 cases per 100,000 live births. Speaking in absolute numbers, there have been 4 cases of maternal deaths registered in 2012, one — in 2011, 5 cases in 2010, 10 cases in 2009 and only one such case in 2005. The death of the mother


Goal No. 6: To combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and diphtheria, and other preventable causes of death

Analysis of HIV/AIDS statistics on the period 2004–2012 suggests that the situation is comparatively stable: 14.3 incidences per 100,000 people in 2004, 14.5 incidences per 100,000 people in 2011, and 16.6 incidences per 100,000 people in 2012, with no significant differences among men (19.9 cases per 100,000 in 2004 and 23.4 cases per 100,000 in 2012) and women (9.5 cases per 100,000 in 2004 and 10.9 cases per 100,000 in 2012). Judging by the manner of infection, most often HIV is transmitted in heterosexual intercourses (38% of the total number of infection from 2004 until 2012). Another frequent way of getting infected with HIV is injecting drug use (34% of the total number of infection from 2004 until 2012).[1]

The number of first-time tuberculosis patients per 100,000 people has dropped by 32%, and the tuberculosis mortality rate has reduced by 2.5 times.

The prevalence of deaths caused by external factors decreases in Latvia year by year. There were 152 cases of death per 100,000 people in 2000 and 84.94 in 2010 while the EU average was approximately 36.5 per 100,000 people.

Latvia is one of the countries with the highest suicide prevalence in Europe, as the rate grew by 15% from 2009 to 2012.

[1] Centre for Disease Prevention and Control


Goal No. 7: To ensure environmental sustainability

According to the Environmental Performance Index[1] developed by Yale University, Latvia ranked the 40th in 2014 (this index has improved by 5.7% over the last ten years).

GHG emission level has slightly decreased in 2013 reaching 10.9 Mt CO2e. The proportion of renewable energy in Latvia in 2012 was 35.8% (mainly due to biomass). In 2012, the proportion of renewable energy in Latvia reached 44.9% of the total energy consumption.

The installed wind power grew from 36 MW to 59 MW in 2012 compared to the previous year, while the biomass power plant capacity increased from 5 MW to 23 MW and biogas power plant capacity increased from 25 MW to 43 MW.

Remarkable amount of investments has been attracted for building insulation and energy efficiency improvement works.

Overall, 340 thousand ha of forests in Latvia have been included in the NATURA2000, which is an ecological network of protected areas of European importance. In order to preserve natural resources, additional restrictions with regard to forest management have been applied to 18% of the total forest area. In general, especially protected nature territories account for about 18% of land in Latvia and 34% of the territorial sea.

By the end of 2012, the proportion of people in Latvia with access to centralised water supply has increased to 61.96%. In total, 164 water management projects had been completed by late 2012, including 137 water management infrastructure projects in populated areas with number of population not exceeding 2000 and 27 projects in agglomerations with number of residents above 2000.



Goal No. 8: To assist less-developed nations (global partnership for development)

Pursuant to the United Nations and EU development assistance goals, Latvia’s individual financial obligations with regard to development assistance account for 0.33% of the Gross Domestic Income (GDI) by 2015. Latvia’s official rate of development assistance in 2012 was 0.08% (~ 16.4 million EUR) GDI.

 Source: Information Report on the Millennium Development Goals and Tasks in Latvia. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Latvia. 2014. Available: