RIGA, April 20 (LETA) - There were 4,948 babies born in Latvia in the first quarter of 2017, which is by 365 babies or 6.9 percent less than during the same period in 2016, according to the preliminary demographic data released by the Latvian Central Statistical Bureau.
"Since 2011, the number of live births in Latvia has been increasing gradually, however, in 2016, as compared to 2015, the growth has slowed down, and in the first three months of 2017 the number of newborns registered - 4,948 - is by 365 babies less than that recorded in the corresponding period of 2016," the statistical bureau said.
In the first three months of this year, the number of deaths has also grown - 8,031 deaths were registered, which is by 183 deaths or 2.3 percent more than in the same period in 2016.
Natural population growth in Latvia has been negative since 1991. During the first three months of 2017, as the number of deaths exceeded the number of births, Latvia's population declined by 3,083 persons (by 2,535 in the corresponding period of 2016).
According to the preliminary data, Latvia has a population of 1.946 million as on April 1, 2017.
After a stable increase in the number of marriages for a period of five years, the number of marriages fell in 2016, and the increase observed during the first three months of 2017 is very small as 1,656 marriages were registered, which is only by 30 marriages more than in the corresponding period of 2017.