Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Latvia

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Spider chart showing Latvia's score in connectivity, human capital, digital public services, use of internet and integration of digital technology compared to the EU average score
Find here the most recent analysis and data by country. A selection of key documents and graphs are shown about topics such as broadband, internet activity and skills, egovernment, ICT in schools, research and innovation, as well as other main indicators.
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 Download the country profile as a pdf (EN)

Download country information as a power point presentation (EN)

 

In DESI 2015, Latvia has an overall score[1] of 0.44 and ranks 18th out of the 28 EU Member States. High speed broadband connections are available to 90% of homes and Latvia has seen increases in the take-up of fixed broadband (63% of households). More Latvians are going online (72%) and 25% of Internet users are using eGovernment actively, but both remain below the EU average (75% and 33% respectively). Although Latvians do shop on-line, not many SMEs sell on-line. Integration of digital technology by Latvian businesses is the lowest in the EU.

Latvia falls into the top end of the cluster of low‑performance[2] countries.

DESILatviaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015180.440.390.48
DESI 2014180.420.330.45

1. Connectivity

1 ConnectivityLatviaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015110.640.480.56
DESI 2014100.570.390.51

 

Currently, Latvia is ranked 11th in the Connectivity dimension of the DESI 2015. The country maintains its level of fixed broadband coverage of households, still lagging behind the EU, but ensures comprehensive Next Generation Access (NGA). Thus, while on average the EU is better served in terms of fixed broadband coverage (97% of households as compared to 92% in Latvia), the quality and speed of the connections in Latvia is higher (90% of households have NGA as opposed to only 68% in the EU).

 

 LatviaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
1a1 Fixed BB Coverage
% households
92%
(2014)
 2492%
(2013)
2497%
(2014)
1a2 Fixed BB Take-up
% households
63%
(2014)
 1962%
(2013)
1770%
(2014)
1b1 Mobile BB Take-up
Subscribers per 100 people
63
(2014)
 1664
(2013)
1372
(2014)
1b2 Spectrum
% of the target for spectrum to be harmonised at EU level
99%
(2014)
 299%
(2013)
270%
(2014)
1c1 NGA Coverage
% households, out of all households
90%
(2014)
 789%
(2013)
668%
(2014)
1c2 Subscriptions to Fast BB
% of subscriptions >= 30Mbps, out of fixed BB subscriptions
54%
(2014)
 451%
(2013)
326%
(2014)
1d1 Fixed BB Price
% individual gross income spent for the cheapest standalone Fixed Broadband subscription (lower values are better)
1.3%
(2014)
 152.2%
(2013)
231.4%
(2014)

 

The comprehensive availability of NGA has led to an increase in the share of subscriptions to fast broadband; however, while there has been a somewhat positive trend in fixed broadband take-up, Latvia is still somewhat below the EU average in terms of both coverage and take-up of fixed and mobile broadband. While previously a plausible explanation for this would have been the significant cost of subscription, the cost of broadband has dropped from 2.2% of individual gross income to 1.3%, somewhat lower than the EU average of 1.4%.

 

 Download the Report on the Implementation of the Telecommunications Regulatory Package (EN)

2. Human Capital

2 Human CapitalLatviaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015200.450.420.54
DESI 2014200.440.350.52

 

With a Human Capital score of 0.45, Latvia is positioned towards the lower end of the scale, and has been unable to improve its rank from the previous year.

 

 LatviaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
2a1 Internet Users
% individuals (aged 16-74)
72%
(2014)
 1671%
(2013)
1475%
(2014)
2a2 Basic Digital Skills
% individuals (aged 16-74)
57%
(2014)
 1654%
(2012)
1659%
(2014)
2b1 ICT Specialists
% employed individuals
1.7%
(2012)
 251.7%
(2012)
252.8%
(2012)
2b2 STEM Graduates
Graduates in STEM per 1000 individuals (aged 20 to 29)
14
(2012)
 1914
(2012)
1917
(2012)

 

The number of Internet users has increased only slightly from 2014, and it falls short of the EU average; at the same time, the digital skills of Latvians are almost on par with the EU average.

Latvia has a lower share of ICT Specialists and STEM (science, technology and mathematics) Graduates than the EU on average (1.4% of individuals aged 20-29, versus an EU average of 1.7%).

3. Use of Internet

3 Use of InternetLatviaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 201590.510.40.43
DESI 201440.520.340.41

 

In terms of the propensity of individuals to use Internet services, Latvia has slightly decreased its score but is now placed 9th among EU countries, a significant drop from the advantaged 4th position the year before. This can be explained by the marginal fluctuations in the engagement of individuals in the different Internet activities in Latvia as opposed to the increase in the EU-wide uptake.

 

 LatviaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
3a1 News
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
86%
(2014)
 485%
(2013)
567%
(2014)
3a2 Music, Videos and Games
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
52%
(2014)
 1553%
(2012)
1249%
(2014)
3a3 Video on Demand
% households that have a TV
18%
(2014)
 2017%
(2013)
2041%
(2014)
3b1 Video Calls
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
57%
(2014)
 459%
(2013)
437%
(2014)
3b2 Social Networks
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
70%
(2014)
 772%
(2013)
358%
(2014)
3c1 Banking
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
75%
(2014)
 673%
(2013)
657%
(2014)
3c2 Shopping
% individuals who used Internet in the last year (aged 16-74)
44%
(2014)
 1942%
(2013)
1863%
(2014)

 

More individuals in Latvia use Internet banking (75%), read news online (86%), make Internet or video calls (57%), use social networks (70%) than in the EU (where these figures are 57%, 67%, 37% and 58%, respectively).

While Latvians are keen to engage in the abovementioned Internet activities, and three quarters of users engage in online banking, online shopping has increased somewhat slowly, and less people in Latvia shop online (44%) than in the EU on average (63%). Improvements in this area would contribute to stimulating the digital economy.

4. Integration of Digital Technology

4 Integration of Digital TechnologyLatviaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015280.190.270.33
DESI 2014240.210.240.3

 

In Integration of Digital Technology by businesses, Latvia scores 0.19, and is overall the worst performing country within the EU. Not only are Latvian businesses lagging behind the EU in all aspects of eCommerce, the performance in on-line commercial activities has stagnated when compared to the previous year.

 

 LatviaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
4a1 Electronic Information Sharing
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
9.6%
(2014)
 288.5%
(2013)
2831%
(2014)
4a2 RFID
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
2.8%
(2014)
 211.4%
(2011)
173.8%
(2014)
4a3 Social Media
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
8.8%
(2014)
 227.9%
(2013)
2414%
(2014)
4a4 eInvoices
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
10%
(2014)
 1618%
(2013)
411%
(2014)
4a5 Cloud
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
4.1%
(2014)
 26n.a.-11%
(2014)
4b1 SMEs Selling Online
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
6.9%
(2014)
 267.4%
(2013)
2515%
(2014)
4b2 eCommerce Turnover
% turnover of SMEs (no financial sector, 10-249 employees)
7.6%
(2014)
 158%
(2013)
138.8%
(2014)
4b3 Selling Online Cross-border
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
4.1%
(2013)
 234.1%
(2013)
236.5%
(2013)

 

Latvia is showing some signs of embracing the practices and technologies (such as electronic information sharing, RFID, cloud services, and the use of social media) necessary to operate in the digital economy. However, the take-up of these practices compared to other EU countries has been slow.  

Since online sales are an important vehicle for enterprises to access wider markets and grow, it is somewhat worrisome that only a minor fraction of Latvian SMEs are selling on-line (6.9%), that an even smaller percentage of SMEs are engaged in cross-border online sales (4.1%), and that SMEs have a below-average eCommerce turnover (7.6%).

5. Digital Public Services

5 Digital Public ServicesLatviaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015200.360.340.47
DESI 2014210.340.330.45

 

According to DESI 2015, Digital Public Services is one of the dimensions where Latvia performs fairly poorly. With a score of 0.36, Latvia ranks 20th among EU countries, a marginal improvement in rank from the previous year.

 

 LatviaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
5a1 eGovernment Users
% individuals returning filled forms, out of Internet users in the last year (aged 16-74)
25%
(2014)
 2017%
(2013)
2333%
(2014)
5a2 Pre-filled Forms
Score (0 to 100)
38
(2014)
 1641
(2013)
1845
(2014)
5a3 Online Service Completion
Score (0 to 100)
82
(2014)
 1173
(2013)
1775
(2014)
5a4 Open Data
Score (0 to 700)
315
(2014)
 17n.a.-378
(2014)
5b1 Medical Data Exchange
% General Practitioners
13%
(2013)
 2113%
(2013)
2136%
(2013)
5b2 ePrescription
% General Practitioners
6%
(2013)
 186%
(2013)
1827%
(2013)

 

In Latvia there has been a positive growth in the number of eGovernment users (25%), but the country is still significantly below the EU average (33%). Latvia has done well in terms of increasing the availability of complete services online[3]. Nevertheless, the sophistication of such online services[4] could be improved. The failure to realise such improvement might be one of the factors slowing down the take-up of eGovernment services.

The efficiency of the healthcare system also remains a challenge; at the same time, the deployment of eHealth solutions would provide a viable avenue to tackle several drawbacks. Latvia’s performance in eHealth would be improved by encouraging a greater adoption of medical data exchange (currently, only 13% of Latvian general practitioners exchange medical data electronically, versus 36% in the EU). The limited reach of eHealth in Latvia is also demonstrated by the fact that only 6% of general practitioners deploy ePrescriptions.

 

 Download the eGovernment benchmark factsheet (EN)

6. R&D

 Download information on R&D in the ICT sector and participation in Horizon 2020 (EN)


[1] DESI scores range from 0 to 1, the higher the score the better the country performance.

[2] In the DESI 2015, the low-performance cluster of countries comprises Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.

[3] 82/100 in the Online Service Completion indicator (measuring the extent to which the various steps in an interaction with the public administration – life event – can be performed completely online)

[4] 38/100 in the Pre-filled Forms indicator (measuring the extent to which data that is already known to the public administration is pre-filled in the forms that are presented to the user)

 

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Last updated on 18/06/2015