Latvia Sizes Up 15 Years in the European Union
For many Latvians, joining the European Union on May 1, 2004 was all about reaffirming their European identity and leaving the Soviet past behind. Though the country’s economy has steadily grown since, signing up with the EU did not come without costs. Latvia’s population has shrunk by some 365,000 people over the past 15 years, as many citizens opted to migrate to elsewhere within the EU. That trend, though, appears to be changing: 2019 is the first year that the country’s total population has nudged slightly upward (to over 1.9 million), as many migrants opt to come home. Current Time spoke with two of these returnees.