Emigrant Communities of Latvia

✅ This project was implemented between January 2014 and August 2015.


Why this project

Our overall aim is to obtain comprehensive information on people who have left Latviain the recent decades and on Latvian diaspora in general.

Inta Mieriņa, the project scientific director, notes:

«This is the largest and most ambitious survey of this kind conducted by scientists in Latvia trying to get a more complete picture of Latvians living abroad. Together with other project activities, the survey will provide an invaluable contribution to the scientific study of the preservation of national identity and culture in emigration, labour mobility, economics of education, politics of re-emigration and diaspora at the national and municipality level, as well as other topics; it will also enrich the public’s knowledge and understanding of the Latvian people — our contemporaries in the whole wide World.»

By now, the project produced detailed profiles of Latvian emigrant communities in main destination countries and substantially improved understanding of emigration trends, emigrant’s everyday life, their needs, hopes and future plans.

In our work, we combine qualitative methods (190 in-depth interviews and focus group discussions) and a large-scale quantitative survey with longitudinal-ready design.


Implemented in 2014, the largest scientific survey of Latvians abroad attracted unprecedented attention — 14,068 respondents1 from 118 countries shared their experience and opinions in the large-scale survey of Latvians living abroad launched by researchers at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology and the Faculty of Economics and Management at the University of Latvia.

The activity level of Latvians currently or partly residing abroad was overwhelming, and the group of researchers currently performs in-depth analysis of the unique data.

The team of researchers who base their work on qualitative methodologies, accompanied by several external experts, conducted 187 in-depth interviews and 3 focus-group discussions during the course of the project.

👏 We express our deepest gratitude to the thousands of participants in our survey! 👏

The project researchers wrote a number of scientific articles with focus on different aspects of Latvian diaspora, including a collective monograph. Several articles are in the process of publication by peer-reviewed journals.


We offer to explore the findings of our researchers that are available in English at the moment:

  • The Diaspora of Hope (summary of the collective monograph);
  • Are Emigrants Less Pro-Social in Their New Community Than They Used To Be at Home? (presentation by I. Mieriņa);
  • Migration Experience of the Baltic Countries in the Context of Economic Crisis (by Mihails Hazans in «Labor Migration, EU Enlargement, and the Great Recession»);
  • Negotiating identities and friendships while living abroad: experiences of Latvian migrants (by Inta Mieriņa, Ilze Koroļeva in European Scientific Journal).

Full list of our publications is available here.

Project team

Project director

  • Inta Mieriņa, Dr. sc. soc.


  • Mihails Hazans, Dr. Math.
  • Mārtiņš Kaprāns, Dr. sc. comm.
  • Laura Sūna, Dr. phil.
  • Ilze Koroļeva, Dr. sc. soc.
  • Evija Kļave, Dr. sc. soc.
  • Inese Šūpule, Dr. sc. soc.
  • Rita Kaša, Ph. D.
  • Daiga Kamerāde-Hanta, Ph. D.
  • Māris Goldmanis, Ph. D.
  • Aivars Tabuns, Dr. sc. soc.


  • Aleksandrs Aleksandrovs
  • Alda Ramāne

We established cooperation with external experts to cover various specific aspects of diaspora:

  • Ieva Kārkliņa, Dr. sc. soc.
  • Jānis Buholcs, Dr. sc. comm.
  • Andris Saulītis
  • Iveta Jurkāne-Hobein
  • Iveta Bebriša

Project profile

Full title

  • The Emigrant Communities of Latvia: National Identity, Transnational Relations, and Diaspora Politics


  • European Social Fund,
  • The Republic of Latvia,
  • Institute of Philosphy and Sociology,
  • University of Latvia

Agreement number

  • 2013/0055/1DP/


  • Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (leading partner)
  • University of Latvia

  1. Valid cases used for the analysis after data quality control.  ▲



Diaspora of Hope

PDF Project DOI