Science of Latvia: Statistics
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Latvian Science Indicators Key Figures 1990-2000

 Main comments

Science resources include people, financing and equipment. The direct link of those indicators with the ones of the innovative development of the state should be stressed taking into consideration the fact that the very bases of innovative development is science.

The early 90-ties were marked by essential changes in the economy, incl. the sharp decline of R&D field spectrum. While in 1990 this field employed 2,2% of the Latvia’s entire workforce, it was only 0,5% after 1994. In absolute figures this makes up 5448 people in 2000 (calculated to the full-time equivalent, respectively, by summing up part-time work etc.). This decrease has occurred mainly due to the elimination of the so-called branch institutes of the former times, as well as the withdrawal of the assisting personnel from the science field. Employees of these categories were either forced to leave research work or left it in the first place. A small part of them became unemployed. Many of them took the opportunity to switch to another better-paid job, e.g., in the state administration institutions etc. A number of scientists established their own companies. Thus there has been a brain drain from the science. This brain drain could be considered comparatively positive if people continue to work in Latvia. Under the soviet totalitarian regime science was one of the few engagements allowing some creative activity. Today there are broad opportunities for that. The drain is negative for Latvia if its is directed abroad, no matter, to the West or East. Rough calculations indicate that about 1000 of Latvia’s scientists have moved to work in other countries.

The number of researchers has decreased almost four times. The supposed increase in the period of time from 1990 to 2000 should be related to the deepened accounting in the business sector and that of higher education.

Altogether there are 8 thousand people – either working full time or part time jobs - involved in the R&D field in Latvia. In 1990 the respective number was 31 thousand. The division of those people by the main 4 sectors in 2000 is illustrated in the diagram. The higher education sector is the largest in number – according to the data provided by high schools teaching staff devote part of their work time to the scientific work.

Numerically large is the public sector – this includes independent institutes that are not integrated within universities. Many enterprises in the business sector report their R&D activities.

One of important indicators of state development – both the development per se and the development policy – are expenditures for R&D calculated as % of GDP. After 1990 this figure has decreased and has kept under 0,5%. In absolute figures this makes up 21 million LVL. The average level in EU is 2%, while in Finland – 3%. How big is the science budget in GDP % units? In Latvia – it’s 0,23%. There is a continuous increase of GDP in absolute figures, but the state budget for science has almost remained unchanged during the last years.

Charts 1 - 11 

List of charts

 

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Source: Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia

   

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