Riga City Review


About This Report

Jun 2017

Riga, the largest city of the Baltic States, also stands out as the largest economy in the region. Combining its importance as a port city and the financial centre of Latvia, Riga generated a GDP of USD19 billion in 2016, making up 68% of Latvia's total. However, in terms of disposable income, Riga lags behind Vilnius (USD27,400 annual disposable income per household in 2016) and Tallinn (USD25,400), with USD21,500 in 2016.

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Riga City Review


Riga is the single most prominent economic centre of Latvia, contributing 68% of the country's GDP as in 2016. The city's labour productivity (or GVA per employee) was nearly 75% greater than in the rest of the country in 2016. Riga's productivity dominance stems from its position as having one of the largest ports in the Baltic sea, and a high concentration of business services. 28% of total GVA was accounted for by business services in 2016, versus 16% in the rest of Latvia.

Higher per household disposable income than the rest of the country

High labour productivity is reflected in higher per household incomes in the capital, at USD21,500 in 2016, which was 35% higher than in the rest of Latvia. However, Riga lags behind Vilnius (USD27,400 annual disposable income per household in 2016) and Tallinn (USD25,400) in terms of disposable income.

Greater spending on recreation/culture, alcohol/tobacco and hotels/restaurants

In 2016, average household expenditure in Riga was USD21,900 of which USD14,100 was discretionary spending (that is with housing and transport excluded). The largest discretionary budget categories in Riga are recreation/culture (9.7% of the total annual household budget in 2016), alcohol/tobacco (8.6%) and hotels/restaurants (6.0%).

Highest housing expenditure among the capitals of Baltic states

Housing expenditure share in Riga stood out as the highest among the capitals of the Baltic States. In Riga, housing accounted for 24% of total household expenditure in 2016, while in Vilnius and Tallinn the share stood at 17% and 21%, respectively. However, when it comes to transport expenditure, Riga's households spend less, with transport making up 12% of total expenditure, marginally less than in Tallinn (12% of total expenditure in 2016) and Vilnius (17%) in 2016.


Understanding Riga Review structure
Chart 1 Overview
Key facts on Riga
Summary 1 Key Facts On Riga 2011, 2016, 2021


Delimitation of the metropolitan region
Chart 2 Map Of Riga Metropolitan Area
Main business districts


Industrial make-up
Chart 3 Industrial Composition Of Riga 2016
Chart 4 Labour Productivity: Selected Cities 2016
Recent developments and outlook
Chart 5 Dynamics Of Real GDP In Riga, Latvia And Other Cities In Eastern Europe, 2011-2021
Summary 2 Labour Market Changes In Riga 2011, 2016


City demographics
Chart 6 Population By Age 2016
Chart 7 Drivers Of Population Growth In Riga 2011-2016
Household income
Chart 8 Household Distribution By Income In Riga 2016 And 2021


Structure of household budget
Chart 9 Comparison Of Household Expenditure In Riga And Latvia, 2016
Summary 3 Riga Household Budget Structure By Consumer Expenditure Item, % of total, 2011, 2016, 2021
City lifestyle
A Boom In Chinese Tourists In Riga
Displeased Cyclists In Riga Take Matters Into Their Own Hands
City affordability
Chart 10 Household Expenditure On Housing: Selected Cities 2016
Chart 11 Household Expenditure On Transport: Selected Cities 2016



Summary 4 GDP Development, 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 5 GDP By Origin, Current Prices, US$, Million, 2011-2016
Summary 6 Population And Labour Force, 2011-2016
Summary 7 Employed Population By Economic Sector, % of total, 2011-2016
Summary 8 Population By Sex And Broad Age Groups, ‘000, 2011-2016
Summary 9 Population Growth, 2011-2016
Summary 10 Forecast Population Growth
Summary 11 Population By Educational Attainment, 2011-2016
Summary 12 Structure Of Consumer Expenditure By Main Category, 2011-2016
Summary 13 Consumer Expenditure By Main Category, Per Household, Constant (2016) Prices, US$, 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 14 Households By Income Band, % Of Total, Constant (2016) Prices 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 15 Households By Income Band, ‘000, Current Prices 2011-2016
Summary 16 Inflation, 2011-2016
Summary 17 Transport Indicators, 2011-2016
Summary 18 Air Pollution, Concentration In Micrograms Per Cubic Metre, 2011-2016
Summary 19 Possession of Consumer Durables, % of Households, 2011, 2016, 2021