According to the decision of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia, only those persons who had Latvian citizenship before June 17, 1940, as well as their descendants (approximately two thirds of the population) were recognized as citizens. Whereas the rest of the people living in this territory were deprived of civil rights.
As of January 1, 1996, their number was 670 thousand people, or 27% of the population of the republic.
The number of non-citizens is declining not due to naturalization, but for natural reasons. However, one should not expect that this issue “will be resolved by itself” – by the middle of the century about 34 thousand people with these status will still live in Latvia
During the last 5 years there have been fewer and fewer people who want to obtain Latvian citizenship.
So for example in 2018, the number of people who received Latvian citizenship by naturalization was only 930 people.
In the mid-2000s, tens of thousands of people were naturalized.
At the moment, the total number of non-citizens is 11% of the country’s population, or about 214 thousand people.
In 23 years, 146 thousand people received Latvian citizenship.
The process was uneven, the majority of applicants naturalized in the period from 1999 to 2007. It was at this time that Latvia became a member of the European Union, which allowed its citizens to expand employment opportunities in more prosperous countries.
The naturalization of 214 thousand non-citizens while maintaining its current pace, without taking into account other factors, will take about 230 years.