Gypsies (Romani people)

Gypsies are a traditionally nomadic community originating in Medieval India. In Latvia, however, they have settled down long ago and have no villages nor camps.

Throughout the 20th century Gypsies was an extremely rapidly growing community due to high fertility rates: Gypsies would often marry in their teens and have many kids. In 1935 there were 3839 Gypsies in Latvia (0,2% of total), increasing to 5427 by 1970 and 8205 by 2000 (0,35%).

After Latvia joined European Union and free migration was permitted, many Gypsies left for the richer states of the West.

Largest communities of Gypsies exist in Riga and Ventspils, each having ~900 people. In Ventspils, Gypsies make the biggest impact as they have a population share of 2,1%.

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