This Country Is Struggling to Reverse a Shrinking Population

DAGDA, Latvia—For nearly three decades, Inara Frolova, a local civil servant, has recorded just how fast this remote district on Latvia’s eastern border has dwindled. When her three brothers, her first husband and her son left for Ireland, she wrote it down. When births hit their lowest-ever level last year, she entered the data.

This year, with its population at roughly half of what it was in 1990, Dagda County was deemed too small to support a local government and merged with a nearby county.


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