Mobility intentions of Latvian high-school graduates amid Covid-19 pandemic and beyond

New SSE Riga/BICEPS occasional paper by Zane Varpina (SSE Riga, BICEPS) and Kata Fredheim (SSE Riga, BICEPS).

This research was supported by Latvian Council of Science, Funding number: lzp-2018/1-0486, acronym: FLPP-2018-1.


During the Covid-19 pandemic, time had become legato, if not stationary for many. This included secondary school students who were about to finish high school and transition to a new phase in their life, be that work, higher education or other activities. Many feared they are missing out or lost opportunities. In this paper, we explore how Latvian secondary school graduates perceive their mobility opportunities and intentions using survey data gathered
during years 2019, 2020 and 2021, i.e., the year before Covid-19 and during two years of pandemic. This will provide insight into Generation Z students’ plans for the future as well as how they adopt to a world that is freer of restrictions but not what it used to be.

This paper aims to shed light on trajectories of graduates after they exit the high-school door. We present evidence on mobility plans of youngsters and allow quantitative estimation of loss of human capital towards Western European countries.

Keywords: school graduates, youth mobility, Generation Z, migration intentions, Covid-19, Latvia