Latvia Facts


Latvia, Baltic state; 64,589 km2, 1.9 million residents (2019).Latvia borders in the north to Estonia, in the east to the Russian Federation, in the south to Belarus and Lithuania and in the west to the Baltic Sea. The capital is Riga (641,400 residents, 2017).

Latvia Country Flag

Country facts

  • Latvija’s Republic / Latvia
  • Country abbreviation: LV
  • Area: 64 590 km2
  • Population (2019): 1.9 million residents
  • Capital: Riga
  • Main languages: Latvian, Russian
  • State: Republic
  • Head of State: Egils Levits (President)
  • Head of Government: Krisjanis Karins
  • Per capita GDP (2018): US $ 18,089
  • GNI per capita (2018): US $ 16,740
  • Currency unit: euro
  • Currency code: EUR
  • Country number (telephony): 371
  • Internet domain name: lv
  • Time difference compared to Sweden: +1
  • National Day: November 18 (Proclamation of the Republic, 1918)

Nature

  • Land use: forest (54%), agricultural land (30%), other (16%)
  • Highest mountain: Gaizin̦a (311 m asl)
  • Longest river: Daugava (1,020 km)

Population

  • Population density (2019): 29 residents per km2
  • Natural population growth (2019): −0.5%; birth rate 10 ‰, death rate 15 ‰
  • Age structure (2019): 0-14 years (16%), 15-64 (64%), 65- (20%)
  • Life expectancy (2019): men 70 years, women 80 years
  • Infant mortality (2019): 3 per 1,000 live births
  • Population forecast 2050: 2 million residents
  • HDI (2017): 0.847 (place 41 of 189)
  • Urbanization rate (2017): 69%
  • Most popular cities (2017): Riga (641,400 residents), Daugavpils (84,600), Liepāja (69,400)

Business

  • Industry’s contribution to GDP (2017): agriculture (4%), industry (22%), service (74%)
  • Exports (2017): US $ 12,840 million
  • Main export products: food, wood products, machinery
  • Main exporting countries: Lithuania, Russian Federation, Estonia
  • Imports (2017): US $ 15,790 million
  • Main import products: machinery, consumer goods, metal
  • Main importing countries: Lithuania, Germany, Poland
  • Railway network (2018): 1,860 km

Latvia is mainly a plain with some higher hill areas, among which the Vidzeme heights in the middle part are highest. Among the many rivers that flow into the Baltic Sea, Daugava is marked by the tributary Aiviekste as well as Gauja and Venta. Latvia has in the far west a maritime-influenced, warm-temperate climate, while the eastern, inner parts have a more continental, cold-tempered climate.

The country is a democracy with a president and a parliament. The President is elected under an electoral system by Parliament for a four-year term. The legislative assembly is Parliament, which consists of a chamber of 100 members elected in proportionate elections for a four-year term. Latvia became independent in 1991.

During the 1990s, business was dominated by efforts to return to a market economy. Agriculture and the heavier industrial sectors were faced with a difficult structural transformation. From the mid-1990s, production and investment increased. The service sector has grown strongly, and it now accounts for nearly three-quarters of GDP. The transition to market economy has also led to major economic and regional gaps. The country was hit hard by the international financial crisis of 2008–09. However, after extensive wage cuts in the public and private sectors, the economy has recovered during the 10th century.

Latvia Map

Latvia Map

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