Dialing code +371
ISO 2 code LV
ISO 3 code LVA
Capital Riga
Main Language Latvian
Currency Euro (EUR)
GDP $39.0 billion 95th
Population 2,217,969 142nd


Continent Europe
Location Eastern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea between Estonia and Lithuania
Land 64,589 km2 125th
Terrain Low plain
Climate Maritime; wet moderate winters
Natural Hazards Low plain
Note: Most of the country is composed of fertile low-lying plains with some hills in the east

Neighbouring Countries

Belarus Estonia Lithuania Russia


The name "Latvia" originates from the ancient Latgalians one of four eastern Baltic tribes that formed the ethnic core of the Latvian people (ca. 8th-12th centuries A.D.). The region subsequently came under the control of Germans Poles Swedes and finally Russians. A Latvian republic emerged following World War I but it was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. Latvia reestablished its independence in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Although the last Russian troops left in 1994 the status of the Russian minority (some 30% of the population) remains of concern to Moscow. Latvia joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.
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Life Expectancy 72.15 years 107th
Median Age 40.1 years 25th
Birth Rate 9.78 births/1,000 population 181st
Death Rate 13.62 births/1,000 population 26th
Sex Ratio 0.49 male(s)/female 203rd
Literacy 99.7% 14th

2.2 million


Roadways 69675 km 67th
Railways 2298 km 66th
Airports 43 99th
Waterways 300 km 91st
Heliports None
Airports paved 3 46th


Currency Euro (EUR)
GDP $39.0 billion 95th
GDP per capita (PPP) $17800 60th