Latvia Flag Icon

Latvia Country Guide

Explore Latvia in Europe Latvia with the capital city Riga is located in Europe (Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea). It covers some 64,590 square kilometres (slightly larger than West Virginia) with 2,245,000 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The landscape offers low plain. The average density of population is approximately 35 per km². The notable climate conditions in Latvia can be described as maritime with wet, moderate winters. Potential threats by nature are NA.

To reach someone in Latvia dial +371 prior to a number. There are 644,000 installed telephones. And there are 2,243,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900, 1800 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".lv". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Latvia

Three horizontal bands of maroon (top), white (half-width), and maroon; the flag is one of the older banners in the world; a medieval chronicle mentions a red standard with a white stripe being used by Latvian tribes in about 1280.

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 28% of the population) remains of concern to Moscow. Latvia joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.

National administrative regions of Latvia


Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Europe
Neighbours: Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Russia
Capital: Riga
Size 64,589 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 24,938 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than West Virginia
Population 2,245,000
Currency Name: Lat, Currency Code: LVL
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .lv
Telephone Country Prefix +371
Mobile Phone Connections 2,243,000
Landline Phone Connections 644,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).

Geography

Value name Value World Rank
Area 64,589 (sq km) 124

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 2,178,443 143
Population growth rate -0.61 (%) 226
Birth rate 9.91 (births/1,000 population) 197
Death rate 13.60 (deaths/1,000 population) 15
Net migration rate -2.36 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 168
Maternal mortality rate 34.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 119
Infant mortality rate 8.08 (deaths/1,000 live births) 157
Life expectancy at birth 73.19 (years) 123
Total fertility rate 1.34 (children born/woman) 210
Health expenditures 6.70 (% of GDP) 92
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.70 (%) 60
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 8,600 105
HIV/AIDS - deaths 1,000 75
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 24.90 (%) 62
Education expenditures 5.00 (% of GDP) 75
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 29.1 (%) 29

Economy

Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 37,880,000,000 107
GDP - real growth rate 5.60 (%) 50
GDP - per capita (PPP) 18,600 73
Labor force 1,139,000 140
Unemployment rate 14.30 (%) 141
Distribution of family income - Gini index 35 88
Investment (gross fixed) 22.20 (% of GDP) 68
Taxes and other revenues 33.3 (% of GDP) 77
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -2.60 (% of GDP) 100
Public debt 44.00 (% of GDP) 79
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.50 (%) 55
Central bank discount rate 3.50 (%) 98
Commercial bank prime lending rate 6.39 (%) 136
Stock of narrow money 8,237,000,000 81
Stock of broad money 12,090,000,000 101
Stock of domestic credit 19,760,000,000 86
Market value of publicly traded shares 1,252,000,000 106
Industrial production growth rate 9.00 (%) 17
Current account balance -462,900,000 93
Exports 12,490,000,000 85
Imports 15,920,000,000 85
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 6,925,000,000 81
Debt - external 39,810,000,000 65
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 13,360,000,000 79
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 1,037,000,000 76

Energy

Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 6,460,000,000 (kWh) 109
Electricity - consumption 6,215,000,000 (kWh) 104
Electricity - exports 3,100,000,000 (kWh) 37
Electricity - imports 3,973,000,000 (kWh) 40
Electricity - installed generating capacity 2164000 (kW) 100
Electricity - from fossil fuels 27.3 (% of total installed capacity) 185
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 71.0 (% of total installed capacity) 22
Electricity - from other renewable sources 1.8 (% of total installed capacity) 63
Refined petroleum products - consumption 31,340 (bbl/day) 114
Refined petroleum products - exports 3,126 (bbl/day) 101
Refined petroleum products - imports 33,730 (bbl/day) 84
Natural gas - consumption 1,520,000,000 (cu m) 83
Natural gas - imports 1,520,000,000 (cu m) 52
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 9,066,000 (Mt) 104

Communications

Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 516,300 97
Telephones - mobile cellular 2,309,000 134
Internet hosts 359,604 58
Internet users 1,504,000 81

Transportation

Value name Value World Rank
Airports 42 102
Railways 2,239 (km) 67
Roadways 73,074 (km) 63
Waterways 300 (km) 93
Merchant marine 11 113

Military

Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 1.10 (% of GDP) 122

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Historic Centre of Riga
Riga was a major centre of the Hanseatic League, deriving its prosperity in the 13th–15th centuries from the trade with central and eastern Europe. The urban fabric of its medieval centre reflects this prosperity, though most of the earliest buildi ...
1997