Latvia

Coordinates: 57°N 25°E / 57°N 25°E / 57; 25

Republic of Latvia

Latvijas Republika  (Latvian)
Anthem: 
Dievs, svētī Latviju!
God Bless Latvia!
Location of Latvia (dark green) – in Europe (green & dark grey) – in the European Union (green)  –  [Legend]
Location of Latvia (dark green)

– in Europe (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union (green)  –  [Legend]

Capital
and largest city
Riga
56°57′N 24°6′E / 56.950°N 24.100°E / 56.950; 24.100
Official languagesLatviana
Ethnic groups
(2019[1])
Religion
Demonym(s)Latvian
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional republic
• President
Egils Levits
Krišjānis Kariņš
Ināra Mūrniece
LegislatureSaeima
Independence 
from Germany, but later from Russia
18 November 1918
26 January 1921
7 November 1922
21 August 1991
• Joined the EU
1 May 2004
Area
• Total
64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi) (122nd)
• Water (%)
2.09 (as of 2015)[5]
Population
• 2020 estimate
1,907,675[6] (147th)
• 2011 census
2,070,371[7]
• Density
29.6/km2 (76.7/sq mi) (147th)
GDP (PPP)2021 estimate
• Total
$63.539 billion[8]
• Per capita
$33,393[8]
GDP (nominal)2021 estimate
• Total
$37.720 billion[8]
• Per capita
$19,824[8]
Gini (2019)Positive decrease 35.2[9]
medium
HDI (2019)Increase 0.866[10]
very high · 37th
CurrencyEuro () (EUR)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+3 (EEST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+371
ISO 3166 codeLV
Internet TLD.lvc
  1. Latvian is the sole official language.[11][12] Livonian is considered an indigenous language and has special legal status.[13] Latgalian written language and Latvian Sign Language also have special legal status.[14]
  2. Latvia is de jure continuous with its declaration of 18 November 1918.
  3. The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states.

Latvia (/ˈlɑːtviə/ or /ˈlætviə/ (About this soundlisten); Latvian: Latvija [ˈlatvija]), officially known as the Republic of Latvia[15] (Latvian: Latvijas Republika), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is one of the Baltic states; and is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia covers an area of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi), with a population of 1.9 million. The country has a temperate seasonal climate.[16] Its capital and largest city is Riga. Latvians belong to the ethno-linguistic group of the Balts; and speak Latvian, one of the only two surviving Baltic languages. Russians are a prominent minority in the country, at some 24% of the population.

After centuries of German, Swedish, Polish-Lithuanian and Russian rule, which was mainly executed by the Baltic German aristocracy, the Republic of Latvia was established on 18 November 1918 when it broke away from the German Empire and declared independence in the aftermath of World War I.[3] However, by the 1930s the country became increasingly autocratic after the coup in 1934 establishing an authoritarian regime under Kārlis Ulmanis.[17] The country's de facto independence was interrupted at the outset of World War II, beginning with Latvia's forcible incorporation into the Soviet Union, followed by the invasion and occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941, and the re-occupation by the Soviets in 1944 to form the Latvian SSR for the next 45 years. The peaceful Singing Revolution started in 1987, and ended with the restoring of de facto independence on 21 August 1991.[18] Since then, Latvia has been a democratic, unitary parliamentary republic.

Latvia is a developed country, with a high-income advanced economy; ranking very high in the Human Development Index. It performs favorably in measurements of civil liberties, press freedom, internet freedom, democratic governance, living standards, and peacefulness. However, according to a 2016 index, Latvia is the worst EU country to be gay.[19]Latvia is a member of the European Union, Eurozone, NATO, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, CBSS, the IMF, NB8, NIB, OECD, OSCE, and WTO.

  1. ^ Social Statistics Department of Latvia. "Pastāvīgo iedzīvotāju etniskais sastāvs reģionos un republikas pilsētās gada sākumā". Social Statistics Department of Latvia. Archived from the original on 13 June 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference Tieslietu Ministrija was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ a b Ģērmanis, Uldis (2007). Ojārs Kalniņš (ed.). The Latvian Saga (11th ed.). Riga: Atēna. p. 268. ISBN 9789984342917. OCLC 213385330.
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference FINemb was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ "Surface water and surface water change". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Population number, its changes and density | Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia". www.csb.gov.lv.
  7. ^ "Population Census 2011 – Key Indicators". Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. 2 April 2012. Archived from the original on 10 June 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d "Latvia". IMF.
  9. ^ "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income – EU-SILC survey". ec.europa.eu. Eurostat. Archived from the original on 20 March 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  10. ^ Human Development Report 2020 The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 15 December 2020. pp. 343–346. ISBN 978-92-1-126442-5. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  11. ^ "The Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, Chapter 1 (Article 4)". The Parliament of the Republic of Latvia. Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  12. ^ "Official Language Law, Section 3 (Article 1)". The Parliament of the Republic of Latvia. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Official Language Law, Sections 4, 5 and 18 (Article 4)". Likumi.lv. Archived from the original on 5 July 2019. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Official Language Law, Section 3 (Articles 3 and 4)". The Parliament of the Republic of Latvia. Archived from the original on 4 January 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  15. ^ "The Constitution of the Republic of Latvia (Latvijas Republikas Satversme)". Likumi.lv. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  16. ^ "Weather information in Latvia". www.travelsignposts.com. 14 March 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  17. ^ "History of Latvia 1918-1940". [Latvia.eu]. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  18. ^ On 21 August 1991, after the Soviet coup d'état attempt, the Supreme Council adopted a Constitutional law, "On statehood of the Republic of Latvia", declaring Article 5 of the Declaration to be invalid, thus ending the transitional period and restoring de facto independence.
  19. ^ Jacobsen, Henriette (11 May 2016). "Latvia is worst place to be gay in EU, index shows".