Latvia is a European Union Member State and one of the three Baltic States. It is located in north-eastern Europe by the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga. Latvia shares borders with Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia. Latvia has always been the crossroads of trade routes and today acts like a bridge between Western Europe and Russia. 

Area: 64 589 km2

Total length of national border: 1 862 km

Length of Latvian and Baltic Sea coastline: 494 km

Population: 2 239 800 (2010)

Capital: Riga

Time zone: GMT/CET +2 

Government: parliamentary republic

President: Valdis Zatlers

Prime Minister: Valdis Dombrovskis

Territorial regions: Kurzeme, Zemgale, Vidzeme, Latgale, Riga region

Largest lake: Lubāns, 80.7 km

Deepest lake: Drīdzis, 65.1 m

Longest river within the territory of Latvia: Gauja, 452 km

Largest river: Daugava, 1 005 km (in the territory of Latvia: 352 km)

Highest point: Gaiziņkalns, 311.6 m 

Cities: Of Latvia's 76 cities, only two have over 100 000 residents – Riga (~856 000) and Daugavpils (120 000). Other larger cities include Jēkabpils, Jelgava, Jūrmala, Liepāja, Rēzekne, Valmiera and Ventspils


Population demographic:

Latvians and Livs are indigenous to Latvia. The ethnic makeup of the country's population largely formed as a result of migration during World War II, at which time the Latvian majority shrank considerably. Today, Latvians make up 59.4 % of the population; Russians make up 27.6 %, Belarusians 3.6 %, Ukrainians 2.5 %, Poles 2.3 %, Lithuanians 1.3 %, Jews (0.4 %), and other nationalities 2.8 %.



The official national language of Latvia is Latvian, which is one of the oldest Indo-European languages belonging to the Baltic language group. It is neither a Slavic, nor a Germanic language; the only other language in the Baltic language group is Lithuanian. Latvian is spoken by approximately 1.5 million people. The language has three dialects, which further split into accents, the usage of which varies across the country's regions. The most widely spoken foreign languages are English, Russian and German
Christianity was brought into Latvia in the 12th century. The most common denominations are Evangelical Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Orthodox. Since the 16th century Reformation, the Lutheran Church has taken the lead position. The exception is the eastern part of Latvia, where Catholicism is more widely practised.



Gross domestic product (GDP): USD 32 234 billion (2009) 
GDP per capita: USD 14 254 (2009) 
Unemployment rate: 15.6% (June 2010) 
Inflation: 3.4% (June 2010)
Currency: 1 lat = 100 santims 
Agriculture: grain, sugar-beets, potatoes, vegetables, beef and pork, milk, eggs, fish. 
Main industries: textiles, electrical equipment, medicines, produce. 
Main export goods: timber and timber wares, metals and metal wares, electrical equipment, textiles, mineral products, produce. 
Main export partners: European Union and Russia.
Main import goods: chemical industrial products, fuel, vehicles, electrical equipment. 
Main import partners: European Union, Russia and Belarus.