To the World from Latvia

Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in Northern Europe. Latvia shares land borders with Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south — and both Russia and Belarus to the east. It is separated from Sweden in the west by the Baltic Sea. The capital of Latvia is Riga (Latvian: Riga). Latvia has been a member state of the European Union since May 1, 2004.

64,589 sq km (24,938 sq miles).

2,311,480 (official estimate 2003).

Population Density
35.8 per sq km.

Riga. Population: 739,232 (2003).

Latvia is situated on the Baltic coast and borders Estonia in the north, Lithuania in the south, the Russian Federation in the east and Belarus in the southeast. The coastal plain is mostly flat but, inland to the east, the land is hilly with forests and lakes. There are about 12,000 rivers in Latvia, the biggest being the River Daugava. The ports of Riga, Liepaja and Ventspils often freeze over during the winter.

Latvian is the official language. It is an Indo-European, non-Slavic and non-Germanic language and is similar only to Lithuanian. Russian is the mother tongue of over 30 per cent of the population and is understood by most people. English and German may also be understood.