A country in northeastern Europe, Latvia, one of the so-called Baltic States, borders Estonia in the north, Russia in the east, Belarus in the southeast and Lithuania in the south and is bathed in the west. , by the Baltic Sea. It covers an area of 64 589 km2. The most important cities are Riga, the capital, with 687 700 residents (2004) and 857 000 in its metropolitan area, Daugavpils (110 700 residents), Liepaja (80 100 residents), Jelgava (54 500 residents) And Jurmala (50 800 residents).
The climate is of the continental temperate type of transition, suffers some influence from the western winds in the winter and registers precipitation in the summer.
Agriculture produces potatoes, barley, wheat, beets, vegetables and fruits. In terms of natural resources, peat extraction stands out. The metallurgical sector is particularly relevant in the industry. Radio receivers, scientific instruments, refrigerators, washing machines, motorcycle engines, ships, motor vehicles, generators, agricultural instruments, textiles and footwear are also produced. Latvia’s main trading partners are Russia, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions, per capita(metric tons, 1999), is 2.8.
The population of Latvia is estimated at 2,274,735 residents (2006), which corresponds to a density of approximately 35.46 residents/km2. The birth and death rates are, respectively, 9.24% and 13.66%. Average life expectancy is 71.33 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.811 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.810 (2001). It is estimated that, by 2025, the population will decrease to 2,086,000 residents. The main ethnic groups are Latvian (57.7%), Russian (29.6%), Belarusian (4.1%), Ukrainian (2.7%) and others (5.9%). Protestantism (17%) and Catholicism (15%) are the main religions. The official language is Latvian.
Between the 13th and 16th centuries, knights of the Teutonic Order dominated Latvia. From the 16th century, the country was divided between Poland and Sweden. But at the end of the 18th century, the entire territory was annexed by Russia. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, Latvia declared independence. After a period of conflict, the new nation was recognized by the Soviet Union and Germany in 1920. Until 1934, when the dictatorship was established, independent Latvia was governed by several democratic coalitions. In 1939, the country was forced to accept the installation of Soviet military bases in its territory and, in the following year, the Soviet Red Army occupied the country, which became part of the Soviet Union. The Nazi army occupied Latvia between 1941 and 1944, the year in which the Red Army again took over Lithuania. For Latvia democracy and rights, please check intershippingrates.
When Mikhail Gorbachev began to liberalize the Soviet regime in the mid-1980s, Latvian nationalist sentiment resurfaced. As a result, in 1991, the country became independent from the Soviet Union.
Latvia formally joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 at a ceremony held in Dublin.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Latvia, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Latvia. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Latvia
Browse a collection of city, country, political, shaded relief and historical maps of this European country. Check out the maps of Riga, Baltic lands and Baltic sea area.
Expedia.com – Latvia Map
Discover an interactive map that allows users to more closely explore a chosen region. Includes vital country travel facts.
Latvia – Atlapedia Online
Presents two detailed, clear maps of this country, plus a good variety of nationwide facts and figures.
Latvia – Merriam-Webster Altas
Provides a well-detailed map of this European country, plus a set of diagrams, country facts and a historical overview.
Latvia – National Geographic
Provides a map of this tiny Baltic nation, along with short geographic, political and historical overviews.
Latvia – Rec.org Map
Access this graphical map to locate key populated areas, land features and bordering countries.
Latvia – University of Texas Library
Offers political and relief maps from the CIA. Look at the country, its cities and regions, and a historical view.
Latvia – Worldaltas.com
Compact atlas of this former Soviet Union satellite offers quick facts, country details and perspective maps.