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General overview

  • Area: 24,938 mi² (64,589 km²)
  • Population: 2.067.887 inhab. (2011 est.)
  • Capital: Riga.
    Nearly one third of Latvia’s population (747 thousand) lives in the capital city Riga. Riga, the oldest still existing Latvian medieval city, was founded in 1201. The value of Riga’s cultural and historical significance has been recognized by the fact that its old city centre has been included in UNESCO’s list of the world’s most important cultural and natural sites.
  • Principal urban areas and number of inhabitants: 119 municipalities including 9 republican cities: Riga, Daugavpils, Liepaja, Jelgava, Jurmala, Rezekne, Ventspils, Valmiera, Jekabpils. Today, 76 towns and cities are located within Latvia’s borders. 22 cities have a population of over 10,000.
  • Official language and other recognised languages: Letton (official), Lituanian, Russian, other.
  • Borders: Latvia borders Estonia, Russia, Belarus and Lithuania.
  • National or ethnic composition: Latvian 62.1 % (1 284 194), Russian 26.9% (556 422), Belorusian 3.3% (68 174), Ukrainian 2.2% (45 699), Polish 2.2%, Lithuanian 1.2%, Jewish 0.3%, Romanian 0.3%, German 0.1%, Estonian 0.1%, other 1.3%.
  • Date of independence: November 18, 1918 (from Soviet Union: August 21, 1991)

There is no state religion in Latvia. State and Church are separate. The biggest religious denominations are : Ev. Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Old Believer, Methodist, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Jewish religious community.

D 13 July 2012   

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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