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Latvia flag
Republic of Latvia
Latvijas Republika
   Of the three Baltic Republics, Latvia is the central one and therefore also the only one bordering both of the other two; it became independent from Russia in 1991. The landscape consists of a large plain full of woods and lakes, with some hills here and there, but always of modest height; like Estonia and Lithuania it has been part of the European Union since 2004.
Government type Parliamentary republic
Area 64,573 km² (24,932 sq mi)
Population 2,070,000 inh. (2011 census)
Population 1,887,000 inh. (2021 est.)
Population density 29 inh/km² (76 inh/mi²)
Capital Riga (615,000 pop.)
Currency Euro
Human development index 0.866 (37th place)
Languages Latvian (official), Russian
Life expectancy M 71 years, F 80 years
Location in Europe


Estonia NORTH
Russia EAST
Lithuania SOUTH
Baltic Sea WEST


Largest cities
Riga 615,000 pop.
Daugavpils 80,600 pop.
Liepaja 68,000 pop.
Jelgava 55,300 pop.
Jurmala 50,200 pop.
Highest mountains
Gaizinkalns 312 m (1,024 ft)
Longest rivers
Western Dvina (Daugava) 1,005 km (624 mi) total, 352 km (219 mi) in Latvia
Gauja 452 km (281 mi)
Venta 346 km (215 mi) total, 178 km (111 mi) in Latvia
Ogre 188 km (117 mi)
Largest lakes
Lubans (semi-artificial) 81 km² (31 sq mi)
Raznas 58 km² (22 sq mi)
Engures 40 km² (15.4 sq mi)
Burtnieks 40 km² (15.4 sq mi)


   Latvia is administratively divided into 109 municipalities, only Riga abundantly exceeds 100,000 inhabitants, while all other urban centers remain below this threshold.

   There are 16 urban centers with at least 10,000 people, concentrated in particular around the capital; only 4 of these exceed 50,000 inhabitants, Daugavpils, Liepaja, Jelgava and Jurmala.