Latvia (Latvian: Latvija), officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas Republika), is a country in Northern Europe. The capital is Riga. It is one of the Baltic States, together with Estonia in the north and Lithuania in the south. Latvia's neighbours to the east are the countries Russia and Belarus. Latvia is split into four parts called Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Zemgale, and Latgale.
Republic of Latvia
|Anthem: Dievs, svētī Latviju! |
God Bless Latvia!
and largest city
|Recognised regional languages|
|Spoken languages||Latvian, Russian, Belarusian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Polish, Romani|
|Ethnic groups |
2% others and unspecified
|18 November 1918|
|26 January 1921|
|5 August 1940|
|10 July 1941|
|8 May 1945|
|4 May 1990|
|21 August 1991|
|64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi) (124th)|
• Water (%)
|1.57% (1,014 km2)|
• 2011 estimate
• 2000 census
|34.3/km2 (88.8/sq mi) (166th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2010 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2010 estimate|
• Per capita
|HDI (2011)|| 0.805|
very high · 43rd
|Currency||Euro (€) (EUR)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
• Summer (DST)
|ISO 3166 code||LV|
1 Latvia is de jure continuous with its declaration 18 November 1918.
Latvia was settled by the Baltic tribes thousands of years ago. They mainly fished, hunted, and traded.
German traders and crusaders came to Latvia at the end of the 12th century. Latvians lost control of their homeland. Over the next 800 years, Germans, Danes, Swedes, Poles, and Russians all invaded Latvia. Latvia finally became independent in 1918.
During the 13-15th centuries there was the Teutonic Order state occupied Latvian territory.
Before World War I the aristocracy were mainly German.
Latvian workers took part in the revolutionary struggle in 1905.
In 1940 Latvia became the Soviet republic was incorporated in Soviet Union. It was under Nazi occupation during World War II in 1941-1944.
After the war a lot of factories were opened. Latvia became one of the successful Soviet republics.
In 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed and the independent Latvian republic was restored.
In Copenhagen on 13 December 2002, Latvia and nine other countries were invited to join the European Union. On 20 September 2003, Latvians held an election to vote on joining. Two thirds of Latvians voted to join, and on 1 May 2004, Latvia became a member of the EU.
Latvia has been a NATO member since 29 March 2004.
- "Etniskais sastāvs un mazākumtautību kultūras identitātes veicināšana". Latvijas Republikas Ārlietu Ministrija. Archived from the original on 12 July 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- "History – Embassy of Finland, Riga". Embassy of Finland, Riga. 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
Latvia declared independence on 21 August 1991...The decision to restore diplomatic relations took effect on 29 August 1991
- "Total population". Centrālās statistikas pārvaldes datu bāzes. 2011. Archived from the original on 26 May 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- "Latvia". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2011-04-30.
- "Human Development Index Report 2011". United Nations. 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2011.