Latvia facts and figures

Latvia

After a brief period of independence between the two World Wars, Latvia was annexed by the USSR in 1940. It reestablished its independence in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Although the last Russian troops left in 1994, the status of the Russian minority (some 30% of the population)  remains of concern to Moscow. Latvia continues to revamp its economy for eventual integration into various Western European political and economic institutions and was invited to join NATO and the EU in 2002.

Location:

Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania

Area:

total: 64,589 sq km

water: 1,000 sq km

land: 63,589 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 1,150 km

border countries: Belarus 141 km, Estonia 339 km, Lithuania 453 km, Russia
217 km

Climate:

maritime; wet, moderate winters

Terrain:

low plain

Land use:

arable land: 29.01%

permanent crops: 0.48%

other: 70.51% (1998 est.)

Population:

2,348,784 (July 2003 est.)

Nationality:

noun: Latvian(s)

adjective: Latvian

Languages:

Latvian (official), Lithuanian, Russian, other