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Latvia (/ˈlɑːtviə/ or /ˈlætviə/ (listen); Latvian: Latvija [ˈlatvija]; Latgalian: Latveja; Livonian: Leţmō), officially the Republic of Latvia[14] (Latvian: Latvijas Republika, Latgalian: Latvejas Republika, Livonian: Leţmō Vabāmō), is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is one of the Baltic states; and is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia covers an area of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi), with a population of 1.9 million. The country has a temperate seasonal climate.[15] Its capital and largest city is Riga. Latvians belong to the ethno-linguistic group of the Balts; and speak Latvian, one of the only two[lower-alpha 1] surviving Baltic languages. Russians are the most prominent minority in the country, at almost a quarter of the population.

Quick facts: Republic of LatviaLatvijas Republika (La...
Republic of Latvia
Anthem: Dievs, svētī Latviju! (Latvian)
("God Bless Latvia!")
Location of Latvia (dark green)

 in Europe (green & dark grey)
 in the European Union (green)   [Legend]

and largest city
56°57′N 24°6′E
Official languagesLatviana
Recognized languagesLivonian
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
Egils Levits
Krišjānis Kariņš
Ināra Mūrniece
from Germany and the Soviet Union
18 November 1918
26 January 1921
7 November 1922
21 August 1991
 Joined the EU
1 May 2004
64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi) (122nd)
 Water (%)
2.09 (2015)[5]
 2022 estimate
1,842,226[6] (153rd)
29.6/km2 (76.7/sq mi) (147th)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
$70.320 billion[7]
 Per capita
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
$40.830 billion[7]
 Per capita
Gini (2021) 35.7[8]
HDI (2019) 0.866[9]
very high · 37th
CurrencyEuro () (EUR)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 Summer (DST)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy
Driving sideright
Calling code+371
ISO 3166 codeLV
Internet TLD.lvc
  1. Latvian is the sole official language.[10][11] Livonian is considered an indigenous language and has special legal status.[12] Latgalian written language and Latvian Sign Language also have special legal status.[13]
  2. Latvia is de jure continuous with its declaration of 18 November 1918.
  3. The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states.

After centuries of Teutonic, Swedish, Polish-Lithuanian and Russian rule, which was mainly executed by the local Baltic German aristocracy, the independent Republic of Latvia was established on 18 November 1918 when it broke away from the German Empire and declared independence in the aftermath of World War I.[3] However, by the 1930s the country became increasingly autocratic after the coup in 1934 establishing an authoritarian regime under Kārlis Ulmanis.[16] The country's de facto independence was interrupted at the outset of World War II, beginning with Latvia's forcible incorporation into the Soviet Union, followed by the invasion and occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941, and the re-occupation by the Soviets in 1944 to form the Latvian SSR for the next 45 years. As a result of extensive immigration during the Soviet occupation, ethnic Russians became the most prominent minority in the country, now constituting nearly a quarter of the population. The peaceful Singing Revolution started in 1987, and ended with the restoration of de facto independence on 21 August 1991.[17] Since then, Latvia has been a democratic unitary parliamentary republic.

Latvia is a developed country, with a high-income advanced economy; ranking very high in the Human Development Index. It performs favorably in measurements of civil liberties, press freedom, internet freedom, democratic governance, living standards, and peacefulness. Latvia is a member of the European Union, Eurozone, NATO, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the International Monetary Fund, the Nordic-Baltic Eight, the Nordic Investment Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the World Trade Organization.

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