Language and population of Latvia

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Latvia is situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic sea, sharing borders with Lithuania to the south, Estonia to the north, Russia to the east and Belarus to the southeast.

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The area of Latvia totals 64,000 square kilometres with 500 kilometres of coastline.

The population is a little less than 2.5 million people, of which 58% are Latvian, 29% are Russian, and 4% Byelorussian. Ukrainians, Poles, Lithuanians, Jews and others reside in Latvia in small numbers.

Population rates within Latvia are low, with nearly half the country living in Riga or its environs. The six largest cities and their population statistics are as follows: Riga (800,000), Daugavpils (117,000), Liepaja (97,000), Jelgava (71,000), Jurmala (59,000) and Ventspils (47,000).


Latvia is divided into four historical regions: Vidzeme, Kurzeme, Latgale and Zemgale.

The highest peak is Gaizins Kalns, standing at 311.5 meters.

The climate in Latvia is moderate with distinct seasons. Summers are generally warm and short. Autumn and spring are relatively mild and rainy. Winter weather is cold and fluctuates a great deal, with some years snowier and colder than others.

Latvian is the official language of the Republic of Latvia.

Russian is often spoken as well. Both English and German are spoken to some degree, with English becoming increasingly common.