Statistical information Latvia 1995Latvia

Map of Latvia | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Latvia in the World
Latvia in the World


Latvia - Introduction 1995
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Background: Along with most of the other small nations of Europe, Latvia shares a history of invasion by a succession of expansionist nations, e.g., Sweden, Poland, Germany, and Russia. After a brief period of independence between the two World Wars, Latvia was annexed by the USSR in 1940 under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The USSR recaptured Latvia from its German occupiers in 1944. Latvia reestablished its independence in August 1991, a few months prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union; the last Russian troops left in 1994. The status of ethnic Russians, who make up 30% of the population, is an issue of concern to Moscow.

Latvia - Geography 1995
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Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceEurope

Total area total: 64,100 km²
Land: 64,100 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than West Virginia

Land boundaries: total 1,078 km, Belarus 141 km, Estonia 267 km, Lithuania 453 km, Russia 217 km

Coastline: 531 km

Maritime claims
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate: maritime; wet, moderate winters

Terrain: low plain


Natural resources: minimal; amber, peat, limestone, dolomite
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 27%
Permanent crops: 0%
Meadows and pastures: 13%
Forest and woodland: 39%
Other: 21%

Irrigated land: 160 km² (1990)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Latvia - People 1995
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Population: 2,762,899 (July 1995 est.)
Growth rate: 0.5% (1995 est.)

Noun: Latvian(s)
Adjective: Latvian

Ethnic groups: Latvian 51.8%, Russian 33.8%, Byelorussian 4.5%, Ukrainian 3.4%, Polish 2.3%, other 4.2%

Languages: Lettish (official), Lithuanian, Russian, other

Religions: Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 22% (female 294,521; male 304,830)
15-64 years: 65% (female 933,003; male 870,128)
65 years and over: 13% (female 247,476; male 112,941) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 0.5% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 13.71 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 12.49 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 3.76 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: air and water pollution because of a lack of waste conversion equipment; Gulf of Riga and Daugava River heavily polluted; contamination of soil and groundwater with chemicals and petroleum products at military bases
Current issues natural hazards: NA
Current issues international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Hazardous Wastes, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 21 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 69.65 years
Male: 64.6 years
Female: 74.95 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.97 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1989)
Total population: 100%
Male: 100%
Female: 99%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Latvia - Government 1995
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Latvia
Conventional short form: Latvia
Local long form: Latvijas Republika
Local short form: Latvija
Former: Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type: republic

Capital: Riga

Administrative divisions: 26 counties (singular - rajons) and 7 municipalities*:Aizkraukles Rajons, Aluksnes Rajons, Balvu Rajons, Bauskas Rajons, Cesu Rajons, Daugavpils*, Daugavpils Rajons, Dobeles Rajons, Gulbenes Rajons, Jekabpils Rajons, Jelgava*, Jelgavas Rajons, Jurmala*, Kraslavas Rajons, Kuldigas Rajons, Leipaja*, Liepajas Rajons, Limbazu Rajons, Ludzas Rajons, Madonas Rajons, Ogres Rajons, Preiju Rajons, Rezekne*, Rezeknes Rajons, Riga*, Rigas Rajons, Saldus Rajons, Talsu Rajons, Tukuma Rajons, Valkas Rajons, Valmieras Rajons, Ventspils*, Ventspils Rajons

Dependent areas

Independence: 6 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 18 November (1918)

Constitution: newly elected Parliament in 1993 restored the 1933 constitution

Legal system: based on civil law system

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Guntis ULMANIS (since 7 July 1993); Parliament (Saeima) elected President ULMANIS in the third round of balloting on 7 July 1993
Head of government: Prime Minister Maris GAILIS (since September 1994)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by the Supreme Council

Legislative branch: unicameral
Parliament Saeima: elections last held 5-6 June 1993 (next to be held NA October 1995); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (100 total) LC 36, LNNK 15, Concord for Latvia 13, LZS 12, Equal Rights 7, LKDS 6, TUB 6, DCP 5

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, EBRD, ECE, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT (nonsignatory user), INTERPOL, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NACC, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Ojars Eriks KALNINS
In the us chancery: 4,325 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20,011
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 726-8,213, 8,214
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 726-6,785
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Ints M, SILINS
From the us embassy: Raina Boulevard 7, Riga 226,050
From the us mailing address: use embassy street address
From the us telephone: [371] (2) 213-962
From the us FAX: [371] 882-0047 (cellular)

Flag descriptionflag of Latvia: two horizontal bands of maroon (top and bottom), white (middle, narrower than other two bands)

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Latvia - Economy 1995
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Economy overview: Latvia is rapidly becoming a dynamic market economy, rivaled only by Estonia among the former Soviet states in the speed of its transformation. However, the transition has been painful; in 1994 the IMF reported a 2% growth in GDP, following steep declines in 1992-93. The government's tough monetary policies and reform program have kept inflation at less than 2% a month, supported a dynamic private sector now accounting for more than half of GDP, and spurred the growth of trade ties with the West. Much of agriculture is already privatized and the government plans to step up the pace of privatization of state enterprises. Latvia thus is in the midst of recovery, helped by the country's strategic location on the Baltic Sea, its well-educated population, and its diverse - albeit largely obsolete - industrial structure.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 2% (1994 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: principally dairy farming and livestock feeding; products - meat, milk, eggs, grain, sugar beets, potatoes, vegetables; fishing and fish packing

Industries: highly diversified; dependent on imports for energy, raw materials, and intermediate products; produces buses, vans, street and railroad cars, synthetic fibers, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, washing machines, radios, electronics, pharmaceuticals, processed foods, textiles

Industrial production growth rate: -9.5% (1994 est.), accounts for 27% of GDP

Labor force: 1.407 million
By occupation industry and construction: 41%
By occupation agriculture and forestry: 16%
By occupation other: 43% (1990)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 6.5% (December 1994)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $N/A
Expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $1 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
Commodoties: oil products, timber, ferrous metals, dairy products, furniture, textiles
Partners: Russia, Germany, Sweden, Belarus

Imports: $1.2 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
Commodoties: fuels, cars, ferrous metals, chemicals
Partners: Russia, Germany, Sweden, Ukraine

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $NA

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: lats per US$1 - 0.55 (December 1994), 0.5917 (January 1994), 1.32 (March 1993)

Latvia - Energy 1995
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 5.5 billion kWh
Consumption per capita: 1,864 kWh (1993)

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Latvia - Communication 1995
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 660,000 telephones; 240 telephones/1000 persons (1993); Latvia is better provided with telephone service than most of the other former Soviet republics; an NMT-450 analog cellular telephone network covers 75% of Latvia's population
Local: NA
Intercity: NA
International: international traffic carried by leased connection to the Moscow international gateway switch and through the new Ericsson AXE local/transit digital telephone exchange in Riga and through the Finnish cellular net; electronic mail capability by Sprint data network

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Latvia - Military 1995
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Military expenditures: 176 million rubles, 3% to 5% of GDP (1994; note - conversion of the military budget into US dollars using the prevailing exchange rate could produce misleading results

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Latvia - Transportation 1995
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 50
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 6
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 2
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 27
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 2
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 2
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 10

Airports with paved runways
2438 to 3047 m: 6
15-24 to 2437 m: 2
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 27

Airports with unpaved runways
2438 to 3047 m: 2
914 to 1523 m: 2
Under 914 m: 10


Pipelines: crude oil 750 km; refined products 780 km; natural gas 560 km (1992)



Waterways: 300 km perennially navigable

Merchant marine
Total: 85 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 774,182 GRT/1,010,517 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 17, oil tanker 37, refrigerated cargo 24, roll-on/roll-off cargo 7

Ports and terminals

Latvia - Transnational issues 1995
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Disputes international: the Abrene section of border ceded by the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic to Russia in 1944

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for illicit drugs from Central and Southwest Asia and Latin America to Western Europe; limited producer of illicit opium; mostly for domestic consumption; also produces illicit amphetamines for export


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