Statistical information Latvia 2000Latvia

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


Latvia - Introduction 2000
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Background: 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.

Latvia - Geography 2000
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Location: Eastern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea between Estonia and Lithuania

Geographic coordinates: 57 00 N 25 00 E

Map referenceEurope

Comparative: slightly larger than West Virginia

Land boundaries

Coastline: 531 km

Maritime claims

Climate: maritime; wet moderate winters

Terrain: low plain


Natural resources: minimal; amber peat limestone dolomite hydropower arable land
Land use

Land use

Irrigated land: 160 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: NA


Latvia - People 2000
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Population: 2,404,926 (July 2000 est.)
Growth rate: -0.84% (2000 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%


Ethnic groups: Latvian 56.5% Russian 30.4% Byelorussian 4.3% Ukrainian 2.8% Polish 2.6% other 3.4%

Languages: Latvian or Lettish (official) Lithuanian Russian other

Religions: Lutheran Roman Catholic Russian Orthodox

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: -0.84% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 7.8 births/1000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 14.88 deaths/1000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.32 migrant(s)/1000 population (2000 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

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 15.71 deaths/1000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

Total fertility rate: 1.13 children born/woman (2000 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

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

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Latvia - Government 2000
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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: parliamentary democracy

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 Preilu Rajons Rezekne* Rezeknes Rajons Riga* Rigas Rajons Saldus Rajons Talsu Rajons Tukuma Rajons Valkas Rajons Valmieras Rajons Ventspils* Ventspils Rajons

Dependent areas

Independence: 18 November 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day 18 November (1918); note - 18 November 1918 is the date of independence from Soviet Russia 18 November 1991 is the date of independence from the Soviet Union

Constitution: the 1991 Constitutional Law which supplements the 1922 constitution provides for basic rights and freedoms

Legal system: based on civil law system

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal for Latvian citizens

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA (since 8 July 1999)
Head of government: Prime Minister Andris BERZINS (since 5 May 2000)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the Parliament
Elections: president elected by Parliament for a four-year term; election last held 17 June 1999 (next to be held by NA June 2003); prime minister appointed by the president
Election results: Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA elected as a compromise candidate in second phase of balloting, second round (after five rounds in first phase failed); percent of parliamentary vote - Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA 53%, Valdis BIRKAVS 20%, Ingrida UDRE 9%

Legislative branch
Elections: last held 3 October 1998 (next to be held NA October 2002)
Election results: percent of vote by party - People's Party 21%, LC 18%, TSP 14%, TB/LNNK 14%, Social Democrats 13%, New Party 7%; seats by party - People's Party 24, LC 21, TB/LNNK 17, TSP 16, Social Democrats 14, New Party 8

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges' appointments are confirmed by Parliament)

Political parties and leaders: Anticommunist Union or PA [P. MUCENIEKS]; Christian Democrat Union or LKDS [Talavs JUNDZIS]; Christian People's Party or KTP [Uldis AUGSTKALNS]; Democratic Party 'Saimnieks' or DPS [Ziedonis CEVERS chairman]; For Fatherland and Freedom or TB [Maris GRINBLATS] merged with LNNK; For Human Rights in a United Latvia [Janis JURKANS] a coalition of the People's Harmony Party or TSP the Latvian Socialist Party or LSP and the Equal Rights Movement; Green Party or LZP [Olegs BATAREVSKI]; Latvian Liberal Party or LLP [J. DANOSS]; Latvian National Conservative Party or LNNK [Andrejs KRASTINS]; Latvian National Democratic Party or LNDP [A. MALINS]; Latvian Social-Democratic Workers Party (Social Democrats) or LSDWU [Juris BOJARS and Janis ADAMSONS leaders]; Latvian Unity Party or LVP [Alberis KAULS]; Latvia's Way or LC [Andrei PANTELEJEVS]; New Christian Party [Ainars SLESERS]; New Faction [Ingrida UDRE]; 'Our Land' or MZ [M. DAMBEKALNE]; Party of Russian Citizens or LKPP [V. SOROCHIN V. IVANOV]; People's Party [Andris SKELE]; Political Union of Economists or TPA [Edvins KIDE]

International organization participation: BIS CBSS CCC CE EAPC EBRD ECE EU (applicant) FAO IAEA IBRD ICAO ICFTU ICRM IDA IFC IFRCS ILO IMF IMO Intelsat (nonsignatory user) Interpol IOC IOM ISO (correspondent) ITU NSG OAS (observer) OPCW OSCE PFP UN UNCTAD UNESCO UPU WEU (associate partner) WHO WIPO WMO WTrO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Aivis RONIS
In the us chancery: 4,325 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20,001
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 James H. HOLMES
From the us embassy: Raina Boulevard 7, LV-1510, Riga
From the us mailing address: American Embassy Riga, PSC 78, Box Riga, APO AE 9,723
From the us telephone: [371] 721-0005
From the us fax: [371] 782-0047

Flag descriptionflag of Latvia: three horizontal bands of maroon (top) white (half-width) and maroon

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Latvia - Economy 2000
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Economy overview: In 2000 Latvia's transitional economy recovered from the 1998 Russian financial crisis largely due to the SKELE government's budget stringency and a gradual reorientation of exports toward EU countries lessening Latvia's trade dependency on Russia. Latvia officially joined the World Trade Organization in February 1999 - the first Baltic state to join - and was invited at the Helsinki EU Summit in December 1999 to begin accession talks in early 2000. Unemployment fell to 7.8% in 2000 down from 9.6% in 1999 and 9.2% in 1998. Privatization of large state-owned utilities and the shipping industry faced more delays in 2000 and political instability will continue to delay completion of the privatization process over the next year. Latvia projects 6% GDP growth 2.5%-3.0% inflation and a 1.7% fiscal deficit in 2000. Preparing for EU membership over the next few years remains a top foreign policy goal.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 5.5% (2000 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: 5%
Industry: 33%
Services: 62% (1999)

Agriculture products: grain sugar beets potatoes vegetables; beef milk eggs; fish

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

Industrial production growth rate: 6.3% (2000 est.)

Labor force: 1.4 million (2000 est.)
By occupation agriculture: 10%
By occupation industry: 25%
By occupation services: 65% (2000 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 7.8% (2000 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: 2.9%
Highest 10: 25.9% (1998)

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $1.33 billion
Expenditures: $1.27 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 2.7% (2000)

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: $2.1 billion (f.o.b. 2000)
Commodities: wood and wood products machinery and equipment metals textiles foodstuffs
Partners: Germany 16% UK 11% Sweden 11% Russia 7% (1999)

Imports: $3.2 billion (f.o.b. 2000)
Commodities: machinery and equipment chemicals fuels
Partners: Russia 15% Germany 10% Finland 9% Sweden 7% (1999)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $800 million (2000 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: lati per US dollar - 0.614 (January 2000) 0.607 (2000) 0.585 (1999) 0.590 (1998) 0.581 (1997) 0.551 (1996)

Latvia - Energy 2000
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 3.996 billion kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 31.78%
By source hydro: 68.22%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 4.316 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity exports: 400 million kWh (1999)

Electricity imports: 1 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Latvia - Communication 2000
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 77,100 (1997)

Telephone system
General assessment: inadequate, but is being modernized to provide an international capability independent of the Moscow international switch; more facilities are being installed for individual use
Domestic: expansion underway in intercity trunk line connections, rural exchanges, and mobile systems; still many unsatisfied subscriber applications
International: international connections are now available via cable and a satellite earth station at Riga, enabling direct connections for most calls (1998)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .lv

Internet users: 234,000 (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Latvia - Military 2000
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $60 million (FY99)
Percent of gdp: 0.9% (FY99)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Latvia - Transportation 2000
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 25 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 13
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 7
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 4 (2000 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 12
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 2
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 2
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 7 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 13
2438 to 3047 m: 7
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 4 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 12
2438 to 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 2
914 to 1523 m: 2
Under 914 m: 7 (2000 est.)


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

Total: 2,412 km
Broad gauge: 2,379 km 1.520-m gauge (271 km electrified) (1992)
Narrow gauge: 33 km 0.750-m gauge (1994)


Waterways: 300 km (perennially navigable)

Merchant marine
Total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 27,984 GRT/29,978 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 2, petroleum tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 3 (2000 est.)

Ports and terminals

Latvia - Transnational issues 2000
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Disputes international: draft treaty delimiting the boundary with Russia has not been signed; has not ratified 1998 maritime boundary agreement with Lithuania (primary concern is oil exploration rights)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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