Page last modified 19 August 2023

 

130) Latvia

Community

Area 64,589 square kilometres (land area 62,249 square kilometres)

Population,


1,883,000 (1930)

1,950,502 (1935)*

1,936,500 (1950)

2,115,200 (1960) +9.2%

2,361,000 (1970) +11.6%

2,525,000 (1980) +6.9%

2,666,567 (1990) +5.6%

2,377,383 (2000) -10.8%

2,097,000 (2010) -11.8%

1,901,500 (2020) -9.3%


*During the course of World War Two the population of Latvia fell from an estimated 1,995,000 (1939) to a low of 1,700,000 in 1946. This is accounted for by the Nazi massacre of 90,000 Latvian Jews, the departure of the 50,000 German community in 1940, and the deportation of workers to Germany and to forced Soviet labour camps at different times between 1940 and 1945. Soviet deportations from Latvia continued into 1947.

Ethnicity, %

 

Belarus

German

Latvia

Lithuania

Poland

Russia

Ukraine

1925

2.1

3.8

73.4

1.3

2.8

10.5

0.0

1935

1.4

3.2

75.5

1.2

2.5

10.6

 

1959

2.9

0.1

62.0

1.6

2.9

26.6

 

1970

4.0

0.2

56.8

1.7

2.7

29.8

 

1979

4.5

0.1

53.7

1.5

2.5

32.8

 

1997

4.0

0.1

55.3

1.3

2.2

32.5

2.9

2006

3.8

0.1

59.0

1.4

2.4

28.5

2.5

2009

3.6

0.1

59.3

1.3

2.4

27.8

2.5

2013

3.5

0.1

61.1

1.3

2.2

26.2

2.3

2017

3.3

0.1

62.0

1.2

2.1

25.4

2.2

Religion, %

 

Christian

Lutheran

Christian

Orthodox

Christian

R C

Jewish

No

Religion

1935

68.0

 

26.0

5.4

 

1947

56.6

8.9

23.7

4.9

 

1990

22.0

 

7.0

 

 

2006

19.6

15.3

 

 

 

2011

34.3

14.4

15.1

 

22.0

Birth and death rates Below replacement rate = 2.1

 

Fertility Rate

Birth

Rate

Infant

Mortality

Death

Rate

% Aged

Under 15

% Aged

Over

65

% Urban

1935

 

 

 

 

 

 

36.4

1960

1.9

16.7 (+6.7)

 

10.0

22.0

10.6

52.9

1970

1.9

14.6 (+3.3)

21.0

11.3

21.6

12.0

60.7

1980

1.9

14.0 (+1.2)

15.2

12.8

20.3

13.1

67.1

1990

2.0

14.0 (+0.9)

13.1

13.1

21.5

11.9

69.3

2000

1.3

8.3 (-5.3)

11.5

13.6

17.9

15.0

68.1

2010

1.3

9.4 (-4.9)

6.6

14.3

14.1

18.2

67.7

2015

1.7

11.1 (-3.3)

4.3

14.4

15.1

19.3

67.4

2017

1.7

10.7 (-4.1)

3.6

14.8

 

 

 

2018

 

 

3.3

 

16.0

20.0

68.1

Life expectancy,


69.7 (1960); 66.3 (M), 73.5 (F)

69.8 (1970); 65.7 (M), 74.2 (F)

68.8 (1980); 63.8 (M), 74.1 (F)

69.3 (1990); 64.2 (M), 74.6 (F)

70.3 (2000); 64.9 (M), 76.0 (F)

73.5 (2010); 68.8 (M), 78.4 (F)

74.1 (2015); 69.1 (M), 79.4 (F)

75.3 (2020); 70.2 (M), 80.0 (F)


Population of principal cities, 1,000s

 

Daugavpils

Jelgava

Liepaja

RIGA1

Ventspils

1638

 

 

1

 

 

1800

 

 

4.5

 

 

1860

 

 

 

74

 

1867

 

 

 

103

 

1881

 

 

29.6

169

 

1900

 

 

 

285

 

1910

 

 

93

320

 

1935

45

34

57

345

16

1950

 

 

64

490

 

1959

65

 

71

 

20

1969

94

51

88

700

 

1980

122

69

100

830

 

1990

129

74

112

890

50

1996

118

71

98

820

46

2000

115

64

89

764

44

2006

109

66

86

727

44

2009

 

 

83

723

 

2013

 

63

 

 

 

2017

942

 

692

6412

382

1Riga joined the Hanseatic League in 1282 AD.It became part of Poland in 1582, of Sweden in 1621, and of Russia in 1710.Occupied by Germany in 1917,it became capital of independent Latvia, 1919-41.Again occupied by Germany,1941-44, it fell under the control of the USSR until 1991, after whichLatvia again became independent with Riga as its capital.

2Considerable emigration from the 1990s onward, both of Russian citizens to Russia and since 2004 of workers westwards into higher-wage areas of the EU.

Wealth; Gross Domestic Product (nominal values)

 

GDP,

US$ million

Total GDP,

% of USA

GDP per capita,

US$

GDP per capita

% of USA

1990

20,020

0.34

7,358

30.72

1995

4,470

0.06

2,330

7.75

2000

6,830

0.07

3,350

9.19

2005

15,800

0.12

7,550

17.04

2010

23,390

0.16

11,325

23.41

2015

27,000

0.15

13,666

24.31

2016

27,700

0.15

14,120

24.57


GDP by primary sector

 

Agriculture

% GDP

Agriculture

% employed

Industry

% GDP

Industry

% employed

Services

% GDP

Services

% employed

1993

10.6

18.0

27.9

23.0

48.3

50.0

2000

4.0

 

24.7

 

70.6

 

2010

3.7

12.0

21.5

25.8

74.8

61.8

2016

3.2

7.7

21.9

24.1

74.9

68.1

Communications

Language, % Official; Latvian (Lettish)Latgalian also spoken.

 

Belarusian

Latvian

Russian

1990

5.0

54.0

34.0

2000

 

58.2

37.5

2012

 

 

27.0

Literacy


98.0% (1990)

99.9% (2003 and subsequent years)


Physical communications � roads

 

Roads (km)

Surfaced (km)

Motor vehicles

Cars

Commercial Vehicles

Railways

(km)

%

electrified

1938

 

 

 

 

 

3,200

 

1960

 

5,500

 

 

 

3,100

 

1968

24,100

10,100

 

 

 

2,710

 

1985

27,600

19,000

 

 

 

 

 

1990

58,600

 

 

 

 

2,406

5.1

1995

60,046

 

 

 

 

 

 

1996

 

 

 

379,875

 

 

 

2000

 

 

598,000

556,771

97,081

2,331

11.1

2005

66,319

 

 

742,447

113,114

 

 

2010

73,074

 

 

 

 

2,298

 

2013

 

 

826,500

 

 

 

 

Electronic communications, TV broadcasting began 1954 (colour from 1974)

 

Telephones (landlines)

Mobile Telephones

Radios

Televisions

PCs

Internet Users

1938

70,524

 

118,269

 

 

 

1975

250,000

 

 

 

 

 

1980

410,000

 

 

 

 

 

1990

620,000

 

1,400,000

800,000

 

 

1992

 

1,027

 

 

 

 

1994

 

 

 

 

8,000

 

1995

 

15,000

1,720,000

1,210,000

20,000

 

2000

734,700

401,000

1,650,000

1,900,000

340,000

 

2002

 

 

 

 

 

310,000

2004

 

 

 

2,000,000

501,000

 

2005

 

1,871,600

 

 

 

1,030,000

2009

644,000

2,243,000

 

 

 

1,504,000

2016

367,195

2,650,300

 

 

 

1,570,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,663,750

Tourism: Visitors to Latvia,


539,000 (1995)

509,000 (2000)

1,116,000 (2005)

1,373,000 (2010)

2,024,000 (2015)