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Europe :: LATVIA
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LATVIA
  • Introduction :: LATVIA

  • Several eastern Baltic tribes merged in medieval times to form the ethnic core of the Latvian people (ca. 8th-12th centuries A.D.). The region subsequently came under the control of Germans, Poles, Swedes, and finally, Russians. A Latvian republic emerged following World War I, but it was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. Latvia 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 26% of the population) remains of concern to Moscow. Latvia acceded to both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004; it joined the euro zone in 2014 and the OECD in 2016. A dual citizenship law was adopted in 2013, easing naturalization for non-citizen children.
  • Geography :: LATVIA

  • Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania
    57 00 N, 25 00 E
    Europe
    total: 64,589 sq km
    land: 62,249 sq km
    water: 2,340 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 125
    slightly larger than West Virginia
    Area comparison map:
    total: 1,370 km
    border countries (4): Belarus 161 km, Estonia 333 km, Lithuania 544 km, Russia 332 km
    498 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: limits as agreed to by Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Sweden, and Russia
    continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    maritime; wet, moderate winters
    low plain
    mean elevation: 87 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
    highest point: Gaizina Kalns 312 m
    peat, limestone, dolomite, amber, hydropower, timber, arable land
    agricultural land: 29.2%
    arable land 18.6%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 10.5%
    forest: 54.1%
    other: 16.7% (2011 est.)
    12 sq km
    note: land in Latvia is often too wet and in need of drainage not irrigation; approximately 16,000 sq km or 85% of agricultural land has been improved by drainage (2012)
    largest concentration of people is found in and around the port and capital city of Riga; small agglomerations are scattered throughout the country
    large percentage of agricultural fields can become waterlogged and require drainage
    Latvia's environment has benefited from a shift to service industries after the country regained independence; improvements have occurred in drinking water quality, sewage treatment, household and hazardous waste management, as well as reduction of air pollution
    party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    most of the country is composed of fertile low-lying plains with some hills in the east
  • People and Society :: LATVIA

  • 1,944,643 (July 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    noun: Latvian(s)
    adjective: Latvian
    Latvian 61.8%, Russian 25.6%, Belarusian 3.4%, Ukrainian 2.3%, Polish 2.1%, Lithuanian 1.2%, other 3.6% (2016 est.)
    Latvian (official) 56.3%, Russian 33.8%, other 0.6% (includes Polish, Ukrainian, and Belarusian), unspecified 9.4%
    note: data represent language usually spoken at home (2011 est.)
    Lutheran 19.6%, Orthodox 15.3%, other Christian 1%, other 0.4%, unspecified 63.7% (2006)
    0-14 years: 15.15% (male 151,195/female 143,388)
    15-24 years: 9.45% (male 94,779/female 88,952)
    25-54 years: 41.75% (male 403,699/female 408,277)
    55-64 years: 14.1% (male 121,993/female 152,260)
    65 years and over: 19.55% (male 124,570/female 255,530) (2017 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 52.5
    youth dependency ratio: 23.1
    elderly dependency ratio: 29.4
    potential support ratio: 3.4 (2015 est.)
    total: 43.3 years
    male: 39.5 years
    female: 46.6 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    -1.1% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 228
    9.7 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    14.5 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    -6.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    largest concentration of people is found in and around the port and capital city of Riga; small agglomerations are scattered throughout the country
    urban population: 67.4% of total population (2017)
    rate of urbanization: -0.56% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    RIGA (capital) 621,000 (2015)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.79 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.48 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.85 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
    27.2 years (2014 est.)
    18 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    total: 5.3 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 5.7 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 4.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    total population: 74.5 years
    male: 69.9 years
    female: 79.3 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    1.51 children born/woman (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    5.9% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    3.22 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
    5.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    improved:
    urban: 99.8% of population
    rural: 98.3% of population
    total: 99.3% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0.2% of population
    rural: 1.7% of population
    total: 0.7% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 90.8% of population
    rural: 81.5% of population
    total: 87.8% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 9.2% of population
    rural: 18.5% of population
    total: 12.2% of population (2015 est.)
    0.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    6,600 (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    <500 (2016 est.)
    degree of risk: intermediate
    vectorborne diseases: tickborne encephalitis (2016)
    25.6% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    4.9% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 99.9%
    male: 99.9%
    female: 99.9% (2015 est.)
    total: 16 years
    male: 16 years
    female: 17 years (2014)
    total: 16.3%
    male: 18%
    female: 14.1% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
  • Government :: LATVIA

  • conventional long form: Republic of Latvia
    conventional short form: Latvia
    local long form: Latvijas Republika
    local short form: Latvija
    former: Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic
    etymology: the name "Latvia" originates from the ancient Latgalians, one of four eastern Baltic tribes that formed the ethnic core of the Latvian people (ca. 8th-12th centuries A.D.)
    parliamentary republic
    name: Riga
    geographic coordinates: 56 57 N, 24 06 E
    time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    110 municipalities (novadi, singular - novads) and 9 cities
    municipalities: Adazu Novads, Aglonas Novads, Aizkraukles Novads, Aizputes Novads, Aknistes Novads, Alojas Novads, Alsungas Novads, Aluksnes Novads, Amatas Novads, Apes Novads, Auces Novads, Babites Novads, Baldones Novads, Baltinavas Novads, Balvu Novads, Bauskas Novads, Beverinas Novads, Brocenu Novads, Burtnieku Novads, Carnikavas Novads, Cesu Novads, Cesvaines Novads, Ciblas Novads, Dagdas Novads, Daugavpils Novads, Dobeles Novads, Dundagas Novads, Durbes Novads, Engures Novads, Erglu Novads, Garkalnes Novads, Grobinas Novads, Gulbenes Novads, Iecavas Novads, Ikskiles Novads, Ilukstes Novads, Incukalna Novads, Jaunjelgavas Novads, Jaunpiebalgas Novads, Jaunpils Novads, Jekabpils Novads, Jelgavas Novads, Kandavas Novads, Karsavas Novads, Keguma Novads, Kekavas Novads, Kocenu Novads, Kokneses Novads, Kraslavas Novads, Krimuldas Novads, Krustpils Novads, Kuldigas Novads, Lielvardes Novads, Ligatnes Novads, Limbazu Novads, Livanu Novads, Lubanas Novads, Ludzas Novads, Madonas Novads, Malpils Novads, Marupes Novads, Mazsalacas Novads, Mersraga Novads, Nauksenu Novads, Neretas Novads, Nicas Novads, Ogres Novads, Olaines Novads, Ozolnieku Novads, Pargaujas Novads, Pavilostas Novads, Plavinu Novads, Preilu Novads, Priekules Novads, Priekulu Novads, Raunas Novads, Rezeknes Novads, Riebinu Novads, Rojas Novads, Ropazu Novads, Rucavas Novads, Rugaju Novads, Rujienas Novads, Rundales Novads, Salacgrivas Novads, Salas Novads, Salaspils Novads, Saldus Novads, Saulkrastu Novads, Sejas Novads, Siguldas Novads, Skriveru Novads, Skrundas Novads, Smiltenes Novads, Stopinu Novads, Strencu Novads, Talsu Novads, Tervetes Novads, Tukuma Novads, Vainodes Novads, Valkas Novads, Varaklanu Novads, Varkavas Novads, Vecpiebalgas Novads, Vecumnieku Novads, Ventspils Novads, Viesites Novads, Vilakas Novads, Vilanu Novads, Zilupes Novads
    cities: Daugavpils, Jekabpils, Jelgava, Jurmala, Liepaja, Rezekne, Riga, Valmiera, Ventspils
    4 May 1990 (declared independence from the Soviet Union); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union)
    Independence Day (Republic of Latvia Proclamation Day), 18 November (1918); note - 18 November 1918 was the date Latvia established its statehood and its concomitant independence from Soviet Russia; 4 May 1990 was the date it declared the restoration of Latvian statehood and its concomitant independence from the Soviet Union
    history: several previous (pre-1991 independence); note - following the restoration of independence in 1991, parts of the 1922 constitution were reintroduced 4 May 1990 and fully reintroduced 6 July 1993
    amendments: proposed by two-thirds of Parliament members or by petition of one-tenth of qualified voters submitted through the president; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of Parliament in each of three readings; amendment of constitutional articles including national sovereignty, language, the parliamentary electoral system, and constitutional amendment procedures requires passage in a referendum by majority vote of at least one-half of the electorate; amended several times, last in 2014 (2016)
    civil law system with traces of socialist legal traditions and practices
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Latvia
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Raimonds VEJONIS (since 8 July 2015)
    head of government: Prime Minister Maris KUCINSKIS (since 11 February 2016); Deputy Prime Minister Arvils ASERADENS (since 11 February 2016)
    cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, appointed by Parliament
    elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by Parliament for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 3 June 2015 (next to be held in 2019); prime minister appointed by the president, confirmed by Parliament
    election results: Raimonds VEJONIS elected president; Parliament vote - Raimonds VEJONIS 55 of 100
    description: unicameral Parliament or Saeima (100 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 4 October 2014 (next to be held in October 2018)
    election results: percent of vote by party - SC 23%, Unity 21.9%, ZZS 19.5%, NA 16.6%, NSL 6.9%, LRA 6.7%, other 5.4%; seats by party - SC 24, Unity 23, ZZS 21, NA 17, LRA 8, NSL 7
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the Senate with 27 judges and Supreme Court of Chambers with 22 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 7 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by chief justice and confirmed by the Saeima; judges serve until age 70, but term can be extended 2 years; Constitutional Court judges - 3 nominated by Saeima members, 2 by Cabinet ministers, and 2 by plenum of Supreme Court; all judges confirmed by Saeima majority vote; Constitutional Court president and vice president serve in their positions for 3 years; all judges serve 10-year terms; mandatory retirement at age 70
    subordinate courts: district (city) and regional courts
    Alliance of Regions or LRA [Martins BONDARS]
    For Latvia from the Heart or NSL [Inguna SUDRABA]
    Social Democratic Party "Harmony" or SC [Nils USAKOVS]
    National Alliance "All For Latvia!"-"For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK" or NA [Gaidis BERZINS, Raivis DZINTARS]
    Union of Greens and Farmers or ZZS [Augusts BRIGMANIS]
    Unity [Andris PIEBALGS]
    Employers' Confederation of Latvia [Vitalijs GAVRILOVS]
    Farmers' Parliament [Juris LAZDINS]
    Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia [Egils BALDZENS]
    Australia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA (cooperating state), EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Andris TEIKMANIS (since 16 September 2016)
    chancery: 2306 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 328-2840
    FAX: [1] (202) 328-2860
    chief of mission: Ambassador Nancy Bikoff PETTIT (since 8 September 2015)
    embassy: 1 Samnera Velsa St, Riga LV-1510
    mailing address: Embassy of the United States of America, 1 Samnera Velsa St, Riga, LV-1510, Latvia
    telephone: [371] 6710-7000
    FAX: [371] 6710-7050
    three horizontal bands of maroon (top), white (half-width), and maroon; the flag is one of the older banners in the world; a medieval chronicle mentions a red standard with a white stripe being used by Latvian tribes in about 1280
    white wagtail (bird); national colors: maroon, white
    name: "Dievs, sveti Latviju!" (God Bless Latvia)
    lyrics/music: Karlis BAUMANIS
    note: adopted 1920, restored 1990; first performed in 1873 while Latvia was a part of Russia; banned during the Soviet occupation from 1940 to 1990
  • Economy :: LATVIA

  • Latvia is a small, open economy with exports contributing more than half of GDP. Due to its geographical location, transit services are highly-developed, along with timber and wood-processing, agriculture and food products, and manufacturing of machinery and electronics industries. Corruption continues to be an impediment to attracting foreign direct investment and Latvia's low birth rate and decreasing population are major challenges to its long-term economic vitality.
    Latvia's economy experienced GDP growth of more than 10% per year during 2006-07, but entered a severe recession in 2008 as a result of an unsustainable current account deficit and large debt exposure amid the slowing world economy. Triggered by the collapse of the second largest bank, GDP plunged 18% in 2009. The economy has yet to return to pre-crisis levels in real terms despite strong growth, especially in the export sector. Continued gains in competitiveness and investment will be key to maintaining economic growth, especially in light of unfavorable demographic trends.
    The IMF, EU, and other international donors provided substantial financial assistance to Latvia as part of an agreement to defend the currency's peg to the euro in exchange for the government's commitment to stringent austerity measures. The IMF/EU program successfully concluded in December 2011, although, the austerity measures have imposed large social costs. The majority of companies, banks, and real estate have been privatized, although the state still holds sizable stakes in a few large enterprises, including 80% ownership of the Latvian national airline. Latvia officially joined the World Trade Organization in February 1999 and the EU in May 2004. Latvia also joined the euro zone in 2014 and the OECD in 2016.
    $50.62 billion (2016 est.)
    $49.65 billion (2015 est.)
    $48.34 billion (2014 est.)
    note: data are in 2016 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 109
    $27.68 billion (2016 est.)
    2% (2016 est.)
    2.7% (2015 est.)
    2.1% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    $25,700 (2016 est.)
    $25,000 (2015 est.)
    $24,200 (2014 est.)
    note: data are in 2016 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 74
    21.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
    21.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
    21.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    household consumption: 62%
    government consumption: 17.5%
    investment in fixed capital: 18.3%
    investment in inventories: 1.6%
    exports of goods and services: 58%
    imports of goods and services: -57.4% (2016 est.)
    agriculture: 4.8%
    industry: 24.4%
    services: 70.8% (2016 est.)
    grain, rapeseed, potatoes, vegetables; pork, poultry, milk, eggs; fish
    processed foods, processed wood products, textiles, processed metals, pharmaceuticals, railroad cars, synthetic fibers, electronics
    4.9% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    957,100 (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    agriculture: 7.7%
    industry: 24.1%
    services: 68.1% (2016 est.)
    9.6% (2016 est.)
    9.9% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    25.5% (2015)
    lowest 10%: 2.2%
    highest 10%: 26.3% (2015)
    34.5 (2015)
    35.4 (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    revenues: $9.766 billion
    expenditures: $10.11 billion (2016 est.)
    34.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    -1.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    38.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    36.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
    note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities, including sub-sectors of central government, state government, local government, and social security funds
    country comparison to the world: 124
    calendar year
    0.1% (2016 est.)
    0.2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    0% (31 December 2016 est.)
    0.05% (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    4.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
    4.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    $11.66 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $10.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    $13.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $12.53 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    $16.03 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $15.39 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    $6.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $6.799 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $7.127 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    $409 million (2016 est.)
    -$210 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    $11.22 billion (2016 est.)
    $11.4 billion (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    foodstuffs, wood and wood products, metals, machinery and equipment, textiles
    Lithuania 17.3%, Estonia 11.5%, Russia 11.4%, Germany 6.8%, Sweden 5.7%, UK 5.3%, Poland 5%, Denmark 4.4% (2016)
    $13.6 billion (2016 est.)
    $13.74 billion (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    machinery and equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, fuels, vehicles
    Lithuania 16.9%, Germany 12.3%, Poland 10.4%, Estonia 7.9%, Russia 7.4%, Finland 4.3%, Netherlands 4.3% (2016)
    $7.507 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $7.893 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    $40.02 billion (31 March 2016 est.)
    $38.19 billion (31 March 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    $16.41 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $15.71 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    $2.651 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $2.391 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    lati (LVL) per US dollar -
    0.91 (2016 est.)
    0.9 (2015 est.)
    0.9 (2014 est.)
    0.75 (2013 est.)
    0.55 (2012 est.)
  • Energy :: LATVIA

  • electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    5 billion kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    6.8 billion kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    5.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    3 million kW (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    26.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    70.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    3.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    58.95 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    60 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    35,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    15,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    49,220 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    0 cu m (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    963 million cu m (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    0 cu m (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    963 million cu m (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    0 cu m (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    7.6 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
  • Communications :: LATVIA

  • total subscriptions: 367,195
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 19 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    total: 2,650,273
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 135 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    general assessment: recent efforts focused on bringing competition to the telecommunications sector; the number of fixed lines is decreasing as mobile-cellular telephone service expands
    domestic: number of telecommunications operators has grown rapidly since the fixed-line market opened to competition in 2003; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership roughly 150 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 371; the Latvian network is now connected via fiber-optic cable to Estonia, Finland, and Sweden (2016)
    several national and regional commercial TV stations are foreign-owned, 2 national TV stations are publicly owned; system supplemented by privately owned regional and local TV stations; cable and satellite multi-channel TV services with domestic and foreign broadcasts available; publicly owned broadcaster operates 4 radio networks with dozens of stations throughout the country; dozens of private broadcasters also operate radio stations (2007)
    .lv
    total: 1,570,374
    percent of population: 79.9% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
  • Transportation :: LATVIA

  • number of registered air carriers: 3
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 47
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,527,368
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,277,996 mt-km (2015)
    YL (2016)
    42 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    total: 18
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
    914 to 1,523 m: 3
    under 914 m: 7 (2017)
    total: 24
    under 914 m: 24 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    gas 928 km; refined products 415 km (2013)
    total: 2,239 km
    broad gauge: 2,206 km 1.520-m gauge
    narrow gauge: 33 km 0.750-m gauge (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    total: 72,440 km
    paved: 14,707 km
    unpaved: 57,733 km (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    300 km (navigable year-round) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    total: 11
    by type: cargo 3, chemical tanker 1, passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 1
    foreign-owned: 3 (Estonia 3)
    registered in other countries: 79 (Antigua and Barbuda 16, Belize 9, Comoros 2, Dominica 2, Georgia 1, Liberia 5, Malta 8, Marshall Islands 19, Russia 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 15) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    major seaport(s): Riga, Ventspils
  • Military and Security :: LATVIA

  • 1.47% of GDP (2016)
    1.05% of GDP (2015)
    0.94% of GDP (2014)
    0.94% of GDP (2013)
    0.91% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    National Armed Forces (Nacionalie Brunotie Speki): Land Forces (Latvijas Sauszemes Speki), Navy (Latvijas Juras Speki, includes Coast Guard (Latvijas Kara Flote)), Latvian Air Force (Latvijas Gaisa Speki), Latvian Home Guard (Latvijas Zemessardze) (2017)
    18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; no conscription; under current law, every citizen is entitled to serve in the armed forces for life (2016)
  • Transnational Issues :: LATVIA

  • Russia demands better Latvian treatment of ethnic Russians in Latvia; boundary demarcated with Latvia and Lithuania; the Latvian parliament has not ratified its 1998 maritime boundary treaty with Lithuania, primarily due to concerns over oil exploration rights; as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Latvia has implemented the strict Schengen border rules with Russia
    stateless persons: 242,736 (2016); note - individuals who were Latvian citizens prior to the 1940 Soviet occupation and their descendants were recognized as Latvian citizens when the country's independence was restored in 1991; citizens of the former Soviet Union residing in Latvia who have neither Latvian nor other citizenship are considered non-citizens (officially there is no statelessness in Latvia) and are entitled to non-citizen passports; children born after Latvian independence to stateless parents are entitled to Latvian citizenship upon their parents' request; non-citizens cannot vote or hold certain government jobs and are exempt from military service but can travel visa-free in the EU under the Schengen accord like Latvian citizens; non-citizens can obtain naturalization if they have been permanent residents of Latvia for at least five years, pass tests in Latvian language and history, and know the words of the Latvian national anthem
    transshipment and destination point for cocaine, synthetic drugs, opiates, and cannabis from Southwest Asia, Western Europe, Latin America, and neighboring Baltic countries; despite improved legislation, vulnerable to money laundering due to nascent enforcement capabilities and comparatively weak regulation of offshore companies and the gaming industry; CIS organized crime (including counterfeiting, corruption, extortion, stolen cars, and prostitution) accounts for most laundered proceeds