58 Interesting Facts About Latvia

Last updated on March 8th, 2020

Facts about Latvia’s economy

29. Latvia, on the Human Development Index, occupies the 46th spot.

30. The Euro became the currency of Latvia on January 1st, 2014, replacing the Latvian lats.

31. Latvia is a developed country. Latvia received $67 million worth of assistance by the U.S. in 2014 through various military programs.

32. There is a treaty between the U.S. and Latvia that avoids double taxation.

33. Latvians can travel to the U.S. for a period up to 90 days without requiring a visa. An individual can travel to the U.S. for tourism and business purposes.

34. As per Akamai Q4 2015 Global Average Connection Speeds Rankings, Latvia ranks seventh, followed by Switzerland and preceded by Hong Kong. As we are discussing the fastest internet in the world, note that South Korea leads the world in this context.

Interesting facts about Latvian culture

35. Latvians have a strong sense of space, and they generally like to stand a few feet away from the other person.

36. Making eye contact with Latvians can be a signal that you are interested in them. Latvians would reciprocate and make eye contact with you if they feel comfortable with you.

37. Latvians do not use gestures while communicating, or make minimal use of it. A lot of gesturing can be annoying or distracting for them. It can be considered rude to wave a pointed index finger or persistently point at someone.

38. Oak and lime trees symbolize men and women, respectively.

Facts about Latvia’s capital – Riga

old wooden house in Riga, Latvia
Old Distressed District of Riga, ghetto in Riga, old wooden house in a terrible state in the main street in the urban areas of Moskow forstadt.

39. Latvia’s capital, Riga, has more than 4,000 standing wooden buildings. Now this is interesting, as no other European city has so much wood left over from history.

40. Riga is also known for its architecture the world over. Even the United Nations has recognized that Riga has the finest collection of art nouveau buildings in Europe.

41. Latvia’s capital, Riga, was declared the European Culture capital in 2014.

Interesting facts about Latvia for kids

42. Kids, did you know that the Latvian flag is one of the oldest flags in the world? The existence of this flag dates back to the 13th century.

43. In area, Latvia is slightly larger than West Virginia.

44. Latvia has a total coastline of 498 km.

45. Gaizina Kalns, at 312 m, is the highest point in the country. Wondering which is the highest peak in the Baltic? It is “Suur Munamägi,” at 318 m, from Estonia. Now there is no other competitor for the highest point in the region!

46. Latvia was ranked the world’s 32nd most peaceful country in the Global Peace Index of 2016.

47. Latvia was a territory of Poland between 1562 and 1629; and a territory of Sweden until 1721.

48. Then came the Russians, who ruled the country until 1918. The last Russian troops left Latvia in 1994.

49. Did you know that Estonia and Lithuania supply electricity to Latvia on a large scale?

50. In 2016, Latvia imposed a ban on the sale of energy drinks (containing caffeine or other stimulants) to people under the age of 18.

51. Agriculture was a dominant industry in Latvia for centuries.

52. Latvians consume 2.72 times more electricity than the Vietnamese.

53. Latvia is also known as Lettland, named after the Letts or Lettish people.

54. The Latvian capital is the largest city in the Baltic States.

55. While Latvian is the official language of the country, Russian is also widely spoken.

56. The wild boar, Eurasian beaver, and brown bear are some of the native Latvian species of animals.

player playing Ice hockey
Tim Sestito (43) of Dinamo Riga controls the puck in KHL game between Dinamo Riga and Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk played on DECEMBER 10, 2015 in Arena Riga.

57. Ice hockey, followed by basketball, is the most popular sport in Latvia.

58. The shape of Latvia resembles that of the lungs (have a look at the map above.)

Latvia – country at a glance

Independence4 May 1990
Capital CityRiga
(56°57′N 24°6′E)
Largest CityRiga
(56°57′N 24°6′E)
Areatotal: 64,589 sq km
land: 62,249 sq km
water: 2,340 sq km
Population1,881,232 (July 2020 est.)
Literacy rate99.9%
Official LanguageLatvian
National AnthemDievs, svētī Latviju!
God Bless Latvia!
ReligionLutheranism (34.3%)
Roman Catholicism (25.1%)
Eastern Orthodoxy and Old Believers (19.4%)
Other Christians (1.2%)
Other or none (20.0%)
DemonymLatvian
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typeparliamentary republic
PresidentEgils Levits
Prime MinisterKrišjānis Kariņš
BordersEstonia, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia.
CurrencyEuro (€) (EUR)
Life expectancy at birth75.4 Years (2020)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life. Source - CIA
Climatemaritime; wet, moderate winters
Terrainlow plain
Mean elevation87 m
Lowest pointBaltic Sea 0 m
Highest pointGaizina Kalns 312 m
Natural resourcespeat, limestone, dolomite, amber, hydropower, timber, arable land
Agricultural land29.2%
Birth rate9.2 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate14.6 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio0.86 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
National symbolswhite wagtail (bird)
National anthem"Dievs, sveti Latviju!" (God Bless Latvia)
National colorsmaroon, white
Industriesprocessed foods, processed wood products, textiles, processed metals, pharmaceuticals, railroad cars, synthetic fibers, electronics
Exports$12.84 billion (2017 est.)
foodstuffs, wood and wood products, metals, machinery and equipment, textiles
Imports$15.79 billion (2017 est.)
machinery and equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, fuels, vehicles
GDP - per capita (PPP)$27,700 (2017 est.)
Time ZoneEET (UTC+2)
Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Internet country code.lv
Calling Code+371
Drives on theRight
Table last updatedMarch 30, 2020