Location: Northeast Europe, at the coast of Baltic sea;
Area: 64589 square km;
Population: 2,424,150 (in 2000); urban 69%, rural 31%
Borders: Latvia shares a border with Estonia, Lithuania, Russia and Belarus;
Ethnic groups (in 2000) Latvians – 55.8 %, Russians - 32.3%, Belorussians – 3.9%, Ukrainians – 2.9%, Poles 2.2% Lithuanians – 1.3 %, Jews - 0.3%, others – 1.5%.
Capital: Riga, 788,283 inhabitants (Jan, 2000)
summer 20-28 °C,
Main religions: Lutheran protestant, Roman Catholic, and Greek orthodox
Official language: Latvian.
Currency – Lats, worth 1.79 Euro (you pay 1.79 EURO for
Political system: Latvia is a parliamentary republic, with the Saeima (parliament) elected by general elections. The Saeima in turn elects the president. The government cabinet is nominated by the leading coalition and approved by the parliament.
Latvia is a member of the Council of Europe and an associate member state of the EU. Both the EU and NATO membership are the strategic goals of Latvian foreign policy.