Country Listing

Latvia Table of Contents



Formal Name: Republic of Latvia (Latvijas Republika).

Short Form: Latvia (Latvija).

Term for Citizen(s): Latvian(s).

Capital: Riga.

Date of Independence: During abortive Soviet coup, declared immediate full independence August 21, 1991; Soviet Union recognized it September 6, 1991. November 18, Independence Day, national holiday; on this day in 1918, independent Republic of Latvia proclaimed.


Size: 64,589 square kilometers, slightly larger than West Virginia.

Topography: Undulating plains cover 75 percent of country. Forest 42 percent; cultivable land 27 percent; meadows and pastureland 13 percent; peat bog, swamp, and marsh 10 percent; and other 8 percent. Highest elevation 300 meters.

Climate: Temperate, with mild winters and cool summers. Average January temperatures range from -2.8°C in Liepaja to -6.6°C in Daugavpils; average July temperatures range from 16.7°C in Liepaja to 17.6°C in Daugavpils. Frequent precipita-tion, averaging 180 days per year in Riga. Annual precipitation 500 to 700 millimeters.

Data as of January 1995