SPAMfighter information about
 

Latvia

The data on this page is obtained from The World Factbook.
 Communications information 
SPAMfighters: 2,908
Internet users: 1.03 million (2005)
Internet hosts: 65,858 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 41 (2001)
Internet country code: .lv
Telephones - main lines in use: 731,000 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 1.872 million (2005)
Telephone system: general assessment: recent efforts focused on bringing competition to the telecommunications sector, beginning in 2003; the number of fixed lines is decreasing as wireless telephony expands

domestic: two wireless service providers in addition to Lattelekom, the incumbent monopoly

international: country code - 371; the Latvian network is now connected via fiber optic cable to Estonia, Finland, and Sweden
Radio broadcast stations: AM 8, FM 56, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: 1.76 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 44 (plus 31 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions: 1.22 million (1997)
 Geographical information 
Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania
Geographic coordinates: 57 00 N, 25 00 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 64,589 sq km

land: 63,589 sq km

water: 1,000 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly larger than West Virginia
Land boundaries: total: 1,368 km

border countries: Belarus 167 km, Estonia 343 km, Lithuania 576 km, Russia 282 km
Coastline: 531 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate: maritime; wet, moderate winters
Terrain: low plain
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m

highest point: Gaizinkalns 312 m
Natural resources: peat, limestone, dolomite, amber, hydropower, wood, arable land
Land use: arable land: 28.19%

permanent crops: 0.45%

other: 71.36% (2005)
Irrigated land: 200 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 (2003)
Natural hazards: NA
Environment - current issues: Latvia´s environment has benefited from a shift to service industries after the country regained independence; the main environmental priorities are improvement of drinking water quality and sewage system, household, and hazardous waste management, as well as reduction of air pollution; in 2001, Latvia closed the EU accession negotiation chapter on environment committing to full enforcement of EU environmental directives by 2010
Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: most of the country is composed of fertile, low-lying plains, with some hills in the east
 People information 
Population: 2,274,735 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 14% (male 162,562/female 155,091)

15-64 years: 69.6% (male 769,004/female 815,042)

65 years and over: 16.4% (male 121,646/female 251,390) (2006 est.)
Median age: total: 39.4 years

male: 36.3 years

female: 42.4 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.67% (2006 est.)
Birth rate: 9.24 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate: 13.66 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate: -2.26 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.48 male(s)/female

total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 9.35 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 11.31 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 7.29 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 71.33 years

male: 66.08 years

female: 76.85 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.27 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.6% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 7,600 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 500 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Latvian(s)

adjective: Latvian
Ethnic groups: Latvian 57.7%, Russian 29.6%, Belarusian 4.1%, Ukrainian 2.7%, Polish 2.5%, Lithuanian 1.4%, other 2% (2002)
Religions: Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox
Languages: Latvian (official) 58.2%, Russian 37.5%, Lithuanian and other 4.3% (2000 census)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.8%

male: 99.8%

female: 99.8% (2003 est.)
 Governmental information 
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Latvia

conventional short form: Latvia

local long form: Latvijas Republika

local short form: Latvija

former: Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: 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
Administrative divisions: 26 counties (singular - rajons) and 7 municipalities*: Aizkraukles Rajons, Aluksnes Rajons, Balvu Rajons, Bauskas Rajons, Cesu Rajons, Daugavpils*, Daugavpils Rajons, Dobeles Rajons, Gulbenes Rajons, Jekabpils Rajons, Jelgava*, Jelgavas Rajons, Jurmala*, Kraslavas Rajons, Kuldigas Rajons, Liepaja*, Liepajas Rajons, Limbazu Rajons, Ludzas Rajons, Madonas Rajons, Ogres Rajons, Preilu Rajons, Rezekne*, Rezeknes Rajons, Riga*, Rigas Rajons, Saldus Rajons, Talsu Rajons, Tukuma Rajons, Valkas Rajons, Valmieras Rajons, Ventspils*, Ventspils Rajons
Independence: 21 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday: Independence Day, 18 November (1918); note - 18 November 1918 is the date Latvia declared itself independent from Soviet Russia; 4 May 1990 is when it declared the renewal of independence; 21 August 1991 is the date of de facto independence from the Soviet Union
Constitution: 15 February 1922; an October 1998 amendment on Fundamental Human Rights replaced the 1991 Constitutional Law, which had supplemented the constitution
Legal system: based on civil law system
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal for Latvian citizens
Executive branch: chief of state: President Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA (since 8 July 1999)

head of government: Prime Minister Aigars KALVITIS (since 2 December 2004)

cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the Parliament

elections: president reelected by Parliament for a four-year term (no term limits); election last held 20 June 2003 (next to be held by June 2007); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA reelected president; parliamentary vote - Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA 88 of 94 votes cast
Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Saeima (100 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 7 October 2006 (next to be held October 2010)

election results: percent of vote by party - TP 19.5%, ZZS 16.7%, JL 16.4%, SC 14.4%; LPP/LC 8.6%; TB/LNNK 7%; PCTVL 6%; seats by party - TP 23, ZZS 18, JL 18, SC 17, LPP/LC 10, TB/LNNK 8, PCTVL 6
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges´ appointments are confirmed by Parliament)
Political parties and leaders: First Party of Latvia or LPP [Juris LUJANS]; For Human Rights in a United Latvia or PCTVL [Tatjana ZDANOKA, Jakovs PLINERS]; For the Fatherland and Freedom/Latvian National Independence Movement or TB/LNNK [Janis STRAUME]; Harmony Center or SC [Sergejs DOLGOPOLOVS]; Latvian Green Party or ZZS [Indulis EMSIS, Viesturs SILENIEKS, Raimonds VEJONIS]; Latvian Farmer´s Union or LZS [Augusts BRIGMANIS]; Latvian Social Democratic Workers Party (Social Democrats) or LSDSP [Juris BOJARS]; Latvian Socialist Party or LSP [Alfreds RUBIKS]; Latvia´s Way or LC [Ivars GODMANIS]; New Democrats or JD [Maris GULBIS]; New Era Party or JL [Einars REPSE]; People´s Harmony Party or TSP [Aivars DATAVS]; People´s Party or TP [Atis SLAKTERIS]; Social Democratic Union or SDS [Egils BALDZENS]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Headquarters for the Protection of Russian Schools (SHTAB) [Aleksandr KAZAKOV]
International organization participation: Australia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EU (new member), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WCO, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Maris RIEKSTINS

chancery: 2306 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 328-2840

FAX: [1] (202) 328-2860
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Catherine TODD BAILEY

embassy: 7 Raina Boulevard, Riga LV-1510

mailing address: American Embassy Riga, PSC 78, Box Riga, APO AE 09723

telephone: [371] 703-6200

FAX: [371] 782-0047
Flag description: three horizontal bands of maroon (top), white (half-width), and maroon
 Economical information 
Economy - overview: Latvia´s transitional economy recovered from the 1998 Russian financial crisis, largely due to the government´s budget stringency and a gradual reorientation of exports toward EU countries, lessening Latvia´s trade dependency on Russia. The majority of companies, banks, and real estate have been privatized, although the state still holds sizable stakes in a few large enterprises. Latvia officially joined the World Trade Organization in February 1999. EU membership, a top foreign policy goal, came in May 2004. The current account deficit - 11.5% of GDP in 2005 - remains a major concern. A growing perception that many of Latvia´s banks facilitate illicit activity could damage the country´s vibrant financial sector.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $31.46 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $14.43 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 10.2% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $13,700 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 4%

industry: 26.1%

services: 69.9% (2005 est.)
Labor force: 1.11 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 15%

industry: 25%

services: 60% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 7.5% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line: Below $2.15 per day (PPP): 3%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 26.1% (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6.8% (2005 est.)
Budget: revenues: $5.673 billion

expenditures: $5.889 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products: grain, sugar beets, potatoes, vegetables; beef, pork, milk, eggs; fish
Industries: buses, vans, street and railroad cars; synthetic fibers, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, washing machines, radios, electronics, pharmaceuticals, processed foods, textiles; note - dependent on imports for energy and raw materials
Industrial production growth rate: 5.6% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production: 3.97 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 29.1%

hydro: 70.9%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 5.839 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports: 38 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports: 2.7 billion kWh (2003)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption: 47,000 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 47,000 bbl/day (2004)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m NA (2003)
Natural gas - consumption: 1.76 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance: $-1.959 billion (2005 est.)
Exports: $4.86 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities: wood and wood products, machinery and equipment, metals, textiles, foodstuffs
Exports - partners: Lithuania 11%, Estonia 10.8%, Germany 10.2%, UK 10.2%, Russia 7.9%, Sweden 7.8%, Denmark 5.3%, Poland 5.3% (2005)
Imports: $8.19 billion f.o.b. (2005)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, vehicles
Imports - partners: Germany 13.9%, Lithuania 13.6%, Russia 8.6%, Estonia 7.9%, Poland 6.4%, Finland 5.9%, Belarus 5.8%, Sweden 5.1% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $2.361 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external: $10.8 billion (1 January 2006)
Currency (code): Latvian lat (LVL)
Currency code: LVL
Exchange rates: lati per US dollar - 0.5647 (2005), 0.5402 (2004), 0.5715 (2003), 0.6182 (2002), 0.6279 (2001)
Fiscal year: calendar year
 Transportations information 
Airports: 46 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 24

2,438 to 3,047 m: 7

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 13 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 22

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 19 (2006)
Pipelines: gas 1,097 km; oil 82 km; refined products 415 km (2006)
Railways: total: 2,303 km

broad gauge: 2,270 km 1.520-m gauge (257 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 33 km 0.750-m gauge (2005)
Roadways: total: 69,919 km

paved: 69,919 km (2003)
Waterways: 300 km (2005)
Merchant marine: total: 21 ships (1000 GRT or over) 250,559 GRT/336,136 DWT

by type: cargo 7, chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas 2, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 7, roll on/roll off 1

registered in other countries: 105 (Antigua and Barbuda 5, Bahamas 1, Belize 6, Cambodia 2, Cyprus 4, Dominica 1, Gibraltar 2, Liberia 14, Malta 40, Marshall Islands 7, Panama 3, Russia 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 18) (2006)
Ports and terminals: Riga, Ventspils
 Military information 
Military branches: Latvian Republic Defense Force: Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force, Border Guard, Home Guard (Zemessardze) (2005)
Military service age and obligation: 19 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 12 months; 18 years of age for volunteers; plans are to phase out conscription, tentatively moving to an all-professional force by 2007; under current law, every citizen is entitled to serve in the armed forces for life (2004)
Manpower available for military service: males age 19-49: 517,713

females age 19-49: 519,631 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 19-49: 361,098

females age 19-49: 422,913 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 19,137

females age 19-49: 18,505 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $87 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.2% (FY01)
 Information about transnational issues 
Disputes - international: Russia refuses to sign the 1997 boundary treaty due to Latvian insistence on a unilateral clarificatory declaration referencing Soviet occupation of Latvia and territorial losses; Russia demands better Latvian treatment of ethnic Russians in Latvia; 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 must implement the strict Schengen border rules
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for opiates and cannabis from Central and Southwest Asia to Western Europe and Scandinavia and Latin American cocaine and some synthetics from Western Europe to CIS; 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

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