Latvia in Facts

On the world map, Latvia is located on the east coast of the Baltic Sea at the crossroads of Northern and Eastern Europe. Latvia, a parliamentary republic, is bordered by Estonia to the north, Russia and Belarus to the east, and Lithuania to the south, with a maritime border with Sweden to the west. The total length of Latvia’s coastline is 498 km.

Latvia has almost 2 million inhabitants, of whom almost 1 million live in and around the capital city of Riga, the metropolis of the Baltic region. The second largest city is Daugavpils, with a population of about 83 000.

With its relatively small population, Latvia is not a major market, but the country’s key advantage is its location, which provides access to its immediate neighbours. The population of the three Baltic States totals 6.1 million, approximately equal to the population of Denmark. On its doorstep are the Scandinavian countries, with 25 million people; Russia and the independent CIS states, with a combined population of about 280 million; and Eastern Europe, with about 100 million inhabitants. Latvia stands out for two major criteria eligible for any investor – infrastructure and labour force.

Latvia’s skilled and multilingual labour force, abundant natural resources, and strategic location form a solid foundation for the country’s economy and make Latvia the perfect place to develop your business.

BASIC FACTS

Name of country
Republic of Latvia
Country code
LV
Size of area
64,573 km2
Population (at the beginning of 2019)
1.92 million
Capital city
Riga
Ethnic composition (beginning of 2019)
62.3 % Latvians
24.9 % Russians
3.2 % Belarusians
2.2 % Ukrainians,
2.0 % Poles
1.2 % Lithuanians
0.3 % Roma
3.9 % other nationalities
Language
Latvian (official);
Russian, English and German are also widely spoken
Political system
Republic, parliamentary democracy
Head of state
President (Mr) Egils Levits
(elected in 2019 by Parliament for a four-year term)
Head of government
Prime Minister (Mr) Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš
Political parties in Saeima represented in the 7 fractions of Parliament of Latvia (elected 2018)
  • "Concord" Social Democratic Party 
    (Sociāldemokrātiskā partija "Saskaņa"): 22 seats
  • Who owns the state? KPV LV 
    (Kam pieder valsts?, KPV LV): 15 seats;
  • The New Conservative Party 
    (Jaunā konservatīvā partija, JKP): 16 seats;
  • Development/For! 
    ("Attīstībai/par!"): 13 seats;
  • National Alliance "All For Latvia!" – "For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK" 
    (Nacionālā apvienība "Visu Latvijai!" – "Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK"): 13 seats;
  • Union of Greens and Farmers 
    (Zaļo un zemnieku savienība, ZZS): 11 seats;
  • New Unity 
    (Jaunā vienotība): 8 seats;
  • Unaffiliated members of parliament: 2 seats
Membership in international organizations
Member of OECD since 2016;
Member of  NATO since 2004;
Member of WTO since 1998;
Memebr of EU since 2004.

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

GDP (2018)
GDP (2017)
EUR 29.5 billion
EUR 27.0 billion
Growth of GDP (2018)
Growth of GDP (2017)
4.8 %
4.6 %
GDP per capita (2018)
GDP per capita (2017)
EUR 15 328
EUR 13 926
Private Consumption (percentage of GDP, 2018)
58.8 %
Public Consumption (percentage of GDP, 2018)
17.7 %
Capital Account Balance (2018) 
EUR 521 million
Gross Fixed Capital Formation (percentage of GDP, 2018) 
22.8 %
Growth of Industrial Production (as % of previous period, calendar adjusted data, 2018) 
2.0 %
Government Revenue (percentage of GDP, 2018)  
37.5 %
Government Expenditure (percentage of GDP, 2018)
38.5 %
Inflation rate (2018)
2.5 %
Rate of Wage Growth (2018)
8.4 %
Unemployment Rate (2018)
7.4 %
Fiscal Balance (percentage of GDP) (2018) 
-1.001 %
Current Account (2018)
EUR -283 million
Exports of goods and services (2018)
EUR 17.38 billion
Imports of goods and services (2018)
EUR 17.56 billion
Accumulated FDI (2018)EUR 15.1 billion
Accumulated FDI per capita (2018)EUR 7 815
General Government Debt (2018)
EUR 10.6 billion
Currency
Euro (EUR)
Credit Ratings (as at August 2019):
Fitch Ratings
Moody’s
Standard & Poor’s
R&I

A- (Outlook: Stable)
A3 (Outlook: Stable) 
A (Outlook: Stable)
A- (Outlook: Stable)

 

Additional information at:

Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia: www.csb.gov.lv/en
Central Bank of Latvia: www.bank.lv/en
Latvian Institute: www.li.lv/en
www.fitchratings.com
www.moodys.com
www.standardandpoors.com
www.r-i.co.jp