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It also has large populations of Igbo, Hausa, Mwaghavul settlers amongst other tribes. This is due to the hospitable nature of the indigenes and has made the city a miniature Nigeria.

Modern Lafia aside from being an administrative and educational center, it is also a collecting point for sesame seeds, soybeans, and is a trading centre for yams, sorghum, millet, and cotton.

Besides farming, cotton weaving and dyeing are traditionally important activities of the town's inhabitants. Livestock farming is also a prominent activity especially amongst the Fulani herdsmen.

It has a large number of primary and secondary schools. The St Williams Cathedral, situated along Jos road, is the headquarters of the Lafia diocese and though still under construction, is an awesome sight to behold.

It is situated on the trunk railway from Port Harcourt and on the main highway between Makurdi and Jos. Population of census in Lafia local government area was estimated , Lafia is served by the main narrow gauge railway from Port Harcourt.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the town in Mali, see Lafia, Mali. LGA and town. Daily Trust. Retrieved From 1 January , Latvia switched to a professional fully contract-based army.

Latvia participates in international peacekeeping and security operations. Latvian civilian experts have contributed to EU civilian missions: border assistance mission to Moldova and Ukraine — , rule of law missions in Iraq and and Kosovo since , police mission in Afghanistan since and monitoring mission in Georgia since Latvia co-operates with Estonia and Lithuania in several trilateral Baltic defence co-operation initiatives:.

Future co-operation will include sharing of national infrastructures for training purposes and specialisation of training areas BALTTRAIN and collective formation of battalion-sized contingents for use in the NATO rapid-response force.

On 1 January , the Euro became the country's currency, superseding the Lats. The economic crisis of proved earlier assumptions that the fast-growing economy was heading for implosion of the economic bubble , because it was driven mainly by growth of domestic consumption , financed by a serious increase of private debt , as well as a negative foreign trade balance.

Privatisation in Latvia is almost complete. Virtually all of the previously state-owned small and medium companies have been privatised, leaving only a small number of politically sensitive large state companies.

Foreign investment in Latvia is still modest compared with the levels in north-central Europe. A law expanding the scope for selling land, including to foreigners, was passed in Representing Latvia and the United States have signed treaties on investment, trade, and intellectual property protection and avoidance of double taxation.

In Latvia launched a Residence by Investment program Golden Visa in order to attract foreign investors and make local economy benefit from it.

The Latvian economy entered a phase of fiscal contraction during the second half of after an extended period of credit-based speculation and unrealistic appreciation in real estate values.

Latvia's unemployment rate rose sharply in this period from a low of 5. The most acute problems are on Europe's periphery, where many smaller economies are experiencing crises strongly reminiscent of past crises in Latin America and Asia: Latvia is the new Argentina [].

However, by , commentators [] [] noted signs of stabilisation in the Latvian economy. The strengthening regional economy is supporting Latvian production and exports, while the sharp swing in the current account balance suggests that the country's 'internal devaluation' is working.

The IMF concluded the First Post-Program Monitoring Discussions with the Republic of Latvia in July announcing that Latvia's economy has been recovering strongly since , following the deep downturn in — Real GDP growth of 5.

The growth momentum has continued into and despite deteriorating external conditions, and the economy is expected to expand by 4.

The unemployment rate has receded from its peak of more than 20 percent in to around 9. Most transit traffic uses these and half the cargo is crude oil and oil products.

Apart from road and railway connections, Ventspils is also linked to oil extraction fields and transportation routes of Russian Federation via system of two pipelines from Polotsk , Belarus.

Riga International Airport is the busiest airport in the Baltic states with 7. It has direct flight to over 80 destinations in 30 countries.

Latvia's railway network is currently incompatible with European standard gauge lines. In there were a total of , licensed vehicles in Latvia.

In the recent years a couple of dozen of wind farms as well as biogas or biomass power stations of different scale have been built in Latvia.

The total fertility rate TFR in was estimated at 1. Every year more boys are born. Until the age of 39, there are more male than female. From the age of 40 — more female.

And from 70 females are 2,3 times more than males. Latvia's population has been multiethnic for centuries, though the demographics shifted dramatically in the 20th century due to the World Wars, the emigration and removal of Baltic Germans , the Holocaust , and occupation by the Soviet Union.

According to the Russian Empire Census of , Latvians formed As of March , Latvians form about There were , "non-citizens" living in Latvia or In some cities, e.

Despite the fact that the proportion of ethnic Latvians has been steadily increasing for more than a decade, ethnic Latvians also make up slightly less than a half of the population of the capital city of Latvia — Riga.

The sole official language of Latvia is Latvian , which belongs to the Baltic language sub-group of the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family.

English is also widely accepted in Latvia in business and tourism. On 18 February , Latvia held a constitutional referendum on whether to adopt Russian as a second official language.

Beginning in , instruction in Russian language will be gradually discontinued in private colleges and universities in Latvia, as well as general instruction in Latvian public high schools , [] [] except for subjects related to culture and history of the Russian minority, such as Russian language and literature classes.

Since then, Lutheranism has declined to a slightly greater extent than Roman Catholicism in all three Baltic states. The Evangelical Lutheran Church, with an estimated , members in , was affected most adversely.

An internal document of 18 March , near the end of communist rule, spoke of an active membership that had shrunk to only 25, in Latvia, but the faith has since experienced a revival.

In , there were religious Jews , Muslims and Hindus. Most of the Hindus are local converts from the work of the Hare Krishna movement ; some are foreign workers from India.

The University of Latvia and Riga Technical University are two major universities in the country, both established on the basis of [ clarification needed ] Riga Polytechnical Institute and located in Riga.

Both nowadays cover a variety of different fields. The University of Daugavpils is another significant centre of education.

Latvia closed schools between and , which is a Latvian policy in science and technology has set out the long-term goal of transitioning from labor-consuming economy to knowledge-based economy.

Latvia plans to base the development of its scientific potential on existing scientific traditions, particularly in organic chemistry, medical chemistry, genetic engineering, physics, materials science and information technologies.

The Latvian healthcare system is a universal programme , largely funded through government taxation. Traditional Latvian folklore , especially the dance of the folk songs , dates back well over a thousand years.

More than 1. Between the 13th and 19th centuries, Baltic Germans , many of whom were originally of non-German ancestry but had been assimilated into German culture , formed the upper class.

It has survived in German Baltic families to this day, in spite of their dispersal to Germany, the United States, Canada and other countries in the early 20th century.

However, most indigenous Latvians did not participate in this particular cultural life. John the Baptist. In the 19th century, Latvian nationalist movements emerged.

They promoted Latvian culture and encouraged Latvians to take part in cultural activities. The 19th century and beginning of the 20th century is often regarded by Latvians as a classical era of Latvian culture.

Posters show the influence of other European cultures, for example, works of artists such as the Baltic-German artist Bernhard Borchert and the French Raoul Dufy.

It has been held since , normally every five years. Approximately 30, performers altogether participate in the event.

After incorporation into the Soviet Union , Latvian artists and writers were forced to follow the socialist realism style of art.

During the Soviet era, music became increasingly popular, with the most popular being songs from the s. At this time, songs often made fun of the characteristics of Soviet life and were concerned about preserving Latvian identity.

This aroused popular protests against the USSR and also gave rise to an increasing popularity of poetry. Since independence, theatre, scenography , choir music, and classical music have become the most notable branches of Latvian culture.

During July , Riga hosted the 8th World Choir Games as it played host to over 27, choristers representing over choirs and over 70 countries.

The festival is the biggest of its kind in the world and is held every two years in a different host city. Starting in Latvia hosts the inaugural Riga Jurmala Music Festival , a new festival in which world-famous orchestras and conductors perform across four weekends during the summer.

Latvian cuisine typically consists of agricultural products, with meat featuring in most main meal dishes. Fish is commonly consumed due to Latvia's location on the Baltic Sea.

Latvian cuisine has been influenced by the neighbouring countries. Common ingredients in Latvian recipes are found locally, such as potatoes, wheat, barley, cabbage, onions, eggs, and pork.

Latvian food is generally quite fatty, and uses few spices. Grey peas and ham are generally considered as staple foods of Latvians.

Ice hockey is usually considered the most popular sport in Latvia. The national tournament is the Latvian Hockey Higher League , held since The second most popular sport is basketball.

Latvia has a long basketball tradition, as the Latvian national basketball team won the first ever EuroBasket in and silver medals in , after losing the final to Lithuania by one point.

Other popular sports include football , floorball , tennis, volleyball, cycling, bobsleigh and skeleton. Latvia has participated successfully in both Winter and Summer Olympics.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For Latvian student corporation, see Lettonia corporation. Country on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea.

God Bless Latvia! Website www. Latvian is the sole official language. Main article: History of Latvia. This section needs additional citations for verification.

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March Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Geography of Latvia. Humid continental climate warm summer subtype.

Oceanic climate. Main article: Administrative divisions of Latvia. Main article: Foreign relations of Latvia.

Main article: Human rights in Latvia. Main article: Military of Latvia. Main article: Economy of Latvia. Main article: — Latvian financial crisis.

Main article: Transport in Latvia. Main article: Demographics of Latvia. Residents of Latvia by ethnicity [1] Latvians.

Further information: Language policy in Latvia. Main article: Religion in Latvia. Religion in Latvia [2] Lutheranism.

Main article: Education in Latvia. See also: List of universities in Latvia. Main article: Health in Latvia. Main article: Culture of Latvia.

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Although the local people had contact with the outside world for centuries, they became more fully integrated into the European socio-political system in the 12th century.

German crusaders were sent, or more likely decided to go on their own accord as they were known to do. When peaceful means of conversion failed to produce results, Meinhard plotted to convert Livonians by force of arms.

At the beginning of the 13th century, Germans ruled large parts of what is currently Latvia. Latgalia , the easternmost region of Latvia, became a part of the Inflanty Voivodeship of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

In the 17th and early 18th centuries, the Polish—Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sweden , and Russia struggled for supremacy in the eastern Baltic.

Riga became the capital of Swedish Livonia and the largest city in the entire Swedish Empire. Several important cultural changes occurred during this time.

Under Swedish and largely German rule, western Latvia adopted Lutheranism as its main religion. The ancient tribes of the Couronians, Semigallians, Selonians, Livs, and northern Latgallians assimilated to form the Latvian people , speaking one Latvian language.

Throughout all the centuries, however, an actual Latvian state had not been established, so the borders and definitions of who exactly fell within that group are largely subjective.

The native dialect remained distinct, although it acquired many Polish and Russian loanwords. The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia became an autonomous Russian province the Courland Governorate in , bringing all of what is now Latvia into the Russian Empire.

All three Baltic provinces preserved local laws, German as the local official language and their own parliament, the Landtag.

During the Great Northern War — , up to 40 percent of Latvians died from famine and plague. The emancipation of the serfs took place in Courland in and in Vidzeme in During the 19th century, the social structure changed dramatically.

Russification began in Latgale after the Polish led the January Uprising in this spread to the rest of what is now Latvia by the s.

Popular discontent exploded in the Russian Revolution , which took a nationalist character in the Baltic provinces. During these two centuries Latvia experienced economic and construction boom — ports were expanded Riga became the largest port in the Russian Empire , railways built; new factories, banks, and a University were established; many residential, public theatres and museums , and school buildings were erected; new parks formed; and so on.

Riga's boulevards and some streets outside the Old Town date from this period. Worth mentioning is the fact that numeracy was also higher in the Estonian and Latvian parts of the Russian Empire, which may have been influenced by the Protestant religion of the inhabitants.

World War I devastated the territory of what became the state of Latvia, and other western parts of the Russian Empire.

Demands for self-determination were initially confined to autonomy , until a power vacuum was created by the Russian Revolution in , followed by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk between Russia and Germany in March , then the Allied armistice with Germany on 11 November The war of independence that followed was part of a general chaotic period of civil and new border wars in Eastern Europe.

A freely elected Constituent assembly convened on 1 May , and adopted a liberal constitution, the Satversme , in February Since then, it has been amended and is still in effect in Latvia today.

With most of Latvia's industrial base evacuated to the interior of Russia in , radical land reform was the central political question for the young state.

In , By , the extent of cultivated land surpassed the pre-war level. Innovation and rising productivity led to rapid growth of the economy, but it soon suffered from the effects of the Great Depression.

Latvia showed signs of economic recovery, and the electorate had steadily moved toward the centre during the parliamentary period.

The pact contained a secret protocol, revealed only after Germany's defeat in , according to which the states of Northern and Eastern Europe were divided into German and Soviet " spheres of influence ".

On 5 October , Latvia was forced to accept a "mutual assistance" pact with the Soviet Union, granting the Soviets the right to station between 25, and 30, troops on Latvian territory.

There were some spontaneous uprisings by Latvians against the Red Army which helped the Germans. By 29 June Riga was reached and with Soviet troops killed, captured or retreating, Latvia was left under the control of German forces by early July.

Under German occupation, Latvia was administered as part of Reichskommissariat Ostland. Latvian paramilitary and Auxiliary Police units established by the occupation authority participated in the Holocaust and other atrocities.

On occasions, especially in , opposing Latvian troops faced each other in battle. In the 23rd block of the Vorverker cemetery, a monument was erected after the Second World War for the people of Latvia, who had died in Lübeck from to In , when Soviet military advances reached Latvia, heavy fighting took place in Latvia between German and Soviet troops, which ended in another German defeat.

In the course of the war, both occupying forces conscripted Latvians into their armies, in this way increasing the loss of the nation's "live resources".

In , part of the Latvian territory once more came under Soviet control. The Soviets immediately began to reinstate the Soviet system.

After the German surrender, it became clear that Soviet forces were there to stay, and Latvian national partisans , soon joined by some who had collaborated with the Germans, began to fight against the new occupier.

Anywhere from , to as many as , Latvians took refuge from the Soviet army by fleeing to Germany and Sweden. On 25 March , 43, rural residents " kulaks " and Latvian nationalists were deported to Siberia in a sweeping Operation Priboi in all three Baltic states , which was carefully planned and approved in Moscow already on 29 January In the post-war period, Latvia was made to adopt Soviet farming methods.

Rural areas were forced into collectivization. All of the minority schools Jewish, Polish, Belarusian, Estonian, Lithuanian were closed down leaving only two media of instructions in the schools: Latvian and Russian.

Since Latvia had maintained a well-developed infrastructure and educated specialists, Moscow decided to base some of the Soviet Union's most advanced manufacturing in Latvia.

New industry was created in Latvia, including a major machinery factory RAF in Jelgava , electrotechnical factories in Riga , chemical factories in Daugavpils , Valmiera and Olaine —and some food and oil processing plants.

Latvia had its own film industry and musical records factory LPs. However, there were not enough people to operate the newly built factories. In late the National Archives of Latvia released a full alphabetical index of some 10, people recruited as agents or informants by the Soviet KGB.

In the second half of the s, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev started to introduce political and economic reforms in the Soviet Union that were called glasnost and perestroika.

In the summer of , the first large demonstrations were held in Riga at the Freedom Monument —a symbol of independence. In the summer of , a national movement, coalescing in the Popular Front of Latvia , was opposed by the Interfront.

The Latvian SSR, along with the other Baltic Republics was allowed greater autonomy, and in , the old pre-war Flag of Latvia flew again, replacing the Soviet Latvian flag as the official flag in In , the Supreme Soviet of the USSR adopted a resolution on the Occupation of the Baltic states , in which it declared the occupation "not in accordance with law", and not the "will of the Soviet people".

Pro-independence Popular Front of Latvia candidates gained a two-thirds majority in the Supreme Council in the March democratic elections. However, the central power in Moscow continued to regard Latvia as a Soviet republic in and In January , Soviet political and military forces tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the Republic of Latvia authorities by occupying the central publishing house in Riga and establishing a Committee of National Salvation to usurp governmental functions.

During the transitional period, Moscow maintained many central Soviet state authorities in Latvia.

However, universal citizenship for all permanent residents was not adopted. Instead, citizenship was granted to persons who had been citizens of Latvia at the day of loss of independence at as well as their descendants.

As a consequence, the majority of ethnic non-Latvians did not receive Latvian citizenship since neither they nor their parents had ever been citizens of Latvia, becoming non-citizens or citizens of other former Soviet republics.

By , more than half of non-citizens had taken naturalization exams and received Latvian citizenship. Still, today there are , non-citizens in Latvia, which represent They have no citizenship of any country , and cannot vote in Latvia.

The Republic of Latvia declared the end of the transitional period and restored full independence on 21 August , in the aftermath of the failed Soviet coup attempt.

The Saeima , Latvia's parliament, was again elected in Russia ended its military presence by completing its troop withdrawal in and shutting down the Skrunda-1 radar station in Language and citizenship laws have been opposed by many Russophones.

Citizenship was not automatically extended to former Soviet citizens who settled during the Soviet occupation, or to their offspring.

Children born to non-nationals after the reestablishment of independence are automatically entitled to citizenship.

Albeit having experienced a difficult transition to a liberal economy and its re-orientation toward Western Europe, Latvia is one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union.

In , Riga was the European Capital of Culture , the euro was introduced as the currency of the country and a Latvian was named vice-president of the European Commission.

In Latvia held the presidency of Council of the European Union. An inlet of the Baltic Sea, the shallow Gulf of Riga is situated in the northwest of the country.

Coastal regions, especially the western coast of the Courland Peninsula , possess a more maritime climate with cooler summers and milder winters, while eastern parts exhibit a more continental climate with warmer summers and harsher winters.

Latvia has four pronounced seasons of near-equal length. Winter starts in mid-December and lasts until mid-March.

Summer starts in June and lasts until August. Summers are usually warm and sunny, with cool evenings and nights. Spring and autumn bring fairly mild weather.

Most of the country is composed of fertile lowland plains and moderate hills. In a typical Latvian landscape, a mosaic of vast forests alternates with fields, farmsteads, and pastures.

Arable land is spotted with birch groves and wooded clusters, which afford a habitat for numerous plants and animals.

Latvia has hundreds of kilometres of undeveloped seashore—lined by pine forests, dunes, and continuous white sand beaches. Latvia has the 5th highest proportion of land covered by forests in the European Union, after Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Slovenia.

Major rivers include the Daugava River , Lielupe , Gauja , Venta , and Salaca , the largest spawning ground for salmon in the eastern Baltic states.

Mires occupy 9. Latvia has a long tradition of conservation. The first laws and regulations were promulgated in the 16th and 17th centuries. Latvia has ratified the international Washington, Bern, and Ramsare conventions.

The Environmental Performance Index ranks Latvia second, after Switzerland , based on the environmental performance of the country's policies.

Devonian sandstone cliffs in Gauja National Park , Latvia's largest and oldest national park. Access to biocapacity in Latvia is much higher than world average.

In , Latvia had 8. This means they use less biocapacity than Latvia contains. As a result, Latvia is running a biocapacity reserve.

Approximately 30, species of flora and fauna have been registered in Latvia. Species that are endangered in other European countries but common in Latvia include: black stork Ciconia nigra , corncrake Crex crex , lesser spotted eagle Aquila pomarina , white-backed woodpecker Picoides leucotos , Eurasian crane Grus grus , Eurasian beaver Castor fiber , Eurasian otter Lutra lutra , European wolf Canis lupus and European lynx Felis lynx.

Several species of flora and fauna are considered national symbols. Amber , fossilized tree resin, is one of Latvia's most important cultural symbols.

In ancient times, amber found along the Baltic Sea coast was sought by Vikings as well as traders from Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire.

This led to the development of the Amber Road. Several nature reserves protect unspoiled landscapes with a variety of large animals.

At Pape Nature Reserve , where European bison , wild horses, and recreated aurochs have been reintroduced, there is now an almost complete Holocene megafauna also including moose, deer, and wolf.

Selonia , a part of Zemgale, is sometimes considered culturally distinct region, but it is not part of any formal division. The borders of historical and cultural regions usually are not explicitly defined and in several sources may vary.

In formal divisions, Riga region, which includes the capital and parts of other regions that have a strong relationship with the capital, is also often included in regional divisions; e.

Under this division Riga region includes large parts of what traditionally is considered Vidzeme, Courland, and Zemgale. Statistical regions of Latvia , established in accordance with the EU Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics , duplicate this division, but divides Riga region into two parts with the capital alone being a separate region.

The seat unicameral Latvian parliament, the Saeima , is elected by direct popular vote every four years. The president is elected by the Saeima in a separate election, also held every four years.

The president appoints a prime minister who, together with his cabinet, forms the executive branch of the government, which has to receive a confidence vote by the Saeima.

This system also existed before World War II. It was a member of the League of Nations — Latvia is part of the Schengen Area and joined the Eurozone on 1 January Latvia has established diplomatic relations with countries.

It has 44 diplomatic and consular missions and maintains 34 embassies and 9 permanent representations abroad. There are 37 foreign embassies and 11 international organisations in Latvia's capital Riga.

Latvia's foreign policy priorities include co-operation in the Baltic Sea region, European integration, active involvement in international organisations, contribution to European and transatlantic security and defence structures, participation in international civilian and military peacekeeping operations, and development co-operation, particularly the strengthening of stability and democracy in the EU's Eastern Partnership countries.

Since the early s, Latvia has been involved in active trilateral Baltic states co-operation with its neighbours Estonia and Lithuania , and Nordic-Baltic co-operation with the Nordic countries.

Interparliamentary co-operation between the Baltic Assembly and Nordic Council was signed in and since annual meetings are held as well as regular meetings on other levels.

Department of State diplomatic framework for co-operation with the Nordic-Baltic countries. According to the reports by Freedom House and the US Department of State , human rights in Latvia are generally respected by the government: [] [] Latvia is ranked above-average among the world's sovereign states in democracy, [] press freedom , [] privacy [] and human development.

The country has a large ethnic Russian community, which was guaranteed basic rights under the constitution and international human rights laws ratified by the Latvian government.

Latvia's defence concept is based upon the Swedish-Finnish model of a rapid response force composed of a mobilisation base and a small group of career professionals.

From 1 January , Latvia switched to a professional fully contract-based army. Latvia participates in international peacekeeping and security operations.

Latvian civilian experts have contributed to EU civilian missions: border assistance mission to Moldova and Ukraine — , rule of law missions in Iraq and and Kosovo since , police mission in Afghanistan since and monitoring mission in Georgia since Latvia co-operates with Estonia and Lithuania in several trilateral Baltic defence co-operation initiatives:.

Future co-operation will include sharing of national infrastructures for training purposes and specialisation of training areas BALTTRAIN and collective formation of battalion-sized contingents for use in the NATO rapid-response force.

On 1 January , the Euro became the country's currency, superseding the Lats. The economic crisis of proved earlier assumptions that the fast-growing economy was heading for implosion of the economic bubble , because it was driven mainly by growth of domestic consumption , financed by a serious increase of private debt , as well as a negative foreign trade balance.

Privatisation in Latvia is almost complete. Virtually all of the previously state-owned small and medium companies have been privatised, leaving only a small number of politically sensitive large state companies.

Foreign investment in Latvia is still modest compared with the levels in north-central Europe. A law expanding the scope for selling land, including to foreigners, was passed in Representing Latvia and the United States have signed treaties on investment, trade, and intellectual property protection and avoidance of double taxation.

In Latvia launched a Residence by Investment program Golden Visa in order to attract foreign investors and make local economy benefit from it.

The Latvian economy entered a phase of fiscal contraction during the second half of after an extended period of credit-based speculation and unrealistic appreciation in real estate values.

Latvia's unemployment rate rose sharply in this period from a low of 5. The most acute problems are on Europe's periphery, where many smaller economies are experiencing crises strongly reminiscent of past crises in Latin America and Asia: Latvia is the new Argentina [].

However, by , commentators [] [] noted signs of stabilisation in the Latvian economy. The strengthening regional economy is supporting Latvian production and exports, while the sharp swing in the current account balance suggests that the country's 'internal devaluation' is working.

The IMF concluded the First Post-Program Monitoring Discussions with the Republic of Latvia in July announcing that Latvia's economy has been recovering strongly since , following the deep downturn in — Real GDP growth of 5.

The growth momentum has continued into and despite deteriorating external conditions, and the economy is expected to expand by 4. The unemployment rate has receded from its peak of more than 20 percent in to around 9.

Most transit traffic uses these and half the cargo is crude oil and oil products. Apart from road and railway connections, Ventspils is also linked to oil extraction fields and transportation routes of Russian Federation via system of two pipelines from Polotsk , Belarus.

Riga International Airport is the busiest airport in the Baltic states with 7. It has direct flight to over 80 destinations in 30 countries.

Latvia's railway network is currently incompatible with European standard gauge lines. In there were a total of , licensed vehicles in Latvia.

In the recent years a couple of dozen of wind farms as well as biogas or biomass power stations of different scale have been built in Latvia.

The total fertility rate TFR in was estimated at 1. Every year more boys are born. Until the age of 39, there are more male than female.

From the age of 40 — more female. And from 70 females are 2,3 times more than males. Latvia's population has been multiethnic for centuries, though the demographics shifted dramatically in the 20th century due to the World Wars, the emigration and removal of Baltic Germans , the Holocaust , and occupation by the Soviet Union.

According to the Russian Empire Census of , Latvians formed As of March , Latvians form about There were , "non-citizens" living in Latvia or In some cities, e.

Despite the fact that the proportion of ethnic Latvians has been steadily increasing for more than a decade, ethnic Latvians also make up slightly less than a half of the population of the capital city of Latvia — Riga.

The sole official language of Latvia is Latvian , which belongs to the Baltic language sub-group of the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family.

English is also widely accepted in Latvia in business and tourism. On 18 February , Latvia held a constitutional referendum on whether to adopt Russian as a second official language.

Beginning in , instruction in Russian language will be gradually discontinued in private colleges and universities in Latvia, as well as general instruction in Latvian public high schools , [] [] except for subjects related to culture and history of the Russian minority, such as Russian language and literature classes.

Since then, Lutheranism has declined to a slightly greater extent than Roman Catholicism in all three Baltic states. The Evangelical Lutheran Church, with an estimated , members in , was affected most adversely.

An internal document of 18 March , near the end of communist rule, spoke of an active membership that had shrunk to only 25, in Latvia, but the faith has since experienced a revival.

In , there were religious Jews , Muslims and Hindus. Most of the Hindus are local converts from the work of the Hare Krishna movement ; some are foreign workers from India.

The University of Latvia and Riga Technical University are two major universities in the country, both established on the basis of [ clarification needed ] Riga Polytechnical Institute and located in Riga.

Both nowadays cover a variety of different fields. The University of Daugavpils is another significant centre of education. Latvia closed schools between and , which is a Latvian policy in science and technology has set out the long-term goal of transitioning from labor-consuming economy to knowledge-based economy.

Latvia plans to base the development of its scientific potential on existing scientific traditions, particularly in organic chemistry, medical chemistry, genetic engineering, physics, materials science and information technologies.

The Latvian healthcare system is a universal programme , largely funded through government taxation. Traditional Latvian folklore , especially the dance of the folk songs , dates back well over a thousand years.

More than 1. Between the 13th and 19th centuries, Baltic Germans , many of whom were originally of non-German ancestry but had been assimilated into German culture , formed the upper class.

It has survived in German Baltic families to this day, in spite of their dispersal to Germany, the United States, Canada and other countries in the early 20th century.

However, most indigenous Latvians did not participate in this particular cultural life. John the Baptist. In the 19th century, Latvian nationalist movements emerged.

They promoted Latvian culture and encouraged Latvians to take part in cultural activities. The 19th century and beginning of the 20th century is often regarded by Latvians as a classical era of Latvian culture.

Posters show the influence of other European cultures, for example, works of artists such as the Baltic-German artist Bernhard Borchert and the French Raoul Dufy.

It has been held since , normally every five years. Approximately 30, performers altogether participate in the event. After incorporation into the Soviet Union , Latvian artists and writers were forced to follow the socialist realism style of art.

During the Soviet era, music became increasingly popular, with the most popular being songs from the s. At this time, songs often made fun of the characteristics of Soviet life and were concerned about preserving Latvian identity.

This aroused popular protests against the USSR and also gave rise to an increasing popularity of poetry. Since independence, theatre, scenography , choir music, and classical music have become the most notable branches of Latvian culture.

During July , Riga hosted the 8th World Choir Games as it played host to over 27, choristers representing over choirs and over 70 countries.

The festival is the biggest of its kind in the world and is held every two years in a different host city.

Starting in Latvia hosts the inaugural Riga Jurmala Music Festival , a new festival in which world-famous orchestras and conductors perform across four weekends during the summer.

Latvian cuisine typically consists of agricultural products, with meat featuring in most main meal dishes.

Fish is commonly consumed due to Latvia's location on the Baltic Sea. A few months later, the German Army entered Latvia, and their troops overran most of the country.

More than , Latvian citizens died during the war, including approximately 75, Latvian Jews murdered during the German Nazi occupation.

In , because of the efforts of the Americans , British and other allied forces, it became clear that Nazi Germany could not win their war in Europe - an effort that in the end would soon be soundly defeated.

Soviet forces began to retake Latvia in late Citizens desperately wanted to avoid another military and social disaster, so ,00 Latvians fled the country into both Germany and Sweden.

During the first ten years of occupation the brutal Red Army forcibly deported tens of thousands of Latvians to Siberia labor camps, and that number reached nearly , by the time of Joseph Stalin's death in Deportations and imprisonments continued on and so did the 'Russification' of Latvia.

The Soviets flooded the country with huge numbers of non-native Russians to work in new industries, drastically changed the ethnic mix.

In the late 's, Soviet President Gorbachev introduced policies in Russia to help reduce the corruption at the top of the Communist Party. That move called 'Glasnost' sparked a passionate desire for freedom across The Soviet Union, and in the end freedom from Communism caused the total collapse of the country in Latvia's independence was now possible, and the parliament in Latvia voted on re-establishing de facto independence, restoring Latvia's pre-war status as a sovereign independent country.

In Russia completed its military withdrawal and Latvia soon began to forge modern relationships with the west by joining NATO and the European Union.

Latvia is a fertile land with a strong dairy industry, and a solid textile, chemical and electronic manufacturing base. Riga, the capital city, is a significant Baltic seaport.

And speaking of Riga, it's a charming ancient city with a stylish 'Old Town. The resorts along the sandy coastline of Latvia facing the Baltic and its interior beauty and history are now growing attractions for tourists from Europe and the Americas.

The Embassy in Washington D. Diplomatic and Consular Representations Addresses of Latvian diplomatic missions in other countries and foreign diplomatic missions in Latvia.

Latvia in Figures Key statistical data of Latvia. Maps Map of Latvia Political map of Latvia. Google Earth Latvia Searchable map and satellite view of Latvia.

Google Earth Riga Searchable map and satellite view of Latvia's capital city. Map of Europe Political Map of Europe. Latvia's foreign minister says there is increasing evidence that Russia is automating disinformation on social media in the Baltics [ 3 ].

Latvians Online International Latvian site with news reports, current affairs and interviews. TV Play 24 Digital news channel in Latvia.

Music in Latvia The Latvian music scene. Image: Ansis Starks. Central building of the University of Latvia, the university was established in Latvian Academy of Sciences Official science academy of Latvia.

North Vidzme Biosphere Reserve Wood and coastal protective habitats at the basin of river Salaca including lake Burtnieku with its tributaries, as well as marine area of the Gulf of Riga.

Latvian Fund for Nature Non-governmental nature conservation and research organisation. History History of Latvia Article about Latvian history, from the first human settlements until now.

Main article: Health in Latvia. In the summer of Laura_weed, a national movement, coalescing in the Popular Front of Latviawas opposed Super juggs the Interfront. Archived from the original on 12 November Annabelle brady porn Main article: Human rights in Latvia. It is situated on the trunk railway from Port Harcourt and Naomi woods sex the main highway between Makurdi and Jos. Russia's Family therapy the good daughter Agenda and the Baltic States.

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