Gift Shop
Order Form
New Women weekly
Women of the world
About Women
Search Page
Live & Videos
Live Riga Cam
Chat Room
Private Room
Live Peek
About Live
Order Form Kiss
Kiss Mail
Express Mail
Regular Mail
About Kiss
Riga Trip
Romance Tour
About Riga
Tour Testimonial
Private Tour
Riga Videos
Welcome Inn
Bed & Breakfast
Order Form
Newly Wed
Women in Russia
Russia Tour
Women in Kiev
Kiev Tour
Tour Video Fiancee Visa
Romance Tour   Kiss E-mail   Live Video Date   Women of Latvia   Women of the World  


[Country map of Latvia]


Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania
Map references: Europe
total area: 64,100 sq km
land area: 64,100 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than West Virginia
Land boundaries: total 1,078 km, Belarus 141 km, Estonia 267 km, Lithuania 453 km, Russia 217 km
Coastline: 531 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
International disputes: the Abrene section of border ceded by the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic to Russia in 1944
Climate: maritime; wet, moderate winters
Terrain: low plain
Natural resources: minimal; amber, peat, limestone, dolomite
Land use:
arable land: 27%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 13%
forest and woodland: 39%
other: 21%
Irrigated land: 160 sq km (1990)
current issues: air and water pollution because of a lack of waste conversion equipment; Gulf of Riga and Daugava River heavily polluted; contamination of soil and groundwater with chemicals and petroleum products at military bases
natural hazards: NA
international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Hazardous Wastes, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change


Population: 2,762,899 (July 1995 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 22% (female 294,521; male 304,830)
15-64 years: 65% (female 933,003; male 870,128)
65 years and over: 13% (female 247,476; male 112,941) (July 1995 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.5% (1995 est.)
Birth rate: 13.71 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Death rate: 12.49 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Net migration rate: 3.76 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 21 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 69.65 years
male: 64.6 years
female: 74.95 years (1995 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.97 children born/woman (1995 est.)
noun: Latvian(s)
adjective: Latvian
Ethnic divisions: Latvian 51.8%, Russian 33.8%, Byelorussian 4.5%, Ukrainian 3.4%, Polish 2.3%, other 4.2%
Religions: Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox
Languages: Lettish (official), Lithuanian, Russian, other
Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1989)
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 99%
Labor force: 1.407 million
by occupation: industry and construction 41%, agriculture and forestry 16%, other 43% (1990)


conventional long form: Republic of Latvia
conventional short form: Latvia
local long form: Latvijas Republika
local short form: Latvija
former: Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic
Digraph: LG
Type: republic
Capital: Riga
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, Leipaja*, Liepajas Rajons, Limbazu Rajons, Ludzas Rajons, Madonas Rajons, Ogres Rajons, Preiju Rajons, Rezekne*, Rezeknes Rajons, Riga*, Rigas Rajons, Saldus Rajons, Talsu Rajons, Tukuma Rajons, Valkas Rajons, Valmieras Rajons, Ventspils*, Ventspils Rajons
Independence: 6 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday: Independence Day, 18 November (1918)
Constitution: newly elected Parliament in 1993 restored the 1933 constitution
Legal system: based on civil law system
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Guntis ULMANIS (since 7 July 1993); Parliament (Saeima) elected President ULMANIS in the third round of balloting on 7 July 1993
head of government: Prime Minister Maris GAILIS (since September 1994)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by the Supreme Council
Legislative branch: unicameral
Parliament (Saeima): elections last held 5-6 June 1993 (next to be held NA October 1995); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (100 total) LC 36, LNNK 15, Concord for Latvia 13, LZS 12, Equal Rights 7, LKDS 6, TUB 6, DCP 5
Judicial branch: Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders: Latvian Way Union (LC), Valdis BIRKAVS; Latvian Farmers Union (LZS), Alvars BERKIS; Latvian National Independence Movement (LNNK), Andrejs KRASTINS, Aristids LAMBERGS, cochairmen; Concord for Latvia, Janis JURKANS; Equal Rights, Sergejs DIMANIS; Christian Democrat Union (LKDS), Peteris CIMDINS, Andris SAULITIS, Janis RUSKO; Fatherland and Freedom (TUB), Maris GRINBLATS, Roberts MILBERGS, Oigerts DZENTIS; Democratic Center (DCP), Ints CALITIS; Popular Front of Latvia (LTF), Uldis AUGSTKALNS
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ojars Eriks KALNINS
chancery: 4325 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 726-8213, 8214
FAX: [1] (202) 726-6785
US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ints M, SILINS
embassy: Raina Boulevard 7, Riga 226050
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [371] (2) 213-962
FAX: [371] 882-0047 (cellular)
Flag: two horizontal bands of maroon (top and bottom), white (middle, narrower than other two bands)


Overview: Latvia is rapidly becoming a dynamic market economy, rivaled only by Estonia among the former Soviet states in the speed of its transformation. However, the transition has been painful; in 1994 the IMF reported a 2% growth in GDP, following steep declines in 1992-93. The government's tough monetary policies and reform program have kept inflation at less than 2% a month, supported a dynamic private sector now accounting for more than half of GDP, and spurred the growth of trade ties with the West. Much of agriculture is already privatized and the government plans to step up the pace of privatization of state enterprises. Latvia thus is in the midst of recovery, helped by the country's strategic location on the Baltic Sea, its well-educated population, and its diverse - albeit largely obsolete - industrial structure.
National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $12.3 billion (1994 estimate as extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1992)
National product real growth rate: 2% (1994 est.)
National product per capita: $4,480 (1994 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.9% (monthly average 1994)
Unemployment rate: 6.5% (December 1994)
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA
Exports: $1 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
commodities: oil products, timber, ferrous metals, dairy products, furniture, textiles
partners: Russia, Germany, Sweden, Belarus
Imports: $1.2 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
commodities: fuels, cars, ferrous metals, chemicals
partners: Russia, Germany, Sweden, Ukraine
External debt: $NA
Industrial production: growth rate -9.5% (1994 est.); accounts for 27% of GDP
capacity: 2,080,000 kW
production: 5.5 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 1,864 kWh (1993)
Industries: highly diversified; dependent on imports for energy, raw materials, and intermediate products; produces buses, vans, street and railroad cars, synthetic fibers, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, washing machines, radios, electronics, pharmaceuticals, processed foods, textiles
Agriculture: principally dairy farming and livestock feeding; products - meat, milk, eggs, grain, sugar beets, potatoes, vegetables; fishing and fish packing
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for illicit drugs from Central and Southwest Asia and Latin America to Western Europe; limited producer of illicit opium; mostly for domestic consumption; also produces illicit amphetamines for export
Economic aid: $NA
Currency: 1 lat = 100 cents; introduced NA March 1993
Exchange rates: lats per US$1 - 0.55 (December 1994), 0.5917 (January 1994), 1.32 (March 1993)
Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 2,400 km
broad gauge: 2,400 km 1.520-m gauge (270 km electrified)
total: 59,500 km
paved and graveled: 33,000 km
unpaved: earth 26,500 km (1990)
Inland waterways: 300 km perennially navigable
Pipelines: crude oil 750 km; refined products 780 km; natural gas 560 km (1992)
Ports: Daugavpils, Liepaja, Riga, Ventspils
Merchant marine:
total: 85 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 774,182 GRT/1,010,517 DWT
ships by type: cargo 17, oil tanker 37, refrigerated cargo 24, roll-on/roll-off cargo 7
total: 50
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 27
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 2
with unpaved runways under 914 m: 10


Telephone system: 660,000 telephones; 240 telephones/1,000 persons (1993); Latvia is better provided with telephone service than most of the other former Soviet republics; an NMT-450 analog cellular telephone network covers 75% of Latvia's population
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: international traffic carried by leased connection to the Moscow international gateway switch and through the new Ericsson AXE local/transit digital telephone exchange in Riga and through the Finnish cellular net; electronic mail capability by Sprint data network
broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA
radios: NA
broadcast stations: NA
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces, Security Forces (internal and border troops), Border Guard, Home Guard (Zemessardze)
Manpower availability: males age 15-49 658,193; males fit for military service 517,896; males reach military age (18) annually 18,736 (1995 est.)
Defense expenditures: 176 million rubles, 3% to 5% of GDP (1994); note - conversion of the military budget into US dollars using the prevailing exchange rate could produce misleading results