interesting facts about Latvia

19 Lighthearted Facts About Latvia

Looking to boost your knowledge of the big wide world and increase your chances of winning the next geography quiz? Why not start with these fun facts about Latvia!

1. Where in the world is Latvia?

Latvia is in the Baltic region of Northern Europe; it borders Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, and Belarus and has a maritime border to Sweden in the West.

2. What’s the full name of Latvia?

Its National name is Latvijas Republika.

3. It’s probably bigger than you think!

It has a total area of 24,926 square miles (64,559 square kilometers).

Flag of Latvia

Flag of Latvia

4. Latvia’s population is actually dwindling.

Latvia has experienced a -6% decline in its population in the past 50 years; in 1960 the country had a population of 2.1 million but by 2021 this had dropped to 1.884 million. That’s equivalent to just 0.02% of the world’s total population!

5. Where is the heart of Latvia?

Riga is the capital city. It has a total area of 117.4 square miles (304 square kilometers) and a population of 637,971 people in 2018.

6. Riga is one of Europe’s most stunning capital cities.

As well as accounting for 49% of the total industrial output of Latvia, Riga is famed for its 800 art nouveau buildings, making it a World Heritage site.

7. It’s easy to find Latvia on the map.

The coordinates for Latvia are 57.0000° N, 25.0000°

8. You’re likely to live long and healthily here.

Latvia has an average age expectancy of 73.28 years (2021).

9. Getting changing those pennies up!

The Euro is the Latvian currency.

Riga, Latvia

Riga, Latvia

10. It’s a forest nation.

Almost half of Latvia is covered by forest.

11. Latvia is one of the greenest countries on the planet – in more ways than one.

A 2012 environmental performance survey ranked Latvia the world’s second best country in 2012.

12. Latvia has varied claims to industry.

Latvia has industries that include the manufacturing of agricultural machinery, vans, buses, street and railroad cars, radios, washing machines, electronics, synthetic fibres, textiles, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals and processed foods.

Agriculturally, Latvia produces vegetables, potatoes, sugar beet, grain, beef, pork, milk, eggs and fish.

Facts about Latvia

The Freedom Monument, Riga, Latvia

13. Latvia celebrates independence in November.

The Latvian Independence day is November 18th, dating back to the proclamation of the Republic of Latvia in 1918.

14. The waters here are truly impressive.

Latvia is home to Ventas Rumba, the widest rapids in Europe. They stretch 249 meters and boast a 100 meter wide waterfall which is only two meters high.

15. There are plenty of tasty delicacies here.

If you visit Latvia, look out for their bacon pies, called ‘speķapīrādziņi’ and their cold sour cream soup.

If you’re a ‘foody’ make sure you visit Latvia’s ‘Central Market’ (one of Europe’s largest), where you can buy fish, pickles and sausages.

16. Latvia’s raised some record-breakers!

A woman called Uljana Semjonova, born in 1952 in Latvia, was the 7th tallest woman in the world and was at one time the tallest female basketball player in the world!

Military, Latvia

Military, Latvia

17. Here’s a word you’ll need to learn!

‘Sveiki’ is Hello in Latvian.

18. The real Crocodile Dundee wasn’t Australian – he was Latvian!

A Latvian man called Arvids Blumentals became Australia’s most famous crocodile hunter and was the inspiration behind ‘Crocodile Dundee’ – he reputedly killed over 10,000 crocodiles in his lifetime from 1955.

19. It’s easy to call Latvia.

Want to call family or friends in Latvia?  You’ll need to use the international dialling code +371.

Facts about Latvia

FAQs about Latvia

What is Latvia famous for?

Latvia is very famous for its amazing historical buildings and its beer, but did you know that it’s also home to some of the best WiFi connections on the planet?

What is the official language of Latvia?

Funnily enough, Latvian is the widest-spoken language here!

Why is Latvia’s population decreasing?

Many believe the decrease to be related to the economy - that people are moving overseas for greater financial stability.

Do you know any fun facts about Latvia?  Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on May 8, 2024. Suggest an edit

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