64,589 sq km (24,938 sq mi)
Population (2009 est.):
Capital and largest city (2003 est.):
Riga - 867,700 (metro. area)
Other large cities:
Daugavpils - 111,700; Liepaja - 82,300
Latvian 58% (official), Russian 38%, Lithuanian, other (2000)
Latvian 57.7%, Russian 29.6%, Belorussian 4.1%, Ukrainian 2.7%, Polish 2.5%, Lithuanian 1.4%, other 2%
Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox
GMT+2; Daylight Savings Time: GMT+3, observed from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October
AC 220V/50Hz; European plugs with two round pins are used
Latvia is a small country situated in the Northern Europe, on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, bordered to the north by Estonia, to the south by Lithuania and to the east by Russia.
Latvia's territory stretches for 210 km (130.5 mi) south-north and for 450 km (279.6 mi) east-west.
Latvia's landscape is mostly flat in the central part of the country and hilly in the east and west. 57% of the territory is under 100m / 328ft elevation. The highest point is Gaiziņkalns at 311.6m / 1,022 ft. Fertile plains are largely covered with dense forests that account for one-third of Latvia's area. The country has about 12,000 rivers with the longest one Daugava that runs through the capital, Riga. In addition there are more than 3,000 small lakes and numerous bogs.
Latvia's coastline extends for extends for 531 km (330 mi) and features many sandy beaches, sand dunes and low sea cliffs. Country's ports are: Ventspils, Riga and Liepāja.