Area: 64,589 km² (World Rank 121)
Inhabitants: 2.24 Mio. (World Rank 138)
Riga is the capital of Latvia
Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvian: Latvija or Latvijas Republika) is a country in Northern Europe in the Baltic region. It is bordered to the north by Estonia (343 km²), to the west by Sweden, to the south by Lithuania (588 km²), and to the east both by Belarus (141 km²) and the Russian Federation (276 km²). The territory of Latvia covers 64,589 km² and is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate.
The Latvians are a Baltic people closely related to the Lithuanians, with the Latvian language sharing many similarities to Lithuanian. Today the Latvians and Lithuanians are the only surviving members of the Baltic peoples and Baltic languages of the Indo-European family. The modern name of Latvia is thought to originate from the ancient Latvian name historian Latvji, which may have originated from the word Latve which is a name of the river that presumably flowed through what is now eastern Latvia.
Latvia is a democratic parliamentary republic and is divided into 26 districts. The capital and largest city is Riga. Latvia has been a member of the United Nations since 17 September 1991 of the European Union since 1 May 2004 and of NATO since 29 March 2004. Estonia has also signed the Kyoto protocol. With only 2.2 million inhabitants, it comprises one of the smallest populations of the European Union countries.