Latvia extends over an area of 64,589 square kilometers.
Population increase in recent years has been negative with an average reduction of 0.7%.
Latvia lies on the shore of the Baltic Sea, with Belarus and Russia on its eastern border, the Baltic Sea to the west with Belarus and Lithuania to the south and Estonia to the north.
The longest land border, 453 kilometers, is with Lithuania and the shortest, 141 kilometers, is with Belarus.
In 2003, the population of Latvia was some 2.3 million comprised mainly of Latvians - approximately 56%, Russians - approximately 32%.
Other minorities are Belarussians, Ukrainians and Poles.
From the aspect of religion, the dominant religion is Protestantism but most of the Russian minority belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church.
Population density is 37 people to a square kilometer compared to an average of 116 to a square kilometer in the EU.
Fifteen percent of the population is under the age of 14 and 16% is above the age of 65.
The dominant language is Latvian and most people have a good command of Russian.
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