Participants of the Latvian Song and Dance Festival in Latvian folk costumes
|Regions with significant populations|
|Predominantly Lutheranism, with Roman Catholic, Latvian Orthodox minorities|
|Related ethnic groups|
Latvians (Latvian : latvieši; Livonian : lețlizt) are a Baltic ethnic group and nation native to Latvia and the immediate geographical region, the Baltics. They are occasionally also referred to as Letts, although this term is becoming obsolete. Latvians share a common Latvian language, culture and history.
A Finnic-speaking tribe known as the Livs settled among the Latvians and modulated the name to "Latvis", meaning "forest-clearers", which is how medieval German, Teutonic settlers also referred to these peoples.[ citation needed ] The Germanic settlers referred to the natives as "Letts" and the nation to "Lettland", naming their colony Livonia or Livland.
The Latin form, Livonia , gradually referred to the whole territory of the modern-day Latvia as well as southern Estonia, which had fallen under a minimal Germanic influence. Latvians and Lithuanians are the only surviving members of the Baltic branch of the Indo-European family.
Paternal haplogroups R1a and N1a1-Tat are the two most frequent, reaching 39.9% each among ethnic Latvians.R1a has originated in eastern Europe and is associated with spread of Indo-European languages. R1a of Latvians is predominantly M558 and compared to other populations also has the highest concentration of M558 among R1a. N1a1-Tat mutation originated in China and had spread through the Urals into the Europe where it is currently most common among Finno-Ugric and Baltic people. Latvians and Lithuanians have predominance of the L550 branch of N1a1-Tat.
Latvians share a common language and have a unique culture with traditions, holidays, customs and arts. The culture and religious traditions have been somewhat influenced by Germanic, Scandinavian, and Russian traditions. Latvians have an ancient culture that has been archaeologically dated back to 3000 BC. Latvians maintained a considerable connection and trade with their neighbors. The first indications of human inhabitants on the lands of modern Latvia date archaeologically to c. 9000 BC, suggesting that the first settlers were hunters that stayed almost immediately following the end of the last Ice Age. Colonizers from the south arrived quickly, driving many of the hunters northward as polar ice caps melted further, or east, into modern-day Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. The Roman author Tacitus remarked upon the "Aestii" peoples, thought to be inhabitants of the modern Baltic lands, suggesting that they were abound with formidable, yet peaceful and hospitable people. The Latvian peoples remained relatively undisturbed until Papal intervention via the Germanic, Teutonic Order colonized Kurzeme (Courland in English, Kurland in German), beginning in the first half of the 13th century. Papal decrees ordered the Teutonic Order to spread the "Word of the Lord" and the Gospel of Christianity throughout "uncivilized", "Pagan lands". Though these attempts to Christianize the population failed, and the Teutonic Order eventually redeployed southward, to the region of what was once known as East Prussia.
South-Eastern Latvia (Latgale), due to having a relatively large ethnic Russian population, has maintained a large Russian influence.
Most of the religious Latvians belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church, but in Eastern Latvia (Latgale) the Roman Catholic Church is predominant, a small minority of Latvians belong to the Latvian Orthodox Church and other religious congregations.In the late 18th century, a small but vibrant Herrnhutist movement played a significant part in the development of Latvian literary culture before it was absorbed into the mainstream Lutheran denomination.
The national language of the Latvian people is Latvian. Latvian is part of a unique linguistic branch of Indo-European languages: the Baltic languages.
Latvia, officially known as the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Since its independence, Latvia has been referred to as one of the Baltic states. It is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi). The country has a temperate seasonal climate. The Baltic Sea moderates climate, although it has four distinct seasons and snowy winters.
This article is about the demographic features of the population of the historical territory of Latvia, including population density, ethnic background, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
The foreign relations of Latvia are the primary responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Today's Republic of Latvia regards itself as a continuation of the 1918–1940 republic. After the declaration on the restoration of its full independence on August 21, 1991, Latvia became a member of the United Nations on September 17, 1991, and is a signatory to a number of UN organizations and other international agreements. Latvia welcomes further cooperation and integration with NATO, European Union, OECD and other Western organizations. It also seeks more active participation in UN peacekeeping efforts worldwide.
This article is about the demographic features of the population of North Macedonia, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
Riga is the capital of Latvia and is home to 632,614 inhabitants (2019), which is a third of Latvia's population. Being significantly larger than other cities of Latvia, Riga is the country's primate city. It is also the largest city in the three Baltic states and is home to one tenth of the three Baltic states' combined population. The city lies on the Gulf of Riga at the mouth of the Daugava river where it meets the Baltic Sea. Riga's territory covers 307.17 km2 (118.60 sq mi) and lies 1–10 m above sea level, on a flat and sandy plain.
Russians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to European Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe ; they are the most numerous ethnic group in Europe. The majority of ethnic Russians live in the Russian Federation, but notable minorities exist in other former Soviet states such as Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Ukraine and the Baltic states. A large Russian diaspora has developed all over the world, with notable numbers in the United States, Germany, Brazil, and Canada. The culture of the ethnic Russian people has a long tradition and it is a foundation for the modern culture of the whole of Russia. The Russian language originally was the language of ethnic Russians. They are historically Orthodox Christians by religion.
The Baltic states, also known as the Baltic countries, Baltic republics, Baltic nations, or simply the Baltics, is a geopolitical term, typically used to group the three sovereign states in Northern Europe on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The term is not used in the context of cultural areas, national identity, or language, because while the majority of people in Latvia and Lithuania are Baltic people, the majority in Estonia are Finnic. The three countries do not form an official union, but engage in intergovernmental and parliamentary cooperation. The most important areas of cooperation between the three countries are foreign and security policy, defence, energy, and transportation.
Estonians are a Finnic ethnic group native to Estonia who speak the Estonian language.
Ventspils is a city in northwestern Latvia in the historical Courland region of Latvia, and is the sixth largest city in the country. At the beginning of 2017, Ventspils had a population of 39,286. It is situated on the Venta River and the Baltic Sea, and has an ice-free port. The city's name literally means "castle on the Venta", referring to the Livonian Order's castle built alongside the Venta River. Ventspils holds the national record for the highest temperature ever recorded in Latvia with 37.8 °C (100.0 °F) on 4 August 2014.
Tet is a Latvian internet service provider, telecommunications, technology and entertainment company. Since 2017, it also is an electricity service provider.
The Latvian Orthodox Church is a self-governing, i.e. autonomous, Eastern Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow. The primate of the church carries the title of Metropolitan of Riga and all Latvia. This position has been occupied since October 27, 1990 by metropolitan Aleksandrs Kudrjašovs.
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Serbia; including vital statistics, ethnicity, religious affiliations, education level, health of the populace, and other aspects of the population.
Russians in the Baltic states describes self-identifying ethnic Russians and other primary Russian-speaking communities in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, commonly referred to collectively as the Baltic states. In 2017, there were 1 million ethnic Russians in the Baltic States, having declined from 1.7 million in 1989, the year of the last census during the Soviet era.
This article details the geographical distribution of Russian-speakers. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the status of the Russian language often became a matter of controversy. Some Post-Soviet states adopted policies of de-Russification aimed at reversing former Russification trends.
The Russian diaspora is the global community of ethnic Russians. The Russian-speaking (Russophone) diaspora are the people for whom Russian language is the native language, regardless of whether they are ethnic Russians or, for example, Belarusians, Tatars, or Jews.
Articles 4 and 114 of the Constitution of Latvia form the foundation for language policy in Latvia, declaring Latvian to be the official state language and affirming the rights of ethnic minorities to preserve and develop their languages. Livonian language is recognized as "the language of the indigenous (autochthon) population" in the Official Language Law, but Latgalian written language is protected as "a historic variant of the Latvian language." All other languages are considered foreign by the law on state languages. Latvia provides national minority education programmes in Russian, Polish, Hebrew, Ukrainian, Estonian, Lithuanian, and Belarussian.
The Moldovan diaspora is a diaspora of Moldovan ancestry, including, depending on definition, ethnic Moldovans or citizens of Moldova of any ethnic origin. Very few of them have settled in other parts of the world, but there is a significant number of them in some countries, mostly in the former Soviet Union, Italy, Spain, Romania, Portugal, Greece, Canada and the United States.
Latvian–Lithuanian relations are bilateral international relations between Latvia and Lithuania. Latvia has an embassy in Vilnius, and Lithuania has an embassy in Riga. The ambassador to Lithuania is Einars Semanis, the ambassador to Latvia is Antanas Vinkus.
The demographics of Poland constitute all demographic features of the population of Poland, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
Many countries and national censuses currently enumerate or have previously enumerated their populations by race, ethnicity, nationality, or a combination of these characteristics. Different countries have different classifications and census options for race and ethnicity/nationality which are not comparable with data from other countries. In addition, many of the race and ethnicity concepts that appear on national censuses worldwide have their origins in Europe or in the views of Europeans, rather than in the views of the locals of these countries.