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Lithuania vs. Latvia

Introduction

LithuaniaLatvia
BackgroundLithuanian lands were united under MINDAUGAS in 1236; over the next century, through alliances and conquest, Lithuania extended its territory to include most of present-day Belarus and Ukraine. By the end of the 14th century Lithuania was the largest state in Europe. An alliance with Poland in 1386 led the two countries into a union through the person of a common ruler. In 1569, Lithuania and Poland formally united into a single dual state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This entity survived until 1795 when its remnants were partitioned by surrounding countries. Lithuania regained its independence following World War I but was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence, but Moscow did not recognize this proclamation until September of 1991 (following the abortive coup in Moscow). The last Russian troops withdrew in 1993. Lithuania subsequently restructured its economy for integration into Western European institutions; it joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004. In January 2014, Lithuania assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2014-15 term; in January 2015, Lithuania joined the euro zone.
Several eastern Baltic tribes merged in medieval times to form the ethnic core of the Latvian people (ca. 8th-12th centuries A.D.). The region subsequently came under the control of Germans, Poles, Swedes, and finally, Russians. A Latvian republic emerged following World War I, but it was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. Latvia reestablished its independence in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Although the last Russian troops left in 1994, the status of the Russian minority (some 26% of the population) remains of concern to Moscow. Latvia acceded to both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004; it joined the euro zone in 2014 and the OECD in 2016. A dual citizenship law was adopted in 2013, easing naturalization for non-citizen children.

Geography

LithuaniaLatvia
LocationEastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Russia, west of Belarus
Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania
Geographic coordinates56 00 N, 24 00 E
57 00 N, 25 00 E
Map referencesEurope
Europe
Areatotal: 65,300 sq km
land: 62,680 sq km
water: 2,620 sq km
total: 64,589 sq km
land: 62,249 sq km
water: 2,340 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than West Virginia
slightly larger than West Virginia
Land boundariestotal: 1,549 km
border countries (4): Belarus 640 km, Latvia 544 km, Poland 104 km, Russia (Kaliningrad) 261 km
total: 1,370 km
border countries (4): Belarus 161 km, Estonia 333 km, Lithuania 544 km, Russia 332 km
Coastline90 km
498 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: limits as agreed to by Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Sweden, and Russia
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climatetransitional, between maritime and continental; wet, moderate winters and summers
maritime; wet, moderate winters
Terrainlowland, many scattered small lakes, fertile soil
low plain
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 110 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Aukstojas 294 m
mean elevation: 87 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Gaizina Kalns 312 m
Natural resourcespeat, arable land, amber
peat, limestone, dolomite, amber, hydropower, timber, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 44.8%
arable land 34.9%; permanent crops 0.5%; permanent pasture 9.4%
forest: 34.6%
other: 20.6% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 29.2%
arable land 18.6%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 10.5%
forest: 54.1%
other: 16.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land44 sq km (2012)
12 sq km
note: land in Latvia is often too wet and in need of drainage not irrigation; approximately 16,000 sq km or 85% of agricultural land has been improved by drainage (2012)
Natural hazardsNA
NA
Environment - current issuescontamination of soil and groundwater with petroleum products and chemicals at military bases
Latvia's environment has benefited from a shift to service industries after the country regained independence; improvements have occurred in drinking water quality, sewage treatment, household and hazardous waste management, as well as reduction of air pollution
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notefertile central plains are separated by hilly uplands that are ancient glacial deposits
most of the country is composed of fertile low-lying plains with some hills in the east
Population distributionfairly even population distribution throughout the country, but somewhat greater concentrations in the southern cities of Vilnius and Kaunas, and the western port of Klaipeda
largest concentration of people is found in and around the port and capital city of Riga; small agglomerations are scattered throughout the country

Demographics

LithuaniaLatvia
Population2,854,235 (July 2016 est.)
1,965,686 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 14.93% (male 218,453/female 207,643)
15-24 years: 11.55% (male 170,494/female 159,283)
25-54 years: 40.36% (male 566,159/female 585,862)
55-64 years: 13.73% (male 172,987/female 218,955)
65 years and over: 19.42% (male 187,340/female 367,059) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 15.01% (male 151,290/female 143,710)
15-24 years: 9.9% (male 100,416/female 94,244)
25-54 years: 42.07% (male 409,921/female 417,074)
55-64 years: 13.77% (male 119,844/female 150,860)
65 years and over: 19.25% (male 123,467/female 254,860) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 43.4 years
male: 39.5 years
female: 46.7 years (2016 est.)
total: 43.3 years
male: 39.5 years
female: 46.6 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate-1.06% (2016 est.)
-1.07% (2016 est.)
Birth rate10 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
9.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate14.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
14.4 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-6.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-6.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.79 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.51 male(s)/female
total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.79 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.48 male(s)/female
total population: 0.85 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 5.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 74.9 years
male: 69.5 years
female: 80.6 years (2016 est.)
total population: 74.5 years
male: 69.9 years
female: 79.3 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.59 children born/woman (2016 est.)
1.51 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
0.67% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Lithuanian(s)
adjective: Lithuanian
noun: Latvian(s)
adjective: Latvian
Ethnic groupsLithuanian 84.1%, Polish 6.6%, Russian 5.8%, Belarusian 1.2%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.2% (2011 est.)
Latvian 61.8%, Russian 25.6%, Belarusian 3.4%, Ukrainian 2.3%, Polish 2.1%, Lithuanian 1.2%, other 3.6% (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
6,800 (2015 est.)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 77.2%, Russian Orthodox 4.1%, Old Believer 0.8%, Evangelical Lutheran 0.6%, Evangelical Reformist 0.2%, other (including Sunni Muslim, Jewish, Greek Catholic, and Karaite) 0.8%, none 6.1%, unspecified 10.1% (2011 est.)
Lutheran 19.6%, Orthodox 15.3%, other Christian 1%, other 0.4%, unspecified 63.7% (2006)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
400 (2015 est.)
LanguagesLithuanian (official) 82%, Russian 8%, Polish 5.6%, other 0.9%, unspecified 3.5% (2011 est.)
Latvian (official) 56.3%, Russian 33.8%, other 0.6% (includes Polish, Ukrainian, and Belarusian), unspecified 9.4%
note: data represent language usually spoken at home (2011 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.8% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.9%
male: 99.9%
female: 99.9% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: intermediate
vectorborne diseases: tickborne encephalitis (2016)
degree of risk: intermediate
vectorborne diseases: tickborne encephalitis (2016)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 17 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2014)
total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2014)
Education expenditures4.6% of GDP (2013)
4.9% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 66.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: -0.53% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 67.4% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: -0.67% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 99.7% of population
rural: 90.4% of population
total: 96.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.3% of population
rural: 9.6% of population
total: 3.4% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 99.8% of population
rural: 98.3% of population
total: 99.3% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.2% of population
rural: 1.7% of population
total: 0.7% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 97.2% of population
rural: 82.8% of population
total: 92.4% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.8% of population
rural: 17.2% of population
total: 7.6% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 90.8% of population
rural: 81.5% of population
total: 87.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 9.2% of population
rural: 18.5% of population
total: 12.2% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationVILNIUS (capital) 517,000 (2015)
RIGA (capital) 621,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate10 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
18 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures6.6% of GDP (2014)
5.9% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density4.33 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
3.22 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density7 beds/1,000 population (2011)
5.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate27.5% (2014)
25.6% (2014)
Mother's mean age at first birth26.8 years (2013 est.)
26.9 years (2013 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 50.1
youth dependency ratio: 21.8
elderly dependency ratio: 28.3
potential support ratio: 3.5 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 52.2
youth dependency ratio: 22.7
elderly dependency ratio: 29.5
potential support ratio: 3.4 (2015 est.)

Government

LithuaniaLatvia
Country name"conventional long form: Republic of Lithuania
conventional short form: Lithuania
local long form: Lietuvos Respublika
local short form: Lietuva
former: Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic
etymology: meaning of the name ""Lietuva"" remains unclear; it may derive from the Lietava, a stream in east central Lithuania
"
"conventional long form: Republic of Latvia
conventional short form: Latvia
local long form: Latvijas Republika
local short form: Latvija
former: Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic
etymology: the name ""Latvia"" originates from the ancient Latgalians, one of four eastern Baltic tribes that formed the ethnic core of the Latvian people (ca. 8th-12th centuries A.D.)
"
Government typesemi-presidential republic
parliamentary republic
Capitalname: Vilnius
geographic coordinates: 54 41 N, 25 19 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
name: Riga
geographic coordinates: 56 57 N, 24 06 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions60 municipalities (savivaldybe, singular - savivaldybe); Akmene, Alytaus Miestas, Alytus, Anksciai, Birstono, Birzai, Druskininkai, Elektrenai, Ignalina, Jonava, Joniskis, Jurbarkas, Kaisiadorys, Kalvarijos, Kauno Miestas, Kaunas, Kazlu Rudos, Kedainiai, Kelme, Klaipedos Miestas, Klaipeda, Kretinga, Kupiskis, Lazdijai, Marijampole, Mazeikiai, Moletai, Neringa, Pagegiai, Pakruojis, Palangos Miestas, Panevezio Miestas, Panevezys, Pasvalys, Plunge, Prienai, Radviliskis, Raseiniai, Rietavo, Rokiskis, Sakiai, Salcininkai, Siauliu Miestas, Siauliai, Silale, Silute, Sirvintos, Skuodas, Svencionys, Taurage, Telsiai, Trakai, Ukmerge, Utena, Varena, Vilkaviskis, Vilniaus Miestas, Vilnius, Visaginas, Zarasai
110 municipalities (novadi, singular - novads) and 9 cities
municipalities: Adazu Novads, Aglonas Novads, Aizkraukles Novads, Aizputes Novads, Aknistes Novads, Alojas Novads, Alsungas Novads, Aluksnes Novads, Amatas Novads, Apes Novads, Auces Novads, Babites Novads, Baldones Novads, Baltinavas Novads, Balvu Novads, Bauskas Novads, Beverinas Novads, Brocenu Novads, Burtnieku Novads, Carnikavas Novads, Cesu Novads, Cesvaines Novads, Ciblas Novads, Dagdas Novads, Daugavpils Novads, Dobeles Novads, Dundagas Novads, Durbes Novads, Engures Novads, Erglu Novads, Garkalnes Novads, Grobinas Novads, Gulbenes Novads, Iecavas Novads, Ikskiles Novads, Ilukstes Novads, Incukalna Novads, Jaunjelgavas Novads, Jaunpiebalgas Novads, Jaunpils Novads, Jekabpils Novads, Jelgavas Novads, Kandavas Novads, Karsavas Novads, Keguma Novads, Kekavas Novads, Kocenu Novads, Kokneses Novads, Kraslavas Novads, Krimuldas Novads, Krustpils Novads, Kuldigas Novads, Lielvardes Novads, Ligatnes Novads, Limbazu Novads, Livanu Novads, Lubanas Novads, Ludzas Novads, Madonas Novads, Malpils Novads, Marupes Novads, Mazsalacas Novads, Mersraga Novads, Nauksenu Novads, Neretas Novads, Nicas Novads, Ogres Novads, Olaines Novads, Ozolnieku Novads, Pargaujas Novads, Pavilostas Novads, Plavinu Novads, Preilu Novads, Priekules Novads, Priekulu Novads, Raunas Novads, Rezeknes Novads, Riebinu Novads, Rojas Novads, Ropazu Novads, Rucavas Novads, Rugaju Novads, Rujienas Novads, Rundales Novads, Salacgrivas Novads, Salas Novads, Salaspils Novads, Saldus Novads, Saulkrastu Novads, Sejas Novads, Siguldas Novads, Skriveru Novads, Skrundas Novads, Smiltenes Novads, Stopinu Novads, Strencu Novads, Talsu Novads, Tervetes Novads, Tukuma Novads, Vainodes Novads, Valkas Novads, Varaklanu Novads, Varkavas Novads, Vecpiebalgas Novads, Vecumnieku Novads, Ventspils Novads, Viesites Novads, Vilakas Novads, Vilanu Novads, Zilupes Novads
cities: Daugavpils, Jekabpils, Jelgava, Jurmala, Liepaja, Rezekne, Riga, Valmiera, Ventspils
Independence11 March 1990 (declared independence from the Soviet Union); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union); notable earlier dates: 6 July 1253 (coronation of MINDAUGAS, traditional founding date), 1 July 1569 (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth created), 16 February 1918 (independence from Soviet Russia)
4 May 1990 (declared independence from the Soviet Union); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union)
National holidayIndependence Day (or National Day), 16 February (1918); note - 16 February 1918 was the date Lithuania established its statehood and its concomitant independence from Soviet Russia and Germany; 11 March 1990 was the date it declared the restoration of Lithuanian statehood and its concomitant independence from the Soviet Union
Independence Day (Republic of Latvia Proclamation Day), 18 November (1918); note - 18 November 1918 was the date Latvia established its statehood and its concomitant independence from Soviet Russia; 4 May 1990 was the date it declared the restoration of Latvian statehood and its concomitant independence from the Soviet Union
Constitutionhistory: several previous; latest adopted by referendum 25 October 1992, entered into force 2 November 1992
amendments: proposed by at least one-fourth of all Parliament members or by petition of at least 300,000 voters; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of Parliament in each of two readings three months apart and a presidential signature; amendments to constitutional articles on national sovereignty and constitutional amendment procedure also require three-fourths voter approval in a referendum; amended 1996, 2003, 2006 (2016)
history: several previous (pre-1991 independence); note - following the restoration of independence in 1991, parts of the 1922 constitution were reintroduced 4 May 1990 and fully reintroduced 6 July 1993
amendments: proposed by two-thirds of Parliament members or by petition of one-tenth of qualified voters submitted through the president; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of Parliament in each of three readings; amendment of constitutional articles including national sovereignty, language, the parliamentary electoral system, and constitutional amendment procedures requires passage in a referendum by majority vote of at least one-half of the electorate; amended several times, last in 2014 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system; legislative acts can be appealed to the constitutional court
civil law system with traces of socialist legal traditions and practices
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE (since 12 July 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Saulius SKVERNELIS (since 13 December 2016)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, appointed by the president, and approved by Parliament
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11 and 25 May 2014 (next to be held in May 2019); prime minister appointed by the president, approved by Parliament
election results: Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE reelected president; percent of vote - Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE (independent) 59%, Zigmantas BALCYTIS (LSDP) 41%; Saulius SKVERNELIS (LVZS) approved as prime minister by Parliament vote - 90 to 4
chief of state: President Raimonds VEJONIS (since 8 July 2015)
head of government: Prime Minister Maris KUCINSKIS (since 11 February 2016); Deputy Prime Minister Arvils ASERADENS (since 11 February 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, appointed by Parliament
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by Parliament for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 3 June 2015 (next to be held in 2019); prime minister appointed by the president, confirmed by Parliament
election results: Raimonds VEJONIS elected president; Parliament vote - Raimonds VEJONIS 55 of 100
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Parliament or Seimas (141 seats; 71 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote and 70 directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 9 and 23 October 2016 (next to be held in October 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - LVLS 22.5%, TS-LKD 22.6%, LSDP 15%, LS 9.5%, LCP-LPP 6.3%, LLRA 5.7%, TT 5.6%, DP 4.9%, LZP 2%, Lithuanian List 1.8%, other 4.1%; seats by party - LVLS 54, TS-LKD 31, LSDP 17, LS 14, LLRA 8, TT 8, DP 2, LCP-LPP 1, LZP 1, Lithuanian List 1, independent 4
description: unicameral Parliament or Saeima (100 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 4 October 2014 (next to be held in October 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - SC 23%, Unity 21.9%, ZZS 19.5%, NA 16.6%, NSL 6.9%, LRA 6.7%, other 5.4%; seats by party - SC 24, Unity 23, ZZS 21, NA 17, LRA 8, NSL 7
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 37 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the president and appointed by the Seimas; judges serve 5-year renewable terms; Constitutional Court judges selected by the Seimas from among nominations by the president, by the Seimas chairperson, and Supreme Court chairperson; judges serve 9-year, nonrenewable terms; one-third of membership reconstituted every 3 years
subordinate courts: Court of Appeals; district and local courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the Senate with 27 judges and Supreme Court of Chambers with 22 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 7 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by chief justice and confirmed by the Saeima; judges serve until age 70, but term can be extended 2 years; Constitutional Court judges - 3 nominated by Saeima members, 2 by Cabinet ministers, and 2 by plenum of Supreme Court; all judges confirmed by Saeima majority vote; Constitutional Court president and vice president serve in their positions for 3 years; all judges serve 10-year terms; mandatory retirement at age 70
subordinate courts: district (city) and regional courts
Political parties and leadersAnti-Corruption Coalition or LCP-LPP [Naglis PUTEIKIS]
Electoral Action of Lithuanian Poles or LLRA [Valdemar TOMASEVSKI]
Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats or TS-LKD [Gabrielius LANDSBERGIS]
Labor Party or DP [Valentinas MAZURONIS]
Liberal Movement or LS or LRLS [Eligijus MASIULIS]
Lithuanian Green Party or LZP [Linas BALSYS]
Lithuanian List [Darius KUOLYS]
Lithuanian Social Democratic Party or LSDP [Algirdas BUTKEVICIUS]
Order and Justice Party or TT [Remigijus ZEMAITAITIS]
Peasant and Greens Union or LVZS [Ramunas KARBAUSKIS]
Way of Courage or DK [Jonas VARKALA]
"Alliance of Regions or LRA [Martins BONDARS]
For Latvia from the Heart or NSL [Inguna SUDRABA]
Social Democratic Party ""Harmony"" or SC [Nils USAKOVS]
National Alliance ""All For Latvia!""-""For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK"" or NA [Gaidis BERZINS, Raivis DZINTARS]
Union of Greens and Farmers or ZZS [Augusts BRIGMANIS]
Unity [Andris PIEBALGS]
"
International organization participationAustralia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UN Security Council (non-permanent), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Australia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA (cooperating state), EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Rolandas KRISCIUNAS (since 17 September 2015)
chancery: 2622 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 234-5860
FAX: [1] (202) 328-0466
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
chief of mission: Ambassador Andris TEIKMANIS (since 16 September 2016)
chancery: 2306 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 328-2840
FAX: [1] (202) 328-2860
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Anne HALL (since 16 September 2016)
embassy: Akmenu gatve 6, Vilnius, LT-03106
mailing address: American Embassy, Akmenu Gatve 6, Vilnius LT-03106
telephone: [370] (5) 266-5500
FAX: [370] (5) 266-5510
chief of mission: Ambassador Nancy Bikoff PETTIT (since 8 September 2015)
embassy: 1 Samnera Velsa St, Riga LV-1510
mailing address: Embassy of the United States of America, 1 Samnera Velsa St, Riga, LV-1510, Latvia
telephone: [371] 6710-7000
FAX: [371] 6710-7050
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), green, and red; yellow symbolizes golden fields, as well as the sun, light, and goodness; green represents the forests of the countryside, in addition to nature, freedom, and hope; red stands for courage and the blood spilled in defense of the homeland
three horizontal bands of maroon (top), white (half-width), and maroon; the flag is one of the older banners in the world; a medieval chronicle mentions a red standard with a white stripe being used by Latvian tribes in about 1280
National anthem"name: ""Tautiska giesme"" (The National Song)
lyrics/music: Vincas KUDIRKA
note: adopted 1918, restored 1990; written in 1898 while Lithuania was a part of Russia; banned during the Soviet occupation from 1940 to 1990
"
"name: ""Dievs, sveti Latviju!"" (God Bless Latvia)
lyrics/music: Karlis BAUMANIS
note: adopted 1920, restored 1990; first performed in 1873 while Latvia was a part of Russia; banned during the Soviet occupation from 1940 to 1990
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)mounted knight known as Vytis (the Chaser), white stork; national colors: yellow, green, red
white wagtail (bird); national colors: maroon, white
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Lithuania
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Latvia
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

LithuaniaLatvia
Economy - overviewAfter the country declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, Lithuania faced an initial dislocation that is typical during transitions from a planned economy to a free-market economy. Macroeconomic stabilization policies, including privatization of most state-owned enterprises, and a strong commitment to a currency board arrangement led to an open and rapidly growing economy and rising consumer demand. Foreign investment and EU funding aided in the transition. Lithuania joined the WTO in May 2001, the EU in May 2004, and the Eurozone in January 2015, and is now working to complete the OECD accession roadmap it received in July 2015.

The Lithuanian economy was severely hit by the 2008-09 global financial crisis, but it has rebounded and become one of the fastest growing in the EU. In 2015, Russia was Lithuania’s largest trading partner, followed by Poland, Germany, and Latvia; goods and services trade between the United States and Lithuania totaled $2.2 billion.

Lithuania’s ongoing recovery hinges on improving the business environment, especially by liberalizing labor laws, and improving competitiveness and export growth, the latter of which has been hampered by economic slowdowns in the EU and Russia. In addition, a steady outflow of young and highly educated people is causing a shortage of skilled labor. Lithuania opened a self-financed liquefied natural gas terminal in January 2015, providing the first non-Russian supply of natural gas to the Baltic States and reducing Lithuania’s dependence on Russian gas from 100% to approximately 30% in 2016.
Latvia is a small, open economy with exports contributing more than half of GDP. Due to its geographical location, transit services are highly-developed, along with timber and wood-processing, agriculture and food products, and manufacturing of machinery and electronics industries. Corruption continues to be an impediment to attracting foreign direct investment and Latvia's low birth rate and decreasing population are major challenges to its long-term economic vitality.

Latvia's economy experienced GDP growth of more than 10% per year during 2006-07, but entered a severe recession in 2008 as a result of an unsustainable current account deficit and large debt exposure amid the slowing world economy. Triggered by the collapse of the second largest bank, GDP plunged 18% in 2009. The economy has yet to return to pre-crisis levels in real terms despite strong growth, especially in the export sector. Continued gains in competitiveness and investment will be key to maintaining economic growth, especially in light of unfavorable demographic trends.

The IMF, EU, and other international donors provided substantial financial assistance to Latvia as part of an agreement to defend the currency's peg to the euro in exchange for the government's commitment to stringent austerity measures. The IMF/EU program successfully concluded in December 2011, although, the austerity measures have imposed large social costs. The majority of companies, banks, and real estate have been privatized, although the state still holds sizable stakes in a few large enterprises, including 80% ownership of the Latvian national airline. Latvia officially joined the World Trade Organization in February 1999 and the EU in May 2004. Latvia also joined the euro zone in 2014 and the OECD in 2016.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$85.62 billion (2016 est.)
$83.78 billion (2015 est.)
$82.29 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$50.65 billion (2016 est.)
$49.61 billion (2015 est.)
$48.29 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate2.2% (2016 est.)
1.8% (2015 est.)
2.9% (2014 est.)
2.1% (2016 est.)
2.7% (2015 est.)
2% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$29,900 (2016 est.)
$28,800 (2015 est.)
$28,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$25,700 (2016 est.)
$25,000 (2015 est.)
$24,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 3.3%
industry: 30.4%
services: 66.4% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 4.8%
industry: 24.4%
services: 70.8% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line22.2% (2015 est.)
25.5% (2015)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 28.8% (2015)
lowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 26.3% (2015)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.8% (2017 est.)
0.7% (2016 est.)
0.1% (2016 est.)
0.2% (2015 est.)
Labor force1.459 million (2016 est.)
957,100 (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 9.1%
industry: 25.2%
services: 65.8% (2015 est.)
agriculture: 7.7%
industry: 24.1%
services: 68.1% (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate7.9% (2016 est.)
9.1% (2015 est.)
9.6% (2016 est.)
9.9% (2015 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index37.9 (2015)
35 (2014)
34.5 (2015)
35.4 (2014)
Budgetrevenues: $14.68 billion
expenditures: $15.12 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $9.766 billion
expenditures: $10.11 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesmetal-cutting machine tools, electric motors, television sets, refrigerators and freezers, petroleum refining, shipbuilding (small ships), furniture, textiles, food processing, fertilizers, agricultural machinery, optical equipment, lasers, electronic components, computers, amber jewelry, information technology, video game development, app/software development, biotechnology
processed foods, processed wood products, textiles, processed metals, pharmaceuticals, railroad cars, synthetic fibers, electronics
Industrial production growth rate3.3% (2016 est.)
4.9% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsgrain, potatoes, sugar beets, flax, vegetables; beef, milk, eggs, pork, cheese; fish
grain, rapeseed, potatoes, vegetables; pork, poultry, milk, eggs; fish
Exports$23.52 billion (2016 est.)
$24.81 billion (2015 est.)
$11.22 billion (2016 est.)
$11.4 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesrefined fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles, foodstuffs, plastics
foodstuffs, wood and wood products, metals, machinery and equipment, textiles
Exports - partnersRussia 13.7%, Latvia 9.8%, Poland 9.7%, Germany 7.8%, Estonia 5.3%, Belarus 4.6%, UK 4.5%, US 4.4%, Netherlands 4% (2015)
Lithuania 17.8%, Russia 11.4%, Estonia 11.1%, Germany 6.3%, Poland 5.6%, Sweden 5.1%, UK 5%, Denmark 4% (2015)
Imports$25.92 billion (2016 est.)
$26.93 billion (2015 est.)
$13.6 billion (2016 est.)
$13.74 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesoil, natural gas, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, chemicals, textiles and clothing, metals
machinery and equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, fuels, vehicles
Imports - partnersRussia 16.9%, Germany 11.5%, Poland 10.3%, Latvia 7.6%, Netherlands 5.1%, Italy 4.5% (2015)
Lithuania 16.9%, Germany 11.3%, Poland 10.5%, Russia 8.2%, Estonia 7.8%, Finland 5.2%, Netherlands 4% (2015)
Debt - external$34.48 billion (31 March 2016 est.)
$31.6 billion (31 March 2015 est.)
$40.02 billion (31 March 2016 est.)
$38.19 billion (31 March 2015 est.)
Exchange rateslitai (LTL) per US dollar -
0.9129 (2016 est.)
0.9012 (2015 est.)
0.9012 (2014 est.)
0.7525 (2013 est.)
2.69 (2012 est.)
lati (LVL) per US dollar -
0.9129 (2016 est.)
0.9012 (2015 est.)
0.9012 (2014 est.)
0.7525 (2013 est.)
0.55 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt41.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
45.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: official data; data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities, debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are sold at public auctions
38.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
36.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities, including sub-sectors of central government, state government, local government, and social security funds
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.697 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$8.728 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$7.507 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$7.893 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Current Account Balance-$379 million (2016 est.)
-$967 million (2015 est.)
$409 million (2016 est.)
-$210 million (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$42.78 billion (2016 est.)
$25.02 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$16.33 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$15.63 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$16.41 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$15.71 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$3.727 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.427 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.651 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.391 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$6.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.799 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$7.127 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.799 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$7.127 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate0% (31 December 2016 est.)
0.05% (31 December 2015 est.)
0% (31 December 2016 est.)
0.05% (31 December 2015 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate3.1% (31 December 2016 est.)
3.1% (31 December 2015 est.)
4.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
4.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$27.58 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$24.43 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$16.03 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$15.39 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$21.38 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$19.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$11.66 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$10.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$25.08 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$23.94 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$13.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$12.53 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues34.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
34.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1% of GDP (2016 est.)
-1.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 19.3%
male: 19.6%
female: 18.7% (2014 est.)
total: 19.6%
male: 19.4%
female: 20% (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 65.7%
government consumption: 17.3%
investment in fixed capital: 19.3%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 72.9%
imports of goods and services: -75.2% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 62%
government consumption: 17.5%
investment in fixed capital: 18.3%
investment in inventories: 1.6%
exports of goods and services: 58%
imports of goods and services: -57.4% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving16.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
16.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
21.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
19.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
20.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
21.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

LithuaniaLatvia
Electricity - production3.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
5 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption9.9 billion kWh (2014 est.)
6.8 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports900 million kWh (2014 est.)
3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports8.5 billion kWh (2014 est.)
5.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production2,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports191,100 bbl/day (2013 est.)
60 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports1,316 bbl/day (2013 est.)
58.95 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves12 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves0 cu m (1 January 2016)
0 cu m (1 January 2016)
Natural gas - production0 cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption2.775 billion cu m (2014 est.)
963 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports2.775 billion cu m (2014 est.)
963 million cu m (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity3.9 million kW (2014 est.)
3 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels66.7% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
26.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants23% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
70.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources10.3% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
3.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production202,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption54,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
35,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports173,600 bbl/day (2013 est.)
15,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports23,960 bbl/day (2013 est.)
49,220 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy11.2 million Mt (2015 est.)
7.6 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

LithuaniaLatvia
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 561,919
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 19 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 395,602
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 4.184 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 145 (July 2015 est.)
total: 2.579 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 130 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: adequate; being modernized to provide improved international capability and better residential access
domestic: rapid expansion of mobile-cellular services has resulted in a steady decline in the number of fixed-line connections; mobile-cellular teledensity stands at about 145 per 100 persons
international: country code - 370; major international connections to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway by submarine cable for further transmission by satellite; landline connections to Latvia and Poland (2015)
general assessment: recent efforts focused on bringing competition to the telecommunications sector; the number of fixed lines is decreasing as mobile-cellular telephone service expands
domestic: number of telecommunications operators has grown rapidly since the fixed-line market opened to competition in 2003; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership roughly 150 per 100 persons
international: country code - 371; the Latvian network is now connected via fiber-optic cable to Estonia, Finland, and Sweden (2015)
Internet country code.lt
.lv
Internet userstotal: 2.059 million
percent of population: 71.4% (July 2015 est.)
total: 1.573 million
percent of population: 79.2% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediapublic broadcaster operates 3 channels with the third channel - a satellite channel - introduced in 2007; various privately owned commercial TV broadcasters operate national and multiple regional channels; many privately owned local TV stations; multi-channel cable and satellite TV services available; publicly owned broadcaster operates 3 radio networks; many privately owned commercial broadcasters, with repeater stations in various regions throughout the country (2007)
several national and regional commercial TV stations are foreign-owned, 2 national TV stations are publicly owned; system supplemented by privately owned regional and local TV stations; cable and satellite multi-channel TV services with domestic and foreign broadcasts available; publicly owned broadcaster operates 4 radio networks with dozens of stations throughout the country; dozens of private broadcasters also operate radio stations (2007)

Transportation

LithuaniaLatvia
Railwaystotal: 1,768 km
broad gauge: 1,746 km 1.520-m gauge (122 km electrified)
standard gauge: 22 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
total: 2,239 km
broad gauge: 2,206 km 1.520-m gauge
narrow gauge: 33 km 0.750-m gauge (2008)
Roadwaystotal: 84,166 km
paved: 72,297 km (includes 312 km of expressways)
unpaved: 11,869 km (2012)
total: 72,440 km
paved: 14,707 km
unpaved: 57,733 km (2013)
Waterways441 km (navigable year round) (2007)
300 km (navigable year round) (2010)
Pipelinesgas 1,921 km; refined products 121 km (2013)
gas 928 km; refined products 415 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Klaipeda
oil terminal(s): Butinge oil terminal
LNG terminal(s) (import): Klaipeda
major seaport(s): Riga, Ventspils
Merchant marinetotal: 38
by type: cargo 20, container 1, passenger/cargo 6, refrigerated cargo 9, roll on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: 8 (Denmark 8)
registered in other countries: 22 (Antigua and Barbuda 3, Belize 1, Comoros 1, Cook Islands 1, Norway 1, Panama 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 9, unknown 3) (2010)
total: 11
by type: cargo 3, chemical tanker 1, passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 3 (Estonia 3)
registered in other countries: 79 (Antigua and Barbuda 16, Belize 9, Comoros 2, Dominica 2, Georgia 1, Liberia 5, Malta 8, Marshall Islands 19, Russia 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 15) (2010)
Airports61 (2013)
42 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 22
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 9 (2013)
total: 18
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 7 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 39
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 36 (2013)
total: 24
under 914 m: 24 (2013)

Military

LithuaniaLatvia
Military branchesLithuanian Armed Forces (Lietuvos Ginkluotosios Pajegos): Land Forces (Sausumos Pajegos), Naval Forces (Karines Juru Pajegos), Air Forces (Karines Oro Pajegos), Special Forces (Specialiuju Operaciju Pajegos); Volunteer Forces (Savanoriu Pajegos) (2016)
National Armed Forces (Nacionalie Brunotie Speki): Land Forces (Latvijas Sauszemes Speki), Navy (Latvijas Juras Speki, includes Coast Guard (Latvijas Kara Flote)), Latvian Air Force (Latvijas Gaisa Speki), Latvian Home Guard (Latvijas Zemessardze) (2017)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for military service; 9-month service obligation; in 2015, Lithuania reinstated conscription after having converted to a professional military in the fall of 2008 (2016)
18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; no conscription; under current law, every citizen is entitled to serve in the armed forces for life (2016)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP1.8% of GDP (2017)
1.49% of GDP (2016)
1.14% of GDP (2015)
0.88% of GDP (2014)
0.76% of GDP (2013)
1.7% of GDP (2016)
1.45% of GDP (2016)
1.04% of GDP (2015)
0.94% of GDP (2014)
0.93% of GDP (2013)

Transnational Issues

LithuaniaLatvia
Disputes - internationalLithuania and Russia committed to demarcating their boundary in 2006 in accordance with the land and maritime treaty ratified by Russia in May 2003 and by Lithuania in 1999; Lithuania operates a simplified transit regime for Russian nationals traveling from the Kaliningrad coastal exclave into Russia, while still conforming, as a EU member state having an external border with a non-EU member, to strict Schengen border rules; boundary demarcated with Latvia and Lithuania; as of January 2007, ground demarcation of the boundary with Belarus was complete and mapped with final ratification documents in preparation
Russia demands better Latvian treatment of ethnic Russians in Latvia; boundary demarcated with Latvia and Lithuania; the Latvian parliament has not ratified its 1998 maritime boundary treaty with Lithuania, primarily due to concerns over oil exploration rights; as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Latvia has implemented the strict Schengen border rules with Russia
Illicit drugstransshipment and destination point for cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, and opiates from Southwest Asia, Latin America, Western Europe, and neighboring Baltic countries; growing production of high-quality amphetamines, but limited production of cannabis, methamphetamines; susceptible to money laundering despite changes to banking legislation
transshipment and destination point for cocaine, synthetic drugs, opiates, and cannabis from Southwest Asia, Western Europe, Latin America, and neighboring Baltic countries; despite improved legislation, vulnerable to money laundering due to nascent enforcement capabilities and comparatively weak regulation of offshore companies and the gaming industry; CIS organized crime (including counterfeiting, corruption, extortion, stolen cars, and prostitution) accounts for most laundered proceeds
Refugees and internally displaced personsstateless persons: 3,466 (2016)
stateless persons: 242,736 (2016); note - individuals who were Latvian citizens prior to the 1940 Soviet occupation and their descendants were recognized as Latvian citizens when the country's independence was restored in 1991; citizens of the former Soviet Union residing in Latvia who have neither Latvian nor other citizenship are considered non-citizens (officially there is no statelessness in Latvia) and are entitled to non-citizen passports; children born after Latvian independence to stateless parents are entitled to Latvian citizenship upon their parents' request; non-citizens cannot vote or hold certain government jobs and are exempt from military service but can travel visa-free in the EU under the Schengen accord like Latvian citizens; non-citizens can obtain naturalization if they have been permanent residents of Latvia for at least five years, pass tests in Latvian language and history, and know the words of the Latvian national anthem

Source: CIA Factbook