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Latvia Geography Profile 2018

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LocationEastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania
Geographic coordinates57 00 N, 25 00 E
Map referencesEurope
Areatotal: 64,589 sq km
land: 62,249 sq km
water: 2,340 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than West Virginia
Land boundariestotal: 1,370 km
border countries (4): Belarus 161 km, Estonia 333 km, Lithuania 544 km, Russia 332 km
Coastline498 km
Maritime claimsterritorial 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
Climatemaritime; wet, moderate winters
Terrainlow plain
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 87 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Gaizina Kalns 312 m
Natural resourcespeat, limestone, dolomite, amber, hydropower, timber, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 29.2%
arable land 18.6%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 10.5%
forest: 54.1%
other: 16.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land12 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)
Population distributionlargest concentration of people is found in and around the port and capital city of Riga; small agglomerations are scattered throughout the country
Natural hazardslarge percentage of agricultural fields can become waterlogged and require drainage
Environment - current issuesLatvia'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-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 - notemost of the country is composed of fertile low-lying plains with some hills in the east

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018

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