Latvia 08/09

7 interesting facts about Latvia

There is a lot of information you might have heard or read about this country, but some of them are worth mentioning.

  1. Economy: Before addition of Romania and Bulgaria, Latvia had the lowest average salary in the EU despite its increase around 20-30% every year over past 3 years and is a member of EMR II. However, the average salary is still only 490 LVL (=700 EUR) and inflation rate is rising to some 16%. EDIT: (link)
  2. Demography: The population density in Latvia is 36 inhabitants per square km, which makes it at about the same level as Cameroon, Colombia or South Africa. EU-27 average is 112. (link)
  3. History: Just like Czech Republic and Slovakia celebrating independence of country that no longer exists, Latvia celebrates its independence from the year 1918, even though they were occupied by Germany and Soviet Union and became a separate country again in 1991. (link)
  4. History: Since Soviets invaded Latvia in 1941, groups of Latvians were fighting them together with Nazis and even built several monuments. Even though there was one of death camps built in Salaspils, near Riga, which is obviously not appreciated both by those who survived them and the EU. (link)
  5. Sports: Latvia has gained 17 olympic medals including two golds even though its short existence as independent state. The most recent is from newly introduced men’s BMX cycling race won by Maris Štrombergs. (link)
  6. Demography: In the years 2004 to 2007, about 25.000 Latvian working-age inhabitants left for Ireland and 35.000 for UK. That leaves Latvia with second highest emigration rate among countries that joined EU in 2004, around 2,5%. EDIT: (link)
  7. Economy: Latvian currency lat is one of the strongest in the world, since its exchange rate is 1 EUR = 0,705 LVL. (link)

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