The Latvian climate is humid, continental and
temperate owing to the maritime influence of the Baltic Sea. Summers are
warm, and the weather in spring and autumn is fairly mild; however, the
winters can be extreme due to the northern location.
The sole official language of Latvia is Latvian,
which belongs to the Baltic language group of the Indo-European language
family. Another notable language of Latvia is the nearly extinct
Livonian language of the Finnic branch of the Uralic language family,
which enjoys protection by law; Latgalian a dialect of Latvian is also
protected by Latvian law as a historical variation of the Latvian
Lat (LVL) is the official currency of Latvia. The Lat was first
introduced in 1922 when it replaced the Latvian ruble; however when
Latvia became a part of the USSR in 1940, the USSR ruble replaced the
of Latvia in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 2, 307, 000,
which placed it as number 138 in population among the 193 nations of the
world. In that year approximately 15% of the population was over 65
years of age, with another 17% of the population under 15 years of age.
Riga is the
capital and largest city of Latvia, one of the major industrial,
commercial, cultural and financial centres of the Baltics[citation
needed], and an important seaport, situated on the mouth of the Daugava.