The Human Truth Foundation

Latvia (Republic of Latvia)

By Vexen Crabtree 2013

#baltic_states #latvia #scandinavia

Latvia
Republic of Latvia
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index37th best
CapitalRiga
Land Area 62 200km21
LocationEurope, Baltic States
Population1.9m2
Life Expectancy74.34yrs (2017)3
GNI$22 589 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesLV, LVA, 4285
Internet Domain.lv6
CurrencyEuro (EUR)7
Telephone+3718

1. Overview

#germany #russia #sweden

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.). 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 28% of the population) remains of concern to Moscow. Latvia joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.

CIA's The World Factbook (2013)9

Book CoverIf you´ve an appetite for Europe´s lesser-known lights, a taste of Latvian life with its full-voiced choirs and art nouveau architecture should stimulate the senses. Tucked between Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south, Latvia is the meat in the Baltic sandwich, the savoury middle, loaded with colourful fixings. Thick greens take the form of Gauja Valley pine forests peppered with castle ruins. Onion-domed Orthodox cathedrals cross the land from salty Liepaja to gritty Daugavpils. Cheesy Russian pop blares along the beach in Jurmala. And spicy Riga adds an extra zing as the country´s cosmopolitan nexus, and unofficial capital of the entire Baltic region.

Latvians often wax poetic about their country, calling it `the land that sings´. It seems to be in the genes; locals are blessed with unusually pleasant voices, and their canon of traditional tunes is the power source for their indomitable spirit. Latvians literally sang for their freedom from the USSR in a series of dramatic protests known as the `Singing Revolution´, and today the nation holds the Song and Dance Festival every five years, which unites thousands upon thousands of singers from across the land in splendid harmony.

"The World" by Lonely Planet (2014)10

2. Latvia National and Social Development

#economics #human_development

UN HDI (2016)11
Pos.Lower is better
Rank11
1Norway1
2Australia2
3Switzerland2
...
41Portugal41
42UAE42
43Hungary43
44Latvia44
45Croatia45
46Argentina45
47Bahrain47
48Montenegro48
World Avg94.3
q=188.
Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)12
Pos.Higher is better
PPP $12
1Qatar$129 916
2Singapore$78 162
3Kuwait$76 075
...
48Seychelles$23 886
49Hungary$23 394
50Russia$23 286
51Latvia$22 589
52St Kitts & Nevis$22 436
53Kazakhstan$22 093
54Chile$21 665
55Bahamas$21 565
World Avg$17 240
q=193.
Social & Moral
Development Index
13,14
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank13,14
1Taiwan30.2
2Denmark30.5
3Norway30.9
...
34Uruguay56.8
35Slovakia57.0
36Chile58.6
37Latvia61.1
38Romania61.6
39Croatia61.7
40Greece62.6
41Lithuania64.4
World Avg86.4
q=195.

The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others..

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: Which are the Best Countries in the World? The Social and Moral Development Index.

3. Latvia's Demographics

#birth_control #demographics #health #immigration #life_expectancy #longevity #migration #overpopulation #population

Population:

Latvia's population is predicted to rise to 2.073 million by 2030. This rise is despite a low fertility rate, meaning, that this country is helping to alleviate problems with growing population in neighbouring countries by accepting immigrants, very likely as a requirement of maintaining an active workforce. This country has a fertility rate of 1.50. The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.

Population (2018)2
Pos.
Population2
1China1.4b
2India1.4b
3USA327.1m
...
145Lesotho2.1m
146Macedonia2.1m
147Slovenia2.1m
148Latvia1.9m
149Guinea-Bissau1.9m
150Bahrain1.6m
151Trinidad & Tobago1.4m
152Estonia1.3m
World Avg39.0m
q=195.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
81Kuwait74.55
82Saudi Arabia74.44
83Venezuela74.39
84Latvia74.34
85Bulgaria74.32
86Morocco74.31
87Colombia74.23
88Jordan74.18
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
75Mongolia2.48
76Russia1.52
77Albania1.51
78Latvia1.50
79Czechia1.50
80Spain1.50
81Croatia1.49
82Dominican Rep.2.51
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Old-Age Dependency Ratio (2016)16
Pos.Lower is better
Per 10016
1Uganda04.3
2Mali04.5
3Chad04.7
...
159Cuba36.2
160Poland36.3
161Singapore36.5
162Latvia36.7
163Sweden37.0
164Bulgaria37.0
165Denmark37.1
166Bosnia & Herzegovina37.3
World Avg18.3
q=185.

Migration:

Immigrants (2017)17
Pos.
%17
1UAE88.4%
2Kuwait75.5%
3Qatar65.2%
...
40Seychelles13.6%
41Croatia13.4%
42UK13.4%
43Latvia13.2%
44Spain12.8%
45Iceland12.5%
46Libya12.4%
47France12.2%
World Avg9.4%
q=195.
Emigrants (2010)18
Pos.
%18
1Dominica104.8%
2Palestine68.4%
3Samoa67.3%
...
52Bahamas12.8%
53Estonia12.6%
54Nicaragua12.5%
55Latvia12.3%
56Luxembourg11.8%
57Jordan11.3%
58Kyrgyzstan11.2%
59Tajikistan11.2%
World Avg11.5%
q=192.

4. Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

#equality #freedom #human_rights #Latvia #politics #tolerance

Latvia does relatively well in ensuring human rights and freedom, compared to many other countries. Latvia comes in the best 20 for commentary in Human Rights Watch reports19. It does better than average in terms of supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms20, supporting press freedom21, opposing gender inequality22 (but high for Europe), its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice23, LGBT equality24 (but one of the worst in Europe) and in its nominal commitment to Human Rights25 (but low for Europe). Latvia does not succeed in everything, however. It does worse than average in speed of uptake of HR treaties26.

For tables, charts and commentary, see:

5. Latvia's Health

#alcohol #birth_control #demographics #health #Latvia #life_expectancy #longevity #mental_health #obesity #overpopulation #parenting #population #smoking #suicide #vaccines

Health (2020)27,28
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank27,28
1Hong Kong18.0
2Singapore41.5
3Maldives43.3
...
96Rwanda92.4
97Mongolia92.5
98Ethiopia92.9
99Latvia93.8
100Mexico93.8
101St Vincent & Grenadines93.9
102Sao Tome & Principe94.0
103Cambodia94.0
104Russia94.5
World Avg92.3
q=187.

The countries with the best overall approach to public health, in terms of both public policy and individual lifestyle choices, are Hong Kong, Singapore and The Maldives27. These countries are worth emulating. And, although often through no fault of the average citizen, the worst countries are S. Sudan, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea27.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are its average life expectancy, its alcohol consumption rate, its fertility rate, its smoking rate, its suicide rate, its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance, the prevalence of overweight adults, its adolescent birth rate and its immunizations take-up. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Asia and Europe27, whereas the worst are Africa, Micronesia and Polynesia27.

Health:

Latvia has some poor policies and cultural issues which cause some public health problems. Latvia does better than average in terms of its fertility rate15, its adolescent birth rate22 (but high for Europe), its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance29 (but bad for Europe) and in its average life expectancy12 (but low for Europe). Latvia does not succeed in everything, however. It does worse than average for its immunizations take-up30 and in its smoking rate31 (still good for Europe). And finally, it sits amongst the bottom 20 in terms of its suicide rate32 (one of the highest in Europe) and in its alcohol consumption rate33. The prevalence of overweight adults has increased by 14% over the last 40 years.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
81Kuwait74.55
82Saudi Arabia74.44
83Venezuela74.39
84Latvia74.34
85Bulgaria74.32
86Morocco74.31
87Colombia74.23
88Jordan74.18
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Alcohol Consumption (2016)33
Pos.Lower is better
Per Capita33
1Bangladesh0.0
2Kuwait0.0
3Libya0.0
...
179France12.6
180Romania12.7
181Bulgaria12.7
182Latvia12.9
183Luxembourg13.0
184Ireland13.0
185Nigeria13.4
186Germany13.4
World Avg6.2
q=189.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
75Mongolia2.48
76Russia1.52
77Albania1.51
78Latvia1.50
79Czechia1.50
80Spain1.50
81Croatia1.49
82Dominican Rep.2.51
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Smoking Rates (2014)31
Pos.Higher is worse31
182Montenegro4 125
181Belarus3 831
180Lebanon3 023
...
127Portugal1 113
126Finland1 083
125USA1 083
124Latvia1 041
123Algeria1 024
122Brunei1 023
121France 993
120Bahrain 969
World Avg 819
q=182.
Suicide Rate (2013)32
Pos.
Per 100k32
1Haiti0
2Grenada0
3Egypt0.1
...
80Belgium39.1
81Slovenia44
82Ukraine44.8
83Latvia48.2
84Japan49.4
85Hungary50.6
86Kazakhstan52.4
87Guyana52.4
World Avg20.93
q=91.
Food Aid, Health Contributions & WHO Compliance (2017)29
Pos.Lower is better
Rank29
1Sweden1
2Ireland2
3Denmark3
...
67Belarus67
68Brunei68
69Paraguay69
70Latvia70
71Liberia71
72Kazakhstan72
73Egypt73
74Burundi74
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Overweight Adults (2016)34
Pos.Lower is better
%34
1Vietnam18.3
2India19.7
3Bangladesh20.0
...
116Albania57.7
117Romania57.7
118Netherlands57.8
119Latvia57.8
120Finland57.9
121Macedonia58.1
122Nicaragua58.2
123Norway58.3
World Avg49.0
q=191.

Children's Health:

Adolescent Birth Rate (2015)22
Pos.Lower is better
Per 100022
1N. Korea0.5
2S. Korea1.6
3Switzerland2.9
...
43Poland13.4
44Bahrain13.5
45Malaysia13.6
46Latvia13.6
47Australia14.1
48UK14.6
49Sri Lanka14.8
50Micronesia15.0
World Avg47.9
q=185.
Infant Immunizations 2011-2015 (2015)30
Pos.Higher is better
Avg %30
1Hungary99.0
2China99.0
3Uzbekistan98.9
...
96New Zealand92.9
97Nauru92.9
98USA92.8
99Latvia92.8
100Romania92.7
101France92.6
102El Salvador92.4
103Swaziland92.4
World Avg88.3
q=194.

6. Latvia's Modernity and Learning

#education #english #intelligence #it_security #maths #modernity #religion #research #science #technology #the_internet

Modernity and Learning (2020)35
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank35
1Finland8.0
2Belgium9.1
3Denmark10.0
...
26USA24.7
27Israel26.0
28Portugal27.0
29Latvia27.3
30Poland28.1
31Spain28.8
32Greece29.3
33Lithuania30.5
34Italy33.5
World Avg69.0
q=180.

Modernity and Education:

Research and Development (2016)
Pos.Higher is better
% RDP PPP
1S. Korea4.2936
2Israel4.1136
3Japan3.5836
...
51Mali0.6637
52Bulgaria0.6538
53Ethiopia0.6138
54Latvia0.6038
55Gabon0.5839
56Argentina0.5840
57Mexico0.5436
58Senegal0.5437
World Avg0.84
q=126.
Secondary Education (2018)41
Pos.Higher is better41
1Luxembourg100.0%
2Estonia100.0%
3Austria100.0%
...
7Uzbekistan99.9%
8Czechia99.8%
9Slovakia99.3%
10Latvia99.2%
11Kazakhstan98.6%
12Kyrgyzstan98.4%
13Georgia98.0%
14Slovenia97.6%
World Avg63.0%
q=169.
Length of Schooling (2018)42
Pos.Higher is better
Years42
1Australia22.1
2Belgium19.7
3Finland19.3
...
33Canada16.1
34Estonia16.1
35Israel16.0
36Latvia16.0
37Malta15.9
38Palau15.6
39Russia15.5
40France15.5
World Avg13.2
q=193.
Intellectual Endeavours (2017)29
Pos.Lower is better
Rank29
1Ukraine1
2Czechia2
3Hungary3
...
10Slovenia10
11Switzerland11
12New Zealand12
13Latvia13
14Bulgaria14
15Iceland15
16Bosnia & Herzegovina16
17Sweden17
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Maths, Science & Reading (2015)43
Pos.Higher is better
Score43
1Singapore1655
2Hong Kong1598
3Japan1586
...
29Spain1475
30Czechia1472
31USA1463
32Latvia1460
33Italy1456
34Luxembourg1450
35Iceland1443
36Croatia1426
World Avg1389
q=70.
Religiosity (2009)44
Pos.Lower is better
%44
1Estonia16
2Sweden17
3Denmark19
...
8Vietnam30
9Russia34
10Belarus34
11Latvia39
12Luxembourg39
13Hungary39
14Albania39
15Germany40
World Avg75.1
q=114.
IQ (2006)45
Pos.Higher is better45
1Hong Kong108
2Singapore108
3S. Korea106
...
27Australia98
28Denmark98
29USA98
30Latvia98
31Hungary98
32Ukraine97
33Russia97
34Belarus97
World Avg85.6
q=138.

Technology and Information:

Internet Users (2016)46
Pos.Higher is better46
1Iceland100%
2Faroe Islands99%
3Norway98%
...
40Malta80%
41Chile78%
42Lithuania77%
43Latvia76%
44Lebanon76%
45Croatia74%
46Hong Kong74%
47Cayman Islands74%
World Avg48.1%
q=201.
IT Security (2013)47
Pos.Lower is better47
1Ireland0.11
2Luxembourg0.11
3Belize0.11
...
12Argentina0.27
13Hungary0.27
14Peru0.30
15Latvia0.33
16Pakistan0.38
17Taiwan0.44
18Sweden0.44
19Romania0.52
World Avg0.98
q=81.
IPv6 Uptake (2017)48
Pos.Higher is better
Ratio48
1Belgium55.4
2Germany41.8
3Switzerland35.1
...
39Denmark3.1
40Bosnia & Herzegovina3.1
41Sri Lanka2.9
42Latvia2.2
43Israel1.8
44Italy1.7
45Argentina1.4
46Faroe Islands1.4
World Avg3.82
q=176.

7. National Culture

#charity #corruption #happiness #morals #politics

Personal Charitability
(World Position, 2013-2016)
49
Pos.Lower is better49
1Myanmar (Burma)1.25
2USA1.5
3New Zealand3.5
...
112Cambodia99.75
113Ukraine100
114Albania101.25
115Latvia101.25
116El Salvador101.25
117Mauritania101.25
118Jordan102
119Japan102
World Avg68.1185897435897
q=156.
Corruption (2012-2016)50
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score50
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
45Grenada56.0
46Costa Rica54.8
47S. Korea54.6
48Latvia54.0
49Mauritius54.0
50Rwanda52.6
51Hungary52.4
52Georgia52.4
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Happiness (2018)51
Pos.Higher is better51
1Finland7.6
2Norway7.6
3Denmark7.6
...
50Lithuania6.0
51Slovenia5.9
52Romania5.9
53Latvia5.9
54Japan5.9
55Mauritius5.9
56Jamaica5.9
57S. Korea5.9
World Avg5.38
q=156.
Creativity and Culture (2017)29
Pos.Lower is better
Rank29
1Belgium1
2Netherlands2
3Estonia3
...
14France14
15Germany15
16Slovenia16
17Latvia17
18Barbados18
19Hungary19
20Slovakia20
21Poland21
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Open Trading, Aid and Development (2017)29
Pos.Lower is better
Rank29
1Ireland1
2Denmark2
3Sweden3
...
77Slovenia77
78Guatemala78
79Tonga79
80Latvia80
81Romania81
82Costa Rica82
83Kuwait83
84Belarus84
World Avg82.0
q=163.

8. Peace Versus Instability

#extremism #human_development #peace #politics #religious_violence #terrorism

Global Peace Index (2012)52
Pos.Lower is better52
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
42S. Korea1.73
43Lithuania1.74
44Argentina1.76
45Latvia1.77
46UAE1.79
47Kuwait1.79
48Mozambique1.80
49Namibia1.80
World Avg2.02
q=157.
Peacekeeping and Security (2017)29
Pos.Lower is better
Rank29
1Samoa1
2S. Africa2
3Tunisia3
...
101Niger101
102Lesotho102
103Antigua & Barbuda103
104Latvia104
105Laos105
106Mozambique106
107Poland107
108Ukraine108
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Refugees and UN Treaties (2017)29
Pos.Lower is better
Rank29
1Austria1
2Germany2
3Netherlands3
...
67Kyrgyzstan66
68Iran68
69Malawi69
70Latvia70
71Guatemala71
72Estonia72
73Guinea-Bissau73
74Albania74
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Impact of Terrorism (2019)53
Pos.Lower is better
Score53
1Togo0.00
2Mongolia0.00
3Swaziland0.00
...
31Dominican Rep.0.18
32Hungary0.18
33Switzerland0.19
34Latvia0.23
35S. Korea0.30
36Macedonia0.30
37Zambia0.31
38Djibouti0.32
World Avg2.78
q=150.

9. The Natural Environment

#biodiversity #climate_change #over-exploitation #the_environment

Forest Area Change 1990-2015 (2015)54
Pos.Higher is better
%54
1Iceland205.6
2Bahrain144.4
3Uruguay131.3
...
53Laos06.3
54Poland06.3
55Liechtenstein06.2
56Latvia05.8
57Uzbekistan05.7
58New Zealand05.1
59Slovenia05.1
60Lebanon04.8
World Avg02.8
q=184.
Environmental Performance (2018)55
Pos.Higher is better55
1Switzerland87.4
2France84.0
3Denmark81.6
...
34Slovenia67.6
35Trinidad & Tobago67.4
36St Vincent & Grenadines66.5
37Latvia66.1
38Turkmenistan66.1
39Seychelles66.0
40Albania65.5
41Croatia65.5
World Avg56.4
q=180.
Energy to GDP Efficiency (2014)56
Pos.Higher is better56
1Hong Kong26.32
2Sri Lanka20.00
3Panama17.86
...
51France09.90
52Lebanon09.90
53Hungary09.80
54Latvia09.80
55Poland09.71
56Argentina09.35
57Pakistan09.26
58Montenegro09.17
World Avg09.29
q=119.
Convention on Biological Diversity
Pos.Earlier is better
Signed
1China1993 Dec 29
2Guinea1993 Dec 29
3Cook Islands1993 Dec 29
...
133Sudan1996 Jan 28
134S. Africa1996 Jan 31
135Nicaragua1996 Feb 18
136Latvia1996 Mar 13
137Singapore1996 Mar 20
138Syria1996 Apr 03
139Suriname1996 Apr 11
140Poland1996 Apr 17
World Avg1899 Dec 30
q=197.
Rational Beliefs on the Environment (2011)57
Pos.Higher is better
%57
1Argentina78.3%
2Greece77.6%
3Brazil77.1%
...
130USA19.7%
131Kuwait19.6%
132Zimbabwe19.6%
133Latvia19.5%
134Tunisia19.3%
135Czechia16.0%
136Estonia15.9%
137China15.1%
World Avg39.9%
q=145.

10. Economic Inequality and Poverty

#capitalism #economics #health #inequality #life_expectancy #social_development

Inequality in Life Expectancy (2019)58
Pos.Higher is worse58
184Chad40.90
183Central African Rep.40.10
182Sierra Leone39.00
...
45Qatar5.70
44Bahrain5.50
43Lithuania5.50
42Latvia5.40
41Bosnia & Herzegovina5.40
40UAE5.20
39Cuba5.10
38Slovakia5.00
World Avg14.59
q=184.
Income Inequality (Gini Coefficient) (2017)59
Pos.Lower is better
%59
1Ukraine25.0
2Belarus25.4
3Slovenia25.4
...
52Tajikistan34.0
53Canada34.0
54Cyprus34.0
55Latvia34.2
56Niger34.3
57Vietnam35.3
58Burkina Faso35.3
59Liberia35.3
World Avg38.1
q=152.

11. Religion and Beliefs

#belief #buddhism #christianity #god #hinduism #islam #judaism #religion #religion_in_latvia

Religiosity (2009)44
Pos.Lower is better
%44
1Estonia16
2Sweden17
3Denmark19
...
8Vietnam30
9Russia34
10Belarus34
11Latvia39
12Luxembourg39
13Hungary39
14Albania39
15Germany40
World Avg75.1
q=114.
Disbelief In God (2007)60
Pos.Higher is better
%60
1Vietnam81
2Japan65
3Sweden64
...
21Taiwan24
22New Zealand22
23Canada22
24Latvia20
25Ukraine20
26Mongolia20
27Austria18
28Slovakia17
World Avg9.9
q=137.

Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below61:

Christian55.8%
Muslim0.1%
Hindu0.1%
Buddhist0.1%
Folk Religion0.1%
Jew0.1%
Unaffiliated43.8%

It appears that when asked "What religion are you" many give pollsters the 'correct' answer despite how they actually feel, and despite what they actually believe. Although 56.3% of the populace say they belong to a religion, only 39% say that they are religious when the question is phrased as "Is religion an important part of your daily life?".

For more on this phenomenon, see:

The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Lutheran 19.6%, Orthodox 15.3%, other Christian 1%, other 0.4%, unspecified 63.7% (2006)62.

Freedom of Religion and Belief:

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