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Demographics of Latvia Redirected from Languages of Latvia

Latvia population pyramid in 2020
Demographics of Latvia
Population-of-Latvia.svg
Population of Latvia (in millions) from 1920 to 2014
PopulationDecrease 1,887,600 (1 April 2021)[1]
Growth rateDecrease -1.08% (2020)[2]
Birth rate9.8 births/1,000 population (2019)[3]
Death rate14.5 deaths/1,000 population (2019)[4]
Life expectancy75.6 years (2019)[5]
 • male71 years
 • female80 years
Fertility rate1.61 children born/woman (2019)[6][7]
Infant mortality rate3.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2019)[8]
Net migration rate-1.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2019)[9]
Sex ratio
Total0.85 male(s)/female (2020)[10]
At birth1.05 male(s)/female (2020)[11]
Under 151.06 male(s)/female (2020)[12]
15–64 years0.96 male(s)/female[13]
65 and over0.49 male(s)/female[14]
Nationality
Nationalitynoun: Latvian(s) adjective: Latvian
Major ethnicLatvians
Minor ethnicRussians, Belarussians, Ukrainians
Language
OfficialLatvian
SpokenLatvian, Russian
Population of Latvia (in millions) from 1920 to 2014

This article is about the demographic features of the population of the historical territory of Latvia, including population density, ethnic background, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Background

Latvia was settled by the Baltic tribes some three millennia ago. The territories along the eastern Baltic first came under foreign domination at the beginning of the 13th century, with the formal establishment of Riga in 1201 under the German Teutonic Knights.

Latvia, in whole or in parts, remained under foreign rule for the next eight centuries, finding itself at the cross-roads of all the regional superpowers of their day, including Denmark (the Danes held on lands around the Gulf of Riga), Sweden, and Russia, with southern (Courland) Latvia being at one time a vassal to Poland-Lithuania as well as Latgale falling directly under Poland-Lithuania rule. Through all this time, Latvia remained largely under Baltic German hegemony, with Baltic Germans comprising the largest land-owners, a situation which did not change until Latvia's independence.

Historically, Latvia has had significant German, Russian, Jewish, Polish, and Lithuanian minorities. The majority (roughly two thirds) of Latvians, under Swedish influences, adopted Lutheranism, while the minority (the remaining third) of Latvians under Poland-Lithuania, Latgale in particular, retained their Catholicism. Aglona, in Latgale, has been the site of annual Catholic pilgrimage for centuries, even through to today.

Recently introduced immigration law in Latvia provides framework for immigration through investment in various financial areas or real estate. In 2012, solely 2,435[15] applications for residence permit by investment in real estate were received by Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs. Main immigrant countries are Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Lithuania (Lithuania is in the European Union, thus no investment is needed). Moreover, Latvia receives residence permit applications from people of nationalities such as Afghans, Chinese, Libyans and people from various other distant countries.

Historical shifts

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1863 1,240,988—    
1897 1,929,387+55.5%
1914 2,552,000+32.3%
1920 1,596,131−37.5%
1925 1,844,805+15.6%
1930 1,900,045+3.0%
1935 1,950,936+2.7%
1943 1,760,162−9.8%
1950 1,943,146+10.4%
1959 2,079,948+7.0%
1970 2,351,903+13.1%
1979 2,502,816+6.4%
1989 2,666,567+6.5%
2000 2,377,383−10.8%
2011 2,070,371−12.9%
2020 1,893,700−8.5%
Source:[16][17]

Latvia's indigenous population has been ravaged numerous times throughout history. The earliest such event occurred during the conquest of Latvia by Peter the Great in the Great Northern War with Sweden.

In 1897, the first official census in this area indicated that Latvians formed 68.3% of the total population of 1.93 million; Russians accounted for 12%, Jews for 7.4%, Germans for 6.2%, and Poles for 3.4%. The remainder were Lithuanians, Estonians, Gypsies, and various other nationalities.

The demographics shifted greatly in the 20th century due to the world wars, the expulsion of the Baltic Germans, the Holocaust, and occupation by the Soviet Union. Today, only the Russian minority, which has tripled in numbers since 1935, remains important. The share of ethnic Latvians fell from 75% (1,472,612) in 1935 to 52% (1,387,757) in 1989, after human loss in World War II and human deportation and other repressive measures.

In 2005, there were even fewer Latvians than in 1989, though their share of the population was larger – 1,357,099 (58.8% of the inhabitants). People who arrived in Latvia during the Soviet era, and their descendants born before 21 August 1991, have to pass a naturalization process to receive Latvian citizenship. Their children born after the restoration of independence in 1991 are registered as citizens, if one of the parents requests it.

Ethnic Latvians have been one of the world's slowest-growing ethnic groups for a century.[18][citation needed] The number of Latvians today is actually less than it was in the 1920s.

Over 130,000 persons have been naturalized as Latvian citizens since 1995, but 290,660 persons, as of March 2011, live in Latvia with non-citizen's passports. Large numbers of Russians, as well as some Ukrainians and Belarusians remained in Latvia after the fall of the Soviet Union.

According to the provisional results of the Population and Housing Census 2011, the total population of Latvia on 1 March 2011 was 2,067,887. Since the previous census in 2000 the country's population decreased by 309,000 or 13%. The proportion of ethnic Latvians increased to 62.1% of the population.[19] Livonians are the other indigenous ethnic group, with about 250 of them remaining.[20] Latgalians are a distinctive subgroup of Latvians inhabiting or coming from Eastern Latvia.

According to rankings provided by the United States Census Bureau—International Data Base (IDB)—Country Rankings, Latvia is estimated to have a population of 1,249,812 in the year 2050.[21]

Immigration

Illegal immigration in Latvia has traditionally been from neighboring countries but now migrants also come from other areas such as Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa.[22] The Latvian government have sought to work with Russia to stem the problem.[23] In 2009 the US State Department criticized Latvia for its treatment of illegal immigrants.[24]

For an immigrant not to become an illegal resident, a permit is required for a foreign national or a stateless person wishing to reside in the Republic of Latvia for more than 90 days within a 6-month period,[25] thus if the person does not acquire himself a residence permit, he will be considered an illegal immigrant.

Largest groups of foreign citizens
Rank Nationality Population (2019)[26]
1  Russia 42,243
2 European Union Lithuania 2,790
3  Ukraine 2,413
4  Belarus 1,630
5 European Union Estonia 611
6 European Union Germany 304
7  Israel 201
8  Armenia 188
9 European Union Poland 176
10  United States 171
11  Kazakhstan 169
12  United Kingdom 151
13  Moldova 134
14  China 128
15  Azerbaijan 118
16  Uzbekistan 115
17 European Union Denmark 96
18  Georgia 88
19 European Union Sweden 86
20 European Union Italy 82

Population

Approximate demographic evolution in Latvia, 1920–2011. NB. the amount of time between each year in the diagramme is not the same which gives a somewhat garbled image of the evolution.
Population percentage at census according to age groups[27][28]
Census year Children Working age Pensioners
1897 41.0 52.8 6.2
1920 38.3 52.9 8.6
1935 30.4 60.3 9.2
1943 29.1 60.6 10.3
1959 30.0 63.2 6.8
1970 23.1 56.2 20.7
1979 21.8 58.3 19.9
1989 22.7 56.6 20.7
2000 18.0 58.9 23.1
2011 14.1 64.1 21.8

On 1 January 2011 the average age was 41.6 years—6 months more than the average age published earlier.

Vital statistics

[29][30]

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia[31]

Average population Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) Total fertility rate Infant mortality rate (per 1000 births) Life expectancy at birth (males) Life expectancy at birth (females)
1920 1,727,000 29,434 33,891 −4,457 17.0 19.6 −2.6 128.4
1921 1,850,000 36,420 25,331 11,089 19.7 13.7 6.0 93.2
1922 1,883,000 41,146 27,553 13,593 21.9 14.6 7.2 90.8
1923 1,909,000 41,796 26,080 15,716 21.9 13.7 8.2 88.4
1924 1,845,000 41,172 28,399 12,773 22.3 15.4 6.9 100.8
1925 1,857,000 41,314 27,683 13,631 22.3 14.9 7.3 107.2
1926 1,871,000 41,073 27,557 13,516 22.0 14.7 7.2 87.9
1927 1,883,000 41,610 28,941 12,669 22.1 15.4 6.7 95.7
1928 1,895,000 39,126 27,299 11,827 20.7 14.4 6.2 96.3
1929 1,900,000 35,673 28,512 7,161 18.8 15.0 3.8 106.7
1930 1,910,000 37,835 27,110 10,725 19.8 14.2 5.6 90.0
1931 1,920,000 36,972 26,891 10,081 19.3 14.0 5.3 86.3
1932 1,931,000 37,366 26,342 11,024 19.4 13.6 5.7 89.3
1933 1,939,000 34,576 26,319 8,257 17.8 13.6 4.3 76.4
1934 1,947,000 33,383 27,065 6,318 17.2 13.9 3.2 95.1
1935 1,953,000 34,419 27,660 6,759 17.6 14.2 3.5 78.9
1936 1,961,000 35,468 27,646 7,822 18.1 14.1 4.0 80.1
1937 1,968,000 34,863 28,083 6,780 17.7 14.3 3.4 85.0
1938 1,978,000 36,386 26,703 9,683 18.4 13.5 4.9 68.1
1939 2,000,000 36,932 27,827 9,105 18.5 13.9 4.6 70.2
1940 1,940,000 37,493 30,355 7,138 19.3 15.7 3.6 73.2
1941 1,755,000 36,295 30,434 5,861 20.7 17.3 3.4 81.7
1942 1,750,000 36,370 29,940 6,430 20.7 17.1 3.6 81.1
1943 1,760,000 35,915 29,904 6,011 20.4 16.9 3.5 93.4
1944 2.30
1945 26,217 32,230 −6,013 111.1
1946 1,553,577 30,544 32,266 -1,722 18.7 19.7 -1.0 93.9
1947 1,716,773 34,832 32,435 2,397 19.5 18.2 1.3 108.7
1948 1,856,419 35,402 26,500 8,902 18.9 14.2 4.7 79.3
1949 1,886,792 35,671 25,640 10,031 18.9 13.6 5.3 83.3
1950 1,884,077 33,137 24,250 8,887 17.6 12.9 4.7 70.0
1951 1,889,974 32,764 23,898 8,866 17.3 12.6 4.7 69.6
1952 1,898,577 32,278 22,680 9,598 16.9 11.9 5.0 52.9
1953 1,912,837 30,986 22,761 8,225 16.1 11.8 4.3 46.8
1954 1,939,138 33,202 22,500 10,702 17.0 11.5 5.5 45.9
1955 1,966,567 32,968 21,330 11,638 16.6 10.8 5.8 42.0
1956 1,995,354 32,590 20,339 12,251 16.1 10.1 6.0 33.9
1957 2,040,978 33,714 21,087 12,627 16.4 10.3 6.1 32.3
1958 2,066,368 35,068 20,910 14,158 16.9 10.1 6.8 29.5
1959 2,079,948 35,028 22,601 12,427 16.7 10.8 5.9 30.8
1960 2,104,128 35,468 21,314 14,154 16.7 10.0 6.7 1.99 27.0
1961 2,137,830 35,993 21,759 14,234 16.7 10.1 6.6 2.01 24.1
1962 2,167,531 35,061 23,592 11,469 16.1 10.8 5.3 1.91 24.2
1963 2,195,640 33,843 22,703 11,140 15.3 10.3 5.0 1.85 25.9
1964 2,226,198 33,053 21,165 11,888 14.8 9.4 5.4 1.79 22.0
1965 2,255,048 31,212 22,780 8,432 13.8 10.1 3.7 1.74 18.9
1966 2,276,789 31,974 23,350 8,624 14.0 10.2 3.8 1.76 17.0
1967 2,289,645 32,232 24,362 7,870 14.0 10.6 3.4 1.80 17.3
1968 2,312,795 32,693 25,104 7,589 14.1 10.8 3.3 1.83 18.9
1969 2,334,443 32,915 26,229 6,686 14.0 11.2 2.8 1.88 17.7
1970 2,351,903 34,333 26,546 7,787 14.6 11.3 3.3 2.01 17.7
1971 2,366,424 35,239 26,275 8,964 14.8 11.1 3.7 2.04 15.9
1972 2,386,353 35,007 27,296 7,711 14.6 11.4 3.2 2.03 16.0
1973 2,404,995 34,008 28,139 5,869 14.1 11.6 2.5 1.96 15.8
1974 2,426,642 34,920 28,143 6,777 14.3 11.5 2.8 2.00 18.4
1975 2,447,730 34,810 30,042 4,768 14.2 12.2 2.0 1.96 20.3
1976 2,464,529 34,644 30,373 4,271 14.0 12.3 1.7 1.93 20.1
1977 2,477,449 34,240 30,869 3,371 13.8 12.4 1.4 1.88 18.3
1978 2,492,697 34,258 31,261 2,997 13.7 12.5 1.2 1.86 18.1
1979 2,503,145 34,683 32,162 2,521 13.8 12.8 1.0 1.87 18.3
1980 2,508,761 35,534 32,100 3,434 14.1 12.8 1.3 1.90 15.3
1981 2,514,640 35,732 32,090 3,642 14.2 12.7 1.5 1.90 16.0
1982 2,524,202 37,477 31,234 6,243 14.8 12.3 2.5 1.98 13.9
1983 2,537,958 40,572 32,330 8,242 15.9 12.7 3.2 2.13 15.9
1984 2,554,063 40,847 33,406 7,441 15.9 13.0 2.9 2.15 12.9
1985 2,570,030 39,751 34,166 5,585 15.4 13.2 2.2 2.09 13.0
1986 2,587,716 41,960 31,328 10,632 16.1 12.0 4.1 2.21 12.8
1987 2,612,068 42,135 32,150 9,985 16.0 12.2 3.8 2.21 11.3
1988 2,641,097 41,275 32,421 8,854 15.6 12.2 3.4 2.16 11.0 66.3 75.0
1989 2,665,770 38,922 32,584 6,338 14.6 12.2 2.4 2.04 11.3 65.3 75.2
1990 2,668,140 37,918 34,812 3,106 14.2 13.1 1.1 2.00 13.7 64.2 74.6
1991 2,658,161 34,633 34,749 -116 13.1 13.1 0.0 1.85 15.7 63.8 74.8
1992 2,643,000 31,569 35,420 -3,851 12.1 13.5 -1.4 1.74 17.6 63.3 74.8
1993 2,585,675 26,759 39,197 -12,438 10.4 15.3 -4.9 1.52 16.2 61.6 73.8
1994 2,540,904 24,256 41,757 -17,501 9.6 16.6 -7.0 1.41 15.7 60.7 72.9
1995 2,500,580 21,595 38,931 -17,336 8.7 15.7 -7.0 1.27 18.8 60.8 73.1
1996 2,469,531 19,782 34,320 -14,538 8.1 14.0 -5.9 1.18 15.9 63.9 75.6
1997 2,444,912 18,830 33,533 -14,703 7.7 13.8 -6.1 1.13 15.3 64.2 75.9
1998 2,420,789 18,410 34,200 -15,790 7.6 14.2 -6.6 1.11 15.0 64.1 75.5
1999 2,399,248 19,396 32,844 -13,448 8.1 13.7 -5.6 1.18 11.3 64.9 76.2
2000 2,381,715 20,302 32,205 -11,903 8.6 13.6 -5.0 1.24 10.3 64.8 76.0
2001 2,353,384 19,726 32,991 -13,265 8.4 14.1 -5.7 1.22 11.0 64.5 75.7
2002 2,320,956 20,127 32,498 -12,371 8.7 14.1 -5.4 1.25 9.8 64.7 76.1
2003 2,299,390 21,151 32,437 -11,286 9.2 14.2 -5.0 1.32 9.4 65.6 76.0
2004 2,276,520 20,551 32,024 -11,473 9.1 14.2 -5.1 1.29 9.3 65.9 76.3
2005 2,249,724 21,879 32,777 -10,898 9.8 14.6 -4.8 1.38 7.7 65.2 76.5
2006 2,227,874 22,871 33,098 -10,227 10.3 14.9 -4.6 1.46 7.4 65.2 76.3
2007 2,208,840 23,958 33,042 -9,084 10.9 15.0 -4.1 1.54 8.5 65.3 76.2
2008 2,191,810 24,397 31,006 -6,609 11.2 14.2 -3.0 1.59 6.6 66.7 77.7
2009 2,162,834 22,044 29,897 -7,853 10.3 14.0 -3.7 1.47 7.6 67.7 77.8
2010 2,120,504 19,781 30,040 -10,259 9.4 14.3 -4.9 1.36 5.6 68.1 78.1
2011 2,074,605 18,825 28,540 -9,715 9.1 13.9 -4.8 1.34 6.6 68.7 78.7
2012 2,044,813 19,897 29,025 -9,128 9.8 14.3 -4.5 1.45 6.3 69.1 78.9
2013 2,023,825 20,596 28,691 -8,095 10.2 14.3 -4.1 1.53 4.4 69.5 79.0
2014 2,001,468 21,746 28,466 -6,720 10.9 14.3 -3.4 1.65 3.8 69.1 79.3
2015 1,986,096 21,979 28,478 -6,499 11.1 14.4 -3.3 1.71 4.1 69.7 79.3
2016 1,968,957 21,968 28,580 -6,612 11.2 14.6 -3.4 1.74 3.7 69.8 79.4
2017 1,950,116 20,828 28,757 -7,929 10.7 14.8 -4.1 1.70 4.1 69.8 79.6
2018 1,934,379 19,314 28,820 -9,506 10.0 15.0 -5.0 1.61 3.2 70.0 79.6
2019 1,919,968 18,786 27,719 -8,933 9.8 14.5 -4.7 1.61 3.4 70.8 79.9
2020p 1,907,675 17,376 28,537 −11,161 9.1 14.9 -5.8
2021 1,893,700

Current vital statistics

[32]

Period Live births Deaths Natural increase
January - March 2020 4,265 7,032 -2,767
January - March 2021 4,024 8,976 -4,952
Difference Decrease -241 (-5.65%) Negative increase +1,944 (+27.65%) Decrease -2,185

Ethnic groups

Latvians have always been the largest ethnic group in Latvia during the past century, but minority peoples have always been numerous. Before World War 2, the proportion of non-Latvians was approximately 25%, the Russians being the largest minority (approx. 10%), followed by Jews (approx. 5%), Germans and Poles (2–3%). After World War 2 only small numbers of Jews and Germans remained and following mass colonization of Russians, Latvians almost became a minority. There were also settlers from Belarus and Ukraine. In 1989, the proportion of Latvians had decreased to only 52% (from 75.5% in 1935). Despite the decreasing number of Latvians due to low fertility rates, the proportion of Latvians has considerably increased during the past two decades and reached 62.1% in 2011 (slightly higher than the 62.0% in 1959). This is due to large scale emigration of Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians. The number of these peoples almost halved between 1989 and 2011.[citation needed]

Population of Latvia according to ethnic group 1925–2017
Ethnic
group
census 1925[33] census 1935[33] census 1959[34] census 1970[35] census 1979[36] census 1989[37] census 2000[38] census 2011[19] statistics 2018[39]
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
Latvians 1,354,126 73.4 1,472,612 75.5 1,297,881 62.0 1,341,805 56.8 1,344,105 53.7 1,387,757 52.0 1,370,703 57.7 1,285,136 62.1 1,202,781 62.2
Russians 193,648 10.5 206,499 10.6 556,448 26.6 704,599 29.8 821,464 32.8 905,515 34.0 703,243 29.6 557,119 26.9 487,250 25.2
Belarusians 38,010 2.1 26,867 1.4 61,587 2.9 94,898 4.0 111,505 4.5 119,702 4.5 97,150 4.1 68,202 3.3 62,713 3.2
Ukrainians[40][41] 512 0.03 1,844 0.09 29,440 1.4 53,461 2.3 66,703 2.7 92,101 3.5 63,644 2.7 45,798 2.2 43,128 2.2
Poles 51,143 2.8 48,949 2.5 59,774 2.9 63,045 2.7 62,690 2.5 60,416 2.3 59,505 2.5 44,772 2.2 39,687 2.1
Lithuanians 23,192 1.3 22,913 1.2 32,383 1.6 40,589 1.7 37,818 1.5 34,630 1.3 33,430 1.4 24,479 1.2 22,831 1.2
Roma 2,870 0.2 3,839 0.2 4,301 0.2 5,427 0.2 6,134 0.3 7,044 0.3 8,205 0.3 6,489 0.3 5,082 0.3
Jews 95,675 5.2 93,479 4.8 36,592 1.8 36,680 1.6 28,331 1.1 22,897 0.9 10,385 0.4 6,437 0.3 4,721 0.2
Germans 70,964 3.8 62,144 3.2 1,609 0.08 5,413 0.2 3,299 0.1 3,783 0.1 3,465 0.1 3,042 0.1 2,554 0.1
Estonians 7,893 0.4 7,014 0.4 4,610 0.2 4,334 0.2 3,681 0.2 3,312 0.1 2,652 0.1 2,007 0.1 1,676 0.09
Livonians 1,268 0.07 944 0.05 185 0.01 48 0.0 107 0.0 135 0.01 180 0.01 250 0.01 161 0.01
Others 5,504 0.3 3,398 0.2 8,648 0.4 13,828 0.6 16,979 0.7 29,275 1.1 24,824 1.1 26,640 1.3 61,795 3.2
Total 1,844,805 1,950,502 2,093,458 2,364,127 2,502,816 2,666,567 2,377,383 2,070,371 1,934,379
Латвия.ру.png Ethnic groups in Latvia.png Smaller minorities in Latvia.jpg
Distribution of Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians in 2011 Number of ethnic Latvians and Russians 1925–2009 Numbers of smaller ethnic minorities 1925–2009

Languages

Main language spoken at home in Latvia, 2011 census[42]
Latvian
62.1%
Russian
37.2%
Other
0.7%

In the 2011 census, 1,164,894 persons in Latvia reported Latvian as their main language spoken at home; 698,757 respondents listed Russian as their main language spoken at home,[42] representing 37.2% of the total population, whereas Latvian was recorded as the main language spoken at home for 62.1%.[45] Latvian was spoken as a second language by 20.8% of the population, and 43.7% spoke Russian as a second language.[46] In total, 71% of ethnic Latvians said they could speak Russian, and 52% of Russians could speak Latvian in the 2000 census.[47]

Main language spoken at home in Latvia, end 2017 data[48]
Latvian
64.0%
Russian
34.6%
Other
1.4%

In August 2019, the Central Statistical Bureau published new data indicating that Latvian was the native language of 60.8% of Latvia's population per 1 January 2018, a 2.6% increase compared to the 2000 census. 62.2% of the population was 'ethnically Latvian'. The percentage of native Latvian speakers increased in all statistical regions, especially in the Rīga capital region and Pierīga region around it (4.6%). The number of native Russian speakers dropped in all regions; in Latgale, the number of native Russian speakers also dropped, although their percentage remained the same at 55.5%, the highest of the country. Compared to the 2011 census, the share of people speaking Latvian at home rose by 1.9%, while the number of Russian home speakers dropped by 2.6%. 90.7% of ethnic Russians indicated they spoke Russian at home, while 8.5% of them indicated they spoke Latvian at home. Inter-linguistic marriage was an important factor why, for example, some non-native Latvian speakers who married native Latvian speakers switched to speaking Latvian at home. The percentage of Russian home speakers gradually increased with age from 30.0% amongst 0–4-year-olds to 44.2% amongst 55–64-year-olds, while Latvian home speakers gradually decreased with age from 69.2% amongst 0–4-year-olds to 55.0% amongst 55–64-year-olds, indicating that children in Latvia are increasingly being raised and educated in Latvian.[48]

Religion

Religion in Latvia (2011)[49]
Lutheranism
34.2%
Roman Catholicism
24.1%
Russian Orthodox
17.8%
Old Believers
1.6%
Other Christian
1.2%
Other or none
21.1%

The largest religion in Latvia is Christianity (79%),[49] though only about 7% of the population attends religious services regularly.[50] The largest groups as of 2011 were:

In the Eurobarometer Poll 2010, 38% of Latvian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", while 48% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 11% stated that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".

Lutheranism was more prominent before the Soviet occupation, when it was a majority religion of ~60% due to strong historical links with the Nordic countries and influence of the Hansa, and Germany in general. Since then, Lutheranism has declined to a slightly greater extent than Roman Catholicism in all three Baltic states. The Evangelical Lutheran Church, with an estimated 600,000 members in 1956, was affected most adversely. An internal document of 18 March 1987, near the end of communist rule, spoke of an active membership that had shrunk to only 25,000 in Latvia, but the faith has since experienced a revival.[51] Moreover, modern Evangelical Protestant denominations are spreading worldwide, including Latvia. The country's Orthodox Christians belong to the Latvian Orthodox Church, a semi-autonomous body within the Russian Orthodox Church. In 2011, there were 416 Jews and 319 Muslims living in Latvia.[49]

There are more than 600 Latvian neopagans, Dievturi, whose religion is based on Latvian mythology.[52] About 21% of the total population is not affiliated with a specific religion.[49]

See also

References

  1. ^ "IRS010m. Population and main data of vital statistics 1995M01 - 2021M03". Statistikas datubāzes. Archived from the original on 12 May 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Latvia Population (2021) - Worldometer". www.worldometers.info. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  3. ^ "IDG140. Crude births rate in regions, cities under state jurisdiction and counties (per 1000 population)". Statistikas datubāzes. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
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