In 2011, there were 416 religious Jews, 319 Muslims and 102 Hindus. Most of the Hindus are native converts from the work of the Hare Krishna movement; some are international employees from India. As of 2004 there have been greater than 600 Latvian neopagans, Dievturi , whose faith is predicated on Latvian mythology. About 21% of the entire inhabitants just isn’t affiliated with a selected religion. The sole official language of Latvia is Latvian, which belongs to the Baltic language sub-group of the Balto-Slavic department of the Indo-European language family.
Albeit having experienced a difficult transition to a liberal economic system and its re-orientation towards Western Europe, Latvia is likely one of the quickest growing economies in the European Union. In 2014, Riga was the European Capital of Culture, the euro was introduced because the foreign money of the nation and a Latvian was named vice-president of the European Commission. In 2015 Latvia held the presidency of Council of the European Union. Big European events have been celebrated in Riga such as the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 and the European Film Awards 2014. In the second half of the 1980s, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev started to introduce political and financial reforms in the Soviet Union that were known as glasnost and perestroika.
There have been 290,660 “non-residents” residing in Latvia or 14.1% of Latvian residents, primarily Russian settlers who arrived after the occupation of 1940 and their descendants. According to the Russian Empire Census of 1897, Latvians formed 68.3% of the total inhabitants of 1.ninety three million; Russians accounted for 12%, Jews for 7.4%, Germans for 6.2%, and Poles for 3.four%. Latvia is a member of the World Trade Organization and the European Union . On 1 January 2014, the Euro became the country’s currency, superseding the Lats.
The Latvian SSR, along with the opposite Baltic Republics was allowed greater autonomy, and in 1988, the old pre-warfare Flag of Latvia flew again, replacing the Soviet Latvian flag because the official flag in 1990. Since Latvia had maintained a nicely-developed infrastructure and educated specialists, Moscow decided to base a few of the Soviet Union’s most advanced manufacturing in Latvia. New business was created in Latvia, together with a serious equipment manufacturing unit RAF in Jelgava, electrotechnical factories in Riga, chemical factories in Daugavpils, Valmiera and Olaine—and a few food and oil processing vegetation. However, there were not sufficient individuals to function the newly constructed factories. To keep and expand industrial production, skilled employees were migrating from all over the Soviet Union, lowering the proportion of ethnic Latvians within the republic.
Since the early 1990s, Latvia has been concerned in energetic trilateral Baltic states co-operation with its neighbours Estonia and Lithuania, and Nordic-Baltic co-operation with the Nordic nations. The Baltic Council is the joint forum of the interparliamentary Baltic Assembly and the intergovernmental Baltic Council of Ministers . Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB-8) is the joint co-operation of the governments of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden. Nordic-Baltic Six (NB-6), comprising Nordic-Baltic nations which are European Union member states, is a framework for meetings on EU-related points.
Interparliamentary co-operation between the Baltic Assembly and Nordic Council was signed in 1992 and since 2006 annual conferences are held in addition to common conferences on different ranges. Joint Nordic-Baltic co-operation initiatives embody the education programme NordPlus and mobility programmes for public administration, business and trade and tradition. Language and citizenship legal guidelines have been opposed by many Russophones.
In the summer season of 1987, the first massive demonstrations have been held in Riga at the Freedom Monument—an emblem of independence. In the summer latvian women dating of 1988, a national movement, coalescing in the Popular Front of Latvia, was opposed by the Interfront.
English can be extensively accepted in Latvia in enterprise and tourism. As of 2014 there have been 109 schools for minorities that use Russian because the language of instruction (27% of all students) for forty% of subjects (the remaining 60% of subjects are taught in Latvian). As of March 2011, Latvians type about 62.1% of the inhabitants, while 26.9% are Russians, Belarusians three.3%, Ukrainians 2.2%, Poles 2.2%, Lithuanians 1.2%, Jews 0.3%, Romani people zero.three%, Germans 0.1%, Estonians zero.1% and others 1.three%.
Thus, the mostly peasant local pagan heritage was preserved, partly merging with Christian traditions. For example, one of the most popular celebrations is Jāņi, a pagan celebration of the summer time solstice—which Latvians rejoice on the feast day of St. John the Baptist. Latvia closed 131 colleges between 2006 and 2010, which is a 12.9% decline, and in the identical period enrolment in educational establishments has fallen by over 54,000 people, a 10.3% decline. The University of Latvia and Riga Technical University are two main universities in the nation, each established on the basis of Riga Polytechnical Institute and located in Riga. Other necessary universities, which were established on the bottom of State University of Latvia, include the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies and Riga Stradiņš University .
In January 2011, the Baltic states were invited to affix NORDEFCO, the defence framework of the Nordic nations. In November 2012, the three countries agreed to create a joint military employees in 2013.
Citizenship was not automatically extended to former Soviet residents who settled during the Soviet occupation, or to their offspring. Children born to non-nationals after the reestablishment of independence are routinely entitled to citizenship. Approximately seventy two% of Latvian residents are Latvian, while 20% are Russian; less than 1% of non-residents are Latvian, while seventy one% are Russian. The authorities denationalized non-public property confiscated by the Soviets, returning it or compensating the house owners for it, and privatized most state-owned industries, reintroducing the prewar forex.
The University of Daugavpils is one other important centre of schooling. The nation’s Orthodox Christians belong to the Latvian Orthodox Church, a semi-autonomous physique throughout the Russian Orthodox Church.
According to statistics in late 2013, forty five% of the population supported the introduction of the euro, while 52% opposed it. Following the introduction of the Euro, Eurobarometer surveys in January 2014 showed help for the Euro to be round fifty three%, near the European common. Future co-operation will embody sharing of nationwide infrastructures for coaching purposes and specialisation of training areas and collective formation of battalion-sized contingents to be used in the NATO rapid-response drive.