Area: 64,589 sq. km. (24,938 sq. mi.)
Cities (2008): Capital--Riga (717,371). Other cities--Daugavpils (105,958); Liepaja (85,050); Jelgava (65,635); Jurmala (55,580); Ventspils (43,299); Rezekne (35,883).
Terrain: Fertile low-lying plains predominate in central Latvia, highlands in Vidzeme and Latgale to the east, and hilly moraine in the western Kurzeme region. Forests cover one-third of the country, with over 3,000 small lakes and numerous bogs. Although there are more than 12,000 rivers in the country, the only major waterways are the Daugava (Dvina) River, which flows through the center of the country and empties into the Gulf of Rîga, and the Gauja River, which rises in the Vidzeme Upland.
Land use: 20% arable land, 8% meadows and pastures, 45% forest and woodland, 27% other.
Climate: Temperate, maritime, with four seasons of almost equal length. Average temperatures in January range from -3°C (26.6°F) in the western, coastal town of Liepaja, to -6.7°C (19.9°F) in the inland town of Daugavpils. Mean temperatures for July range from 14,3°C (57.7°F) in Liepaja to 15.7°C (60.3°F) in Daugavpils. Annual precipitation averages 57 centimeters (23 in.).