Honored as the European Capital of Culture in 2014 when it hosted the World Choir Games, Riga is Latvia’s capital city. The Republic of Latvia is one of three Baltic states in the Northern European Baltic region–the other two being Estonia and Lithuania. Riga serves as a key economic and financial center for the Baltic states.
Riga accounts for over half of its country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and generates more than half of Latvian exports.
Latvia exported US$11.4 billion worth of products around the globe in 2016. Highest-value Latvian exports include sawn wood, smartphones, refined petroleum and wheat.
Capital city Riga benefits from Riga Port which is one of the largest ports in the Baltics.
Capital Facts for Riga, Latvia: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Riga Town Hall Square, House of Blackheads, Freedom Monument (Brivibas Piemineklis), Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum, Latvian Academy of Sciences building, Latvian National Theater, St. Mary’s Dome Cathedral and St. Peter’s Church
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Riga, Latvia:
- Mikhail Baryshnikov, ballet dancer (born Jan. 27, 1948)
- Ksenia Solo, actress (born Oct. 8, 1987)
- Aminata Savadogo, pop singer (born Jan. 9, 1993)
- Zemgus Girgensons, professional NHL hockey player (born Jan. 5, 1994)
- Elina Garanca, opera singer (born Sep. 16, 1976)
- Baiba Klints, dancer & choreographer (born Nov. 12, 1988)
- Inguna Butane, model (born Feb. 24, 1986)
- Inese Galante, opera singer (born Mar. 12, 1954)
- Ginta Lapina, model (born Jun. 30, 1989)
- Raitis Ivanāns, professional NHL hockey enforcer (born Jan. 3, 1979)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Riga resident of Riga: Rīdzinieki
Population: 696,593 (Riga)
Density: 6,966 people per square mile (2,690 per square kilometer)
Population: 1,965,686 (Latvia)
Density: 82 people per square mile (32 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$49.08 billion in 2015 (for Latvia, per CIA World Factbook)
GDP per person: $24,700
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Riga were unavailable.
Official currency used in Riga: euro
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data). Accessed on January 12, 2017
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas. Accessed on January 12, 2017
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition. Accessed on January 12, 2017
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition. Accessed on January 12, 2017
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 2, 2017
Official Government Website, Riga City Council Informative Portal. Accessed on January 12, 2017
The World Factbook, Europe: Latvia, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on January 12, 2017
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags. Accessed on January 12, 2017
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Riga. Accessed on January 12, 2017
Wikipedia, Latvia. Accessed on January 12, 2017
Including nearby communities, Riga covers a built-up urban land area measuring 100 square miles (259 square kilometers) with an estimated population of 696,593 residents in 2015.
A member state of the European Union since May 1, 2004, Latvia was home to almost two million people as of July 2016. Latvia’s national borders contain a land area equal to 24,034 square miles (62,249 square kilometers).
Population density is much more concentrated within Latvia’s capital city Riga with an average 7,000 residents per square mile (2,700 per square kilometer).
At the country level, density drops significantly to an average 82 Latvians per square mile (32 per square kilometer).
Latvians celebrate Independence Day each May 4 since 1990, the date Latvian independence from the Soviet Union was declared and Latvia’s statehood was restored.