Riga Population 2018

Riga is Latvia’s capital city. In addition to being the capital, it is also the largest city by population, with over one-third of the country’s population living within the city.

Population Size of Riga

It is also the most populous across all of the Baltic states, boasting a population of 641,423 per 2017 data.

City Size and Population Density

The city has an overall area of 125 square miles (324 kilometers squared), with a population density of 5,100 people per square mile (2,000/km2). In addition to having a large population, Riga is also a popular tourist destination, with 2.3 million visitors coming to the city in 2016. The metro area, known as the Riga Planning Region, has a population that exceeds 1 million as of 2017.

Demographics of Riga Population

Over 44% of Riga residents are native to Latvia. Latvians made up 44.03% of the population of Riga, while ethnic Russians formed 37.88%, Belarusians 3.72%, Ukrainians 3.66%, Poles 1.83% and other ethnicities 8.10%. There is also a high percentage of Russian residents, making up over 37% of the population. Other ethnicities include Ukrainians, Poles and Belarusians. The high rate of Russians living in Riga is expected to decline in the years to come as emigration continues.

History Notes

Latvia, with Riga as its capital city, declared its independence on 18 November 1918 after the Armistice forced a previous treaty to be renounced. Latvia was occupied by the Soviet Union in June 1940 and then was occupied by Nazi Germany in 1941–1944. The Rumbula massacre occurred near this time as well, very close to Riga.

Population Growth in Riga

Despite having the highest population in the country, it has actually declined from numbers posted in the 1990s. During that time, the population exceeded 900,000 but has dropped in recent years due to low birth rates and emigration. In fact, the city has been predicted to see its population cut in half by the year 2050 due to continued emigration and low birth rates.

Riga Population in 2018Source: By Bj�rn Erik Pedersen [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Riga Population Data (Urban Area)

Year Population Growth Rate (%) Growth
2035588,489-0.45%-13,483
2030601,972-0.45%-13,792
2025615,764-0.48%-14,928
2020630,692-0.50%-6,397
2018637,089-0.45%-8,726
2015645,815-0.57%-18,830
2010664,645-1.35%-46,888
2005711,533-1.35%-50,181
2000761,714-1.58%-63,274
1995824,988-1.83%-79,832
1990904,8200.56%25,032
1985879,7880.94%40,014
1980839,7741.34%54,181
1975785,5931.55%57,999
1970727,5941.99%68,330
1965659,2641.99%61,897
1960597,3671.99%56,114
1955541,2531.99%50,830
1950490,4230.00%
Riga Population Growth

Riga's 2018 population is now estimated at 637,089. In 1950, the population of Riga was 490,423. Riga has grown by -8,726 since 2015, which represents a -0.45% annual change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Riga, which typically includes Riga's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Data Sources
  1. World Urbanization Prospects - United Nations population estimates and projections of major Urban Agglomerations