Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia, is located in the Baltic region of Northern Europe where it is bordered by Russia, Belarus, Estonia, Lithuania, and a maritime border with Sweden.
Latvia's estimated population is 1.89 million, which is lower than the population of 2.07 million at the last census in 2011. Latvia has a relatively low density of just 34 people per square kilometer (89/sq mi), which ranks 166th in the world. Latvia is currently the third-poorest country in the European Union and about 30,000 people leave the country each year, most of whom are young and well educated. This is most visible in the capital of Riga, which is becoming a ghost town.
While Latvia's population has been diverse for many centuries, its demographics began to change in the 20th century during the World Wars, occupation by the Soviet Union, the Holocaust, and the emigration and expulsion of Baltic Germans. Latvians made up 68% of the 1.83 million population in 1897, Russians accounted for 12%, Jews made up 7.4%, Germans made up 6.2% and Poles accounted for 3.4%.
In 2011, Latvians and Livonians, the indigenous people of the area, accounted for 62% of the population, followed by Russians (26.9%), Belarusians (3.3%), Ukrainians (2.2%), Poles (2.2%), Lithuanians (1.2%), Jews (0.2%), Romani (0.3%), Germans (0.1%), Estonians (0.1%) and other groups (1.3%). There are about 290,000 non-citizens in the country, which represents 14% of the population.
Ethnic Latvians are a minority in many cities such as Daugavpils. The percentage of ethnic Latvians is steadily growing, even though their numbers are dropping.