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ID number:520373
Published: 28.12.2010.
Language: English
Level: College/University
Literature: n/a
References: Not used
Time period viewed: 2008.g. - 2009.g.

As a result of the Soviet occupation, Latvia’s ethnic composition changed significantly: the proportion of ethnic Latvians fell from at least 80% before the Second World War to 52% percent in 1989, and would evidently have continued to fall, had Latvia not regained its independence. Meanwhile, the proportion of Russians grew from under 9% before the Second World War to as much as 30% in 1989. Also, the Belarusian population has increased fivefold since the war, and the Ukrainian minority appeared only in the Soviet period. The number of Poles and Lithuanians has remained approximately the same, while the Roma community has grown several times over, due to their high birth rate. There are marked differences in the geographical distribution of the different ethnic groups. Thus, Latvians predominate significantly in the countryside and in the small towns of the Kurzeme and Vidzeme regions, and to a lesser extent also in the country districts of the Zemgale region and in the environs of Rīga. …

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