Latvian is the native language of just over 64 percent of the population of that country, according to a recent survey.
This reflects the 18-69 age-group, public broadcaster LSM reports; when confined to the slightly smaller 25-64 year-old-range, the figure for all surveyed, regardless of their native language, who can understand Latvian "even if just a little," the figure rises to just over 83 percent.
The survey quizzed 8,764 respondents over the years 2021-2022 and deployed Eurostat methodologies, LSM says.
The second-most common native language in Latvia is Russian, spoken as a first language by 37.7 percent of the populace, according to the survey. Other native languages fall below the 2-percent level, and include Ukrainian and Latgalian, a Baltic language closely related to Latvian. Unsurprisingly the latter proportion rises inside Latgale, Latvia's easternmost region, itself, though even then only 8.4 percent of residents reported it as their mother tongue.
When asked about everyday language at home, 62 percent of respondents said Latvian was used, and a little under 35 percent, Russian. Latgalian came to 1.2 percent nationwide; the remaining languages made up 2.2 percent of the total.
Those respondents who reported Latvian to be their main second language and who put their level at "proficient" cam to 35.7 percent, while 35.8 percent said they were "independent" users (i.e., can deal with most situations, enter unprepared into conversation on familiar topics).
Of the remainder (again, solely of those whose primary "foreign" language is Latvian), 24.3 percent reported they were basic users.
Russian was reported as the most commonly known foreign language (91.3 percent of respondents); English 64 percent.
Editor: Andrew Whyte