At home Latvian is spoken by 62% of Latvian population; the majority – in Vidzeme and Lubāna county
According to the data of Population and Housing Census 2011 conducted by the Central Statistical Bureau, the mostly used language at home is Latvian which is used by 62.1% of population. The second most popular language spoken at home is Russian (spoken by 37.2% of population). Other languages, for example, Belorussian, Ukrainian, Polish, Lithuanian, etc. are spoken at home by 0.7% of population.
Comparing regions of Latvia, it can be seen that in Vidzeme region 91.2% of population speak Latvian, in Kurzeme – 79.7%, in Zemgale – 76.0% and in Pierīga – 73.5% of population. But in Latgale (60.3%) and Riga (55.8%) language mostly spoken at home is Russian.
Lubāna county is the most Latvian in means of the language use, because 99.4% of population at home speak Latvian, and only 0.5% speak Russian; but 0.1% - speak other languages. In Zilupe county population mostly speak Russian at home – 92.1%, Latvian is spoken by 7.7%, but other languages – by 0.2%. Compared to other cities and counties, mostly (by 4.1% of population) Lithuanian is spoken in Priekule county which is located very close to Lithuanian border. Languages mostly spoken at home in Latvian regions are depicted in the chart.
Languages mostly spoken at home in regions (thsd pers.)
Data source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia
Subtype of Latvian language – Latgalian – is daily used by 8.8% of population. By regions Latgalian is mostly used daily in Latgale – 35.5% of Latgalian population; but in counties over 80% of population speak Latgalian daily in Cibla (87.5%), Baltinava (85.8%), Kārsava (84.2%) and Vārkava (82.9%) counties. The least Latgalian is spoken in Kurzeme – only by 1.5% of population, as well as in Riga, Pierīga, Vidzeme and Zemgale - by 4.2-5% of population.
On September 26 European Day of Languages is already celebrated for the tenth time. European Day of Languages encourages to draw society’s attention to the diversity of languages, to evaluate the meaning of own native tongue and to realize how important lifelong learning of languages is.
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