Latvian (latviešu valoda [ˈlatviɛʃu ˈvaluɔda]), also known as Lettish, is an Eastern Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family, spoken in the Baltic region. It is the language of Latvians and the official language of Latvia as well as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 1.3 million native Latvian speakers in Latvia and 100,000 abroad. Altogether, 2 million, or 80% of the population of Latvia, speak Latvian. Of those, around 1.16 million or 62% used it as their primary language at home.
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|1.75 million (2015)|
|Latin (Latvian alphabet)|
Official language in
Use of Latvian as the primary language at home in 2011 by municipalities of Latvia
As a Baltic language, Latvian is most closely related to neighboring Lithuanian; however Latvian has followed a more rapid development. In addition, there is some disagreement whether Latgalian and Kursenieki, which are mutually intelligible with Latvian, should be considered varieties or separate languages.