STAUNTON - Low birthrates and the flight of young people to work elsewhere in Europe are driving down both the urban and rural population of the Republic of Latvia. Its total is now roughly equivalent to what it was a century ago, and European experts predict a further decline of 20 percent within five years.
Latvia is not an exception in the region, but three aspects of this demographic decline are especially worrisome: the rural part of the country is emptying out, with 84 villages having ceased to exist in the last year alone. Many of those headed West are ethnic Russi...
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