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Baltic states, northeastern region of Europe comprise the nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, top top the eastern shores the the Baltic Sea.


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The Baltic states are bounded ~ above the west and north through the Baltic Sea, which gives the an ar its name, ~ above the east by Russia, ~ above the southeast by Belarus, and also on the southwest by Poland and an exclave that Russia. The underlying geology is sandstone, shale, and limestone, confirmed by hilly uplands that alternate with low-lying plains and bear mute testimony to the influence of the glacial era. In fact, glacial shop in the kind of eskers, moraines, and drumlins happen in profusion and also tend to disrupt the drainage pattern, which results in regular flooding. The Baltic an ar is dotted with more than 7,000 lakes and also countless peat bogs, swamps, and also marshes. A multitude of rivers, especially the Neman (Lithuanian: Nemunas) and Western Dvina (Latvian: Daugava), empty northwestward right into the Baltic Sea.

The climate is cool and damp, with better rainfall in the interior uplands than along the coast. Temperatures space moderate in comparison with other locations of the east European Plain, such as in adjoining Russia. Regardless of its extensive agriculture, the Baltic region remains more than one-third forested. Trees that adapt to the regularly poorly drained soil space common, such as birches and also conifers. Among the pets that inhabit the an ar are elk, boar, roe deer, wolves, hares, and also badgers.

The Latvian and also Lithuanian peoples speak language belonging to the Baltic branch of the Indo-European linguistic family and also are generally known together Balts. The Estonian (and Livonian) peoples, that are thought about Finnic peoples, speak languages of the Finno-Ugric family and constitute the main point of the southerly branch of the Baltic Finns. Culturally, the Estonians were strongly affected by the Germans, and traces of the initial Finnish culture have been maintained only in folklore. The Latvians likewise were significantly Germanized, and also the majority of both the Estonians and also the Latvians belong to the Lutheran church. However, many Lithuanians, linked historically with Poland, are Roman Catholic.


The vast bulk of country Estonians, Latvians, and also Lithuanians live in ~ the borders of their respective states. In every three nations virtually everyone among the titular nationalities speaks the indigenous tongue together their very first language, i beg your pardon is impressive in light of the massive Russian immigration to the Baltic states throughout the second fifty percent of the 20th century. Initially, attempts to Russify the Baltic peoples were overt, but later they were moderated together Russian immigration soared and the sheer load of the immigrant numbers just served to promote this target in less-blatant ways. Freedom from the Soviet Union in 1991 permitted the Baltic states to ar controls ~ above immigration, and, in the te following, the Russian presence in Baltic life diminished. At the start of the 21st century, the titular nationalities of Lithuania and also Estonia accounting for about four-fifths and two-thirds that the countries’ populations, respectively, while ethnic Latvians comprised just less than three-fifths of your nation’s population. Approximately this time, Poles overshadowed Russians together the largest minority in Lithuania. Urban dwellers constitute much more than two-thirds that the ar population, with the biggest cities being Vilnius and also Kaunas in southeastern Lithuania, the Latvian resources of Riga, and also Tallinn top top the northwestern coast of Estonia. Life span in the Baltic says is comparatively short by european standards, as are the prices of herbal increase, i beg your pardon were negative in all three countries at the start of the 21st century, owing in part to an aging population. Overall population fell in every of the Baltic says in the years following independence, primarily since of the return emigration that Russians come Russia, as well as other out-migration to west Europe and also North America. In part cases, Russians took on the nationalities the their embraced Baltic countries and also were hence counted amongst the ethnic majorities.

After the breakup that the Soviet Union, the Baltic claims struggled to make a shift to a market economic climate from the device of Soviet nationwide planning that had remained in place since the finish of world War II. A highly productive region for the former U.S.S.R., the Baltic states catered to economies of scale in output and regional specialization in industry—for example, manufacturing electrical motors, maker tools, and radio receivers. Latvia, for example, to be a leading producer that Soviet radio receivers. Throughout the 1990s privatization accelerated, national currencies were reintroduced, and non-Russian international investment increased.

Agriculture remains necessary to the Baltic economy, v potatoes, cereal grains, and fodder crops produced and also dairy cattle and pigs raised. Timbering and also fisheries enjoy modest success. The Baltic an ar is not wealthy in natural resources. Though Estonia is an important producer of oil shale, a huge share of mineral and energy resources is imported. Low energy supplies, inflationary prices, and an financial collapse in Russia added to an energy crisis in the Baltics in the 1990s. Industry in the Baltic claims is prominent, particularly the production of food and also beverages, textiles, timber products, and electronics and the traditional stalwarts of maker building and metal fabricating. The 3 states have the highest productivity of the former constituent republics that the Soviet Union.

Shortly ~ attaining independence, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania abandoned the Russian ruble in favour of new domestic currencies (the kroon, lats, and litas, respectively), which, together they strengthened, substantially improved foreign trade. The main trading partners external the region are Russia, Germany, Finland, and Sweden. The financial security of the Baltic countries was an important prerequisite to your entering the europe Union and the north Atlantic Treaty organization in 2004. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania each embraced the euro as its common currency in 2011, 2014, and 2015, respectively.

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This short article covers the history of the an ar from antiquity to the post-Soviet period. Extr information ~ above the ar physical and human location can be found in the short article Europe. For discussion of the physical and also human geography as well as the background of individual countries in the region, see Estonia, Latvia, and also Lithuania. Area 67,612 square miles (175,116 square km). Pop. (2020 est.) 5,841,000.