Latvia: Stats show country is one of the fattest, biggest smokers and least ... trends now

Latvia: Stats show country is one of the fattest, biggest smokers and least ... trends now
Latvia: Stats show country is one of the fattest, biggest smokers and least ... trends now

Latvia: Stats show country is one of the fattest, biggest smokers and least ... trends now

It was yesterday crowned the boozing capital of Europe.

But Latvia doesn't just top the table in regards of the amount of alcohol it downs every year.

A catalogue of fascinating data yesterday revealed the ex-Soviet state, situated in the Baltics, is also one of the continent's fattest. 

Its unflattering accolades do not stop there, however. Latvia, a popular destination for boozy stag dos because of its dirt-cheap beer, has one of Europe's highest smoking rates and lowest life expectancies.   

Latvia ranked joint fifth for obesity, with 58 per cent of adults classed as overweight in 2019. It rose slightly from the 57 per cent recorded in 2014, with rate soaring in all countries across Europe over the five years

Latvia ranked joint fifth for obesity, with 58 per cent of adults classed as overweight in 2019. It rose slightly from the 57 per cent recorded in 2014, with rate soaring in all countries across Europe over the five years

Latvia's high ranking was largely driven by its female population. Women in the country were the fourth fattest in Europe (56 per cent), while it ranked 20th for men (60.1 per cent)

Latvia's high ranking was largely driven by its female population. Women in the country were the fourth fattest in Europe (56 per cent), while it ranked 20th for men (60.1 per cent)

Meanwhile, Latvia also had one of the highest smoking rates in Europe. Some 22.6 per cent of Latvian adults smoked regularly in 2020, the ninth highest in the 34 countries analysed by the OECD

Meanwhile, Latvia also had one of the highest smoking rates in Europe. Some 22.6 per cent of Latvian adults smoked regularly in 2020, the ninth highest in the 34 countries analysed by the OECD

Men were behind Latvia's high ranking in 2019, with 35.2 per cent of the male population being smokers — the fifth highest of any country. In contrast, just 12.3 per cent of women smoked, fewer than the EU average (23.7 per cent), Britain (15.3 per cent) and ranking the country 24th

 Men were behind Latvia's high ranking in 2019, with 35.2 per cent of the male population being smokers — the fifth highest of any country. In contrast, just 12.3 per cent of women smoked, fewer than the EU average (23.7 per cent), Britain (15.3 per cent) and ranking the country 24th

The OECD data also showed Latvia has one of the lowest life expectancies in the EU. Babies born in 2021 have a life expectancy of just 73.4 years old, the third lowest of all countries in the the bloc

The OECD data also showed Latvia has one of the lowest life expectancies in the EU. Babies born in 2021 have a life expectancy of just 73.4 years old, the third lowest of all countries in the the bloc

Picturesque Riga is Latvia's capital and is a popular destination for tourists due to its historic old town and sights

Picturesque Riga is Latvia's capital and is a popular destination for tourists due to its historic old town and sights

The city has also become a stag do hotspot, owing to its cheap beer prices and easy flights. Pictured: A group of Brits on a stag do party in Riga

The city has also become a stag do hotspot, owing to its cheap beer prices and easy flights. Pictured: A group of Brits on a stag do party in Riga

Latvia Q&A: What is the former Soviet state's national drink and capital?

National drink

Latvia's most famous alcohol export is Riga Black Balsam.

The dark liquor has a secret recipe, which is bittersweet and has notes of  birch, lime, ginger, cocoa, liquorice baking spices and berries.

National dish

While no single meal can confidently claim to be Latvia's national dish, the peculiar Aukstā Zupa certainly stands out from the crowd.

The cold, pink soup is so thick a spoon can sit on it, and is made from pickled beets, potatoes, cucumber, boiled eggs and boiled sausage.

Capital

Picturesque Riga is a popular destination for tourists due to its historic old town and sights.

It has also become a stag do destination, owing to its cheap beer prices and easy flights. 

Population

1.89million 

Area

64,589 sqkm

Languages

Latvian, Livonian, Latgalian

Advertisement

The data comes from an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report.

Latvia ranked joint fifth for obesity, with 58 per cent of adults classed as overweight in 2019.

It rose slightly from the 57 per cent recorded in 2014, as rates soared in all countries across Europe over the five years.

Croatia and Malta came top of the fat pile, with 65 per cent of adults overweight.

On the other end of the spectrum, just 46 per cent of Italians and 47 per cent of the French were overweight — despite both nations being famed for their food.

Latvia's high ranking was largely driven by its female population.

Women in the country were the fourth fattest in Europe (56 per cent), while it ranked 20th for men (60.1 per cent).

Meanwhile, Latvia also had one of the highest smoking rates in Europe.

Some 22.6 per cent of Latvian adults smoked regularly in 2020, the ninth highest in the 34 countries analysed by the OECD.

It was lower than Bulgaria (29.1 per cent), Serbia (28.9 per cent), Turkey (28 per cent), France (25.5 per cent) and Greece (24.9 per cent).

Iceland had the lowest rate (7.2 per cent), followed by Norway (8 per cent), Sweden (9.5 per cent) and Finland (12 per cent). 

Smoking in Latvia was down on the 28.1 per cent who smoked in 2008. 

Rates in men explained Latvia's high ranking in 2019, with 35.2 per cent of the male population being smokers — the fifth highest of any country.

In contrast, just 12.3 per cent of women smoked, fewer than the EU average (23.7 per cent), Britain (15.3 per cent) and ranking the country 24th.

The OECD data also showed Latvia has one of the lowest life expectancies in the EU.

Babies born in 2021 have a life expectancy of just 73.4, the third lowest of all nations in the the bloc.

For comparison, the EU average is 80.1 and Spain's expectancy is 83.3 years old, the highest of all member states.

Of all the 38 European countries analysed, Switzerland had the highest expectancy at 84. It is 80.4 in the UK.

Official data has shown Latvia  ranked top of Europe for alcohol consumption in 2020, with Latvians drinking 12.1 litres of pure alcohol per adult over the year

Official data has shown Latvia  ranked top of Europe for alcohol consumption in 2020, with Latvians drinking 12.1 litres of pure alcohol per adult over the year

NEXT Everything you need to know before starting dry January: Why it might be bad ... trends now