Quality of Life Comparison


If you lived in Latvia instead of South Africa, you would:


be 96.3% less likely to be living with HIV/AIDS

In South Africa, 18.8% of people are living with AIDS/HIV. In Latvia, that number is 0.7% of people.

live 10.9 years longer

In South Africa, the average life expectancy is 64 years (62 years for men, 65 years for women). In Latvia, that number is 75 years (70 years for men, 80 years for women).

be 16.6% less likely to be obese

In South Africa, 28.3% of adults are obese. In Latvia, that number is 23.6% of people.


make 2.0 times more money

South Africa has a GDP per capita of $13,500, while in Latvia, the GDP per capita is $27,600.

be 67.4% less likely to be unemployed

In South Africa, 27.6% of adults are unemployed. In Latvia, that number is 9.0%.

spend 48.9% less on taxes

South Africa has a top tax rate of 45.0%. In Latvia, the top tax rate is 23.0%.

be 53.6% more likely to be live below the poverty line

In South Africa, 16.6% live below the poverty line. In Latvia, however, that number is 25.5%.


be 87.0% less likely to die during childbirth

In South Africa, approximately 138.0 women per 100,000 births die during labor. In Latvia, 18.0 women do.

be 83.2% less likely to die during infancy

In South Africa, approximately 31.0 children die before they reach the age of one. In Latvia, on the other hand, 5.2 children do.

have 52.0% fewer children

In South Africa, there are approximately 20.2 babies per 1,000 people. In Latvia, there are 9.7 babies per 1,000 people.

Basic Needs

be 17.6% more likely to have access to electricity

In South Africa, 85% of the population has electricity access. In Latvia, 100% of the population do.

be 48.0% more likely to have internet access

In South Africa, approximately 54.0% of the population has internet access. In Latvia, about 79.9% do.


spend 10.2% less on education

South Africa spends 5.9% of its total GDP on education. Latvia spends 5.3% of total GDP on education.

spend 33.0% less on healthcare

South Africa spends 8.8% of its total GDP on healthcare. In Latvia, that number is 5.9% of GDP.


see 82.2% less coastline

South Africa has a total of 2,798 km of coastline. In Latvia, that number is 498 km.

Latvia: At a glance

Latvia is a sovereign country in Europe, with a total land area of approximately 62,249 sq km. The name "Latvia" originates from the ancient Latgalians, one of four eastern Baltic tribes that formed the ethnic core of the Latvian people (ca. 8th-12th centuries A.D.). The region subsequently came under the control of Germans, Poles, Swedes, and finally, Russians. A Latvian republic emerged following World War I, but it was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. Latvia reestablished its independence in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Although the last Russian troops left in 1994, the status of the Russian minority (some 28% of the population) remains of concern to Moscow. Latvia acceded to both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004; it joined the eurozone in 2014.

How big is Latvia compared to South Africa? See an in-depth size comparison.

The statistics on this page were calculated using the following data sources: State Revenue Service, Latvia, The World Factbook, South African Revenue Service.


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