Riga is the capital of Latvia and the main industrial, commercial, cultural, sports and financial center in the Baltic States, as well as an important port city. With 704 476 inhabitants in 2017 it is the largest city in the Baltic States and the third largest city (after St. Petersburg and Stockholm) throughout the Baltic Sea Region (by population within the city limits). Riga city area is 307.17 km2. Within the boundaries of Riga, about one third of the population lives, and almost half (0.94 million) of all Latvian inhabitants live in Riga agglomeration (Riga and its adjoining territory, including the nearest towns). At the beginning of 2010, 1 081 137 inhabitants lived in the planning region of Riga.
The historic center of Riga is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and is remarkable for the Art Nouveau architecture, which, according to UNESCO, is not similar in the world. Riga was one of the 2014 European Capitals of Culture.