An extract on #taylorhill
During World War II, Latvia was occupied by the Soviet Union in June 1940 and then was occupied by Nazi Germany in 19411944. The city's Jewish community was forced into the Riga Ghetto and a Nazi concentration camp was constructed in Kaiserwald. On 25 October 1941, the Nazis relocated all Jews from Riga and the vicinity to the ghetto. Most of Latvia's Jews (about 24,000) were killed on 30 November and 8 December 1941 in the Rumbula massacre. By the end of the war, the remaining Baltic Germans were expelled to Germany.
The Soviet Red Army re-entered Riga on 13 October 1944. In the following years the massive influx of labourers, administrators, military personnel, and their dependents from Russia and other Soviet republics started. Microdistricts of the large multi-storied housing blocks were built to house immigrant workers. By 1989, the percentage of Latvians in Riga had fallen to 36.5%.
With 639,630 inhabitants in 2016 as according to the Central statistical administration of Latvia, Riga is the largest city in the Baltic States, though its population has decreased from just over 900,000 in 1991. Notable causes include emigration and low birth rates. Some have estimated that the population may fall by as much as 50% by 2050. According to the 2017 data, ethnic Latvians made up 44.03% of the population of Riga, with the percentage of ethnic Russians at 37.88%, Belarusians at 3.72%, Ukrainians at 3.66%, Poles at 1.83% and other ethnicities at 9.10%. By comparison, 60.1% of Latvia's total population are ethnic Latvians, 26.2% are Russians, 3.3% are Belarusians, 2.4% are Ukrainians, 2.1% are Polish, 1.2% are Lithuanians and the remaining 4.7% are accounted for by other ethnicities.
Upon the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1991, Soviet era immigrants (and any of their offspring born before 1991) were not automatically granted Latvian citizenship because they had migrated to the territory of Latvia during the years when Latvia was part of the Soviet Union. In 2013 citizens of Latvia made up 73.1%, non-citizens 21.9% and citizens of other countries 4.9% of the population of Riga. The proportion of ethnic Latvians in Riga increased from 36.5% in 1989 to 42.4% in 2010. In contrast, the percentage of Russians fell from 47.3% to 40.7% in the same time period. Latvians overtook Russians as the largest ethnic group in 2006. Further projections show that the ethnic Russian population will continue a steady decline, despite higher birth rates, due to emigration.