The Official Language Law (2000) names Latvian as the official state language.
Special status is given to the Livonian language spoken by the original inhabitants of Latvia to keep it from dying out. The population census of 2011, carried out by the Central Statistics Bureau, shows that the population in Latvia consists of more than 160 nationalities. The prevailing spoken languages are Latvian and Russian.
The Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for the general management of the implementation of the policy of the state language. Major tasks of the Ministry are to develop the state language policy with the objective to strengthen the status of the Latvian language and ensure sustainable development of the language; and to organise the implementation of the state language policy, including provision for learning the state language, availability of international documents in the state language, by means of coordination of the implementation of the state language policy and encouraging multilingualism of the citizens of Latvia.
Since 1996, a state programme for learning Latvian has been in effect and is carried out with governmental and donor funding. Since 2009, the Latvian Language Agency (supervised by Minister of Education and Science) implements the state language policy, which is formulated in the Guidelines of the State Language Policy for 2015 – 2020.
The Official Language Law determines that information in posters, banners, signs etc. have to be in Latvian. Where other languages are used, the text in the state language must be given priority placement and cannot be smaller than the text in other languages. See chapter 2.5.1. about the requirements of the use of the official language in the media according to the Electronic Mass Media Law (2010).