The figures, which are based on data from 2019, relate to the EU's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and show the number and proportion of coastal bathing sites with excellent water quality.
This assessment is based on microbiological parameters (intestinal enterococci and Escherichia coli). The new 'Bathing Water Directive' requires Member States to identify and assess the quality of all inland and marine bathing waters and to classify these waters as ‘poor’, ‘sufficient’, ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
Latvia takes 14th place among the 23 EU member states with coastlines, and is rated just below the EU average of 88% of coastal bathing locations having excellent water quality with a figure of 84.85%.
However, the figure is down on the equivalent figures for 2018 (96.97%) and 2017 (93.94%) and is identical to the figure for 2016. Nevertheless it is worth noting that as recently as 2012 the figure was down at 37.5%.
The leader on water quality, according to the figures, is southern neighbor Lithuania with a remarkable 100% figure. The lowest figure is another Baltic country, Poland, with just 29%.