The Livonians or Livs are the indigenous inhabitants of Livonia, a large part of what is today northwestern Latvia and southwestern Estonia. They spoke the Uralic Livonian language, a language which is closely related to Estonian and Finnish. As of 2010, there was one person known to have learned Livonian as her mother tongue and approximately 30 who had learnt it as a second language. Historical, social and economic factors, together with the ethnically dispersed population, have resulted in the diminution of the Livonian population, with only a small group surviving in the 21st century. In 2011, there were 250 people who claimed Livonian ethnicity in Latvia. The linguistic ancestors of modern Livonians may have lived on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea around the Gulf of Riga as early as 1800 B.C. The first speakers of Indo-European Baltic languages, i.e. the linguistic ancestors of today's Latvians and Lithuanians, are thought to have arrived in the area around 2000 B.C.
Contributions by J.K Nakkila, 184.108.40.206, and 220.127.116.11.