In 1863 laws were issued to enable the Letts, who form the bulk of the population, to acquire the farms which they held, and special banks were founded to help them.
Of the whole, 79% are Letts, 8% Germans, 1.7 7c, Russians, and 1% each Poles and Lithuanians.
The population, which was 102,590 in 1867, increased to 168,728 in 1881 and to 282,943 in 1897, so that Riga now ranks seventh in the empire in order of population: 47% of the inhabitants are Germans, 25% Russians and 23% Letts, with a small admixture of Esthonians, Jews, etc. The city has a commercial school (1903), a municipal library, the Dom museum, an art museum with picture gallery (1904-1905), technical and theological middle schools and a pilot and navigation school.
The Esths, Ehsts or Esthonians, who call themselves Tallopoeg and Maamees, are known to the Russians as Chukhni or Chukhontsi, to the Letts as Iggauni, and to the Finns as Virolaiset.
According to nationalities, the population was made up as follows in 18 97: 6, 755,5 0 3 Poles, equal to 64.6% of the total; 1,267,194 Jews, equal to 12.1%; 631,844 Russians (6%); 39 1, 44 0 Germans (4%); 310,386 Lithuanians and Letts (3%); with a few thousands each of Tatars, Bohemians, Rumanians, and Esthonians, and a few Gypsies and Hungarians.