Latvian (latviešu valoda) is the official state language of Latvia. It is also sometimes referred to as Lettish. There are about 1.3 million native Latvian speakers in Latvia and 100 thousand abroad. Altogether, 2 million, or 80% of the population of Latvia, speak Latvian. Of those, 1.16 million or 56% use it as their primary language at home. The use of the Latvian language in various areas of social life in Latvia is increasing. Classification Latvian belongs to the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family. It is one of two living Baltic languages with an official status (the other being Lithuanian). The Latvian and Lithuanian languages have retained many features of the nominal morphology of the proto-language, though in matters of phonology and verbal morphology they show many innovations[clarification needed], with Latvian being considerably more innovative than Lithuanian. History According to some glottochronological speculations, the Eastern Baltic languages split from Western Baltic (or, perhaps, from the hypothetical proto-Baltic language) between 400 and 600. The differentiation between Lithuanian and Latvian started after 800, with a long period of being one language but different dialects. At a minimum, transitional dialects existed until the 14th century or 15th century, and perhaps as late as the 17th century. Education Education system is administered at three levels - national, municipal and institutional. The Parliament (Saeima), the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministry of Education and Science are the main decision-making bodies at a national level. The Ministry of Education and Science is the education policy-making institution that also issues the licenses for opening comprehensive education institutions and sets educational standards along with the teacher training content and procedures.