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Introduction - Estonia:




After centuries of Danish, Swedish, German, and Russian rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918. Forcibly incorporated into the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US - it regained its freedom in 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since the last Russian troops left in 1994, Estonia has been free to promote economic and political ties with Western Europe. It joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.

Location - Estonia:


Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, between Latvia and Russia

Geographic coordinates

59 00 N, 26 00 E

Map references



total: 45,226 sq km
land: 43,211 sq km
water: 2,015 sq km
note: includes 1,520 islands in the Baltic Sea

Area comparative

slightly smaller than New Hampshire and Vermont combined

Land boundaries

total: 633 km
border countries: Latvia 339 km, Russia 294 km


3,794 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: limits fixed in coordination with neighboring states


maritime, wet, moderate winters, cool summers


marshy, lowlands; flat in the north, hilly in the south

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Suur Munamagi 318 m

Natural resources

oil shale, peat, phosphorite, clay, limestone, sand, dolomite, arable land, sea mud

Land use

arable land: 12.05%
permanent crops: 0.35%
other: 87.6% (2005)

Irrigated land

40 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards

sometimes flooding occurs in the spring

Environment current issues

air polluted with sulfur dioxide from oil-shale burning power plants in northeast; however, the amount of pollutants emitted to the air have fallen steadily, the emissions of 2000 were 80% less than in 1980; the amount of unpurified wastewater discharged to water bodies in 2000 was one twentieth the level of 1980; in connection with the start-up of new water purification plants, the pollution load of wastewater decreased; Estonia has more than 1,400 natural and manmade lakes, the smaller of which in agricultural areas need to be monitored; coastal seawater is polluted in certain locations

Environment international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ship Pollution, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography note

the mainland terrain is flat, boggy, and partly wooded; offshore lie more than 1,500 islands

People - Estonia:


1,315,912 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 15% (male 101,430/female 95,658)
15-64 years: 67.5% (male 423,664/female 464,813)
65 years and over: 17.5% (male 76,344/female 154,003) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 39.4 years
male: 36 years
female: 42.9 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

-0.635% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

10.17 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

13.3 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

-3.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.911 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.496 male(s)/female
total population: 0.842 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 7.59 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.77 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.34 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 72.3 years
male: 66.87 years
female: 78.07 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.41 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

1.1% (2001 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

7,800 (2003 est.)

Hiv aids deaths

less than 200 (2003 est.)


noun: Estonian(s)
adjective: Estonian

Ethnic groups

Estonian 67.9%, Russian 25.6%, Ukrainian 2.1%, Belarusian 1.3%, Finn 0.9%, other 2.2% (2000 census)


Evangelical Lutheran 13.6%, Orthodox 12.8%, other Christian (including Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal) 1.4%, unaffiliated 34.1%, other and unspecified 32%, none 6.1% (2000 census)


Estonian (official) 67.3%, Russian 29.7%, other 2.3%, unknown 0.7% (2000 census)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.8% (2000 census)

Government - Estonia:

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Estonia
conventional short form: Estonia
local long form: Eesti Vabariik
local short form: Eesti
former: Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type

parliamentary republic


name: Tallinn
geographic coordinates: 59 26 N, 24 43 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions

15 counties (maakonnad, singular - maakond): Harjumaa (Tallinn), Hiiumaa (Kardla), Ida-Virumaa (Johvi), Jarvamaa (Paide), Jogevamaa (Jogeva), Laanemaa (Haapsalu), Laane-Virumaa (Rakvere), Parnumaa (Parnu), Polvamaa (Polva), Raplamaa (Rapla), Saaremaa (Kuressaare), Tartumaa (Tartu), Valgamaa (Valga), Viljandimaa (Viljandi), Vorumaa (Voru)
note: counties have the administrative center name following in parentheses


20 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday

Independence Day, 24 February (1918); note - 24 February 1918 was the date Estonia declared its independence from Soviet Russia; 20 August 1991 was the date it declared its independence from the Soviet Union


adopted 28 June 1992

Legal system

based on civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations


18 years of age; universal for all Estonian citizens

Executive branch

chief of state: President Toomas Hendrik ILVES (since 9 October 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister Andrus ANSIP (since 12 April 2005)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, approved by Parliament
elections: president elected by Parliament for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); if a candidate does not secure two-thirds of the votes after three rounds of balloting in the Parliament, then an electoral assembly (made up of Parliament plus members of local governments) elects the president, choosing between the two candidates with the largest percentage of votes; election last held 23 September 2006 (next to be held in the fall of 2011); prime minister nominated by the president and approved by Parliament
election results: Toomas Hendrik ILVES elected president on 23 September 2006 by a 345-member electoral assembly; ILVES received 174 votes to incumbent Arnold RUUTELs 162; remaining 9 ballots left blank or invalid

Legislative branch

unicameral Parliament or Riigikogu (101 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 4 March 2007 (next to be held in March 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - Estonian Reform Party 27.8%, Center Party of Estonia 26.1%, Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica 17.9%, Social Democratic Party 10.6%, Estonian Greens 7.1%, Estonian Peoples Union 7.1%, other 5%; seats by party - Reform Party 31, Center Party 29, Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica 19, Social Democrats 10, Estonian Greens 6, Peoples Union 6

Judicial branch

National Court (chairman appointed by Parliament for life)

Political parties and leaders

Center Party of Estonia (Keskerakond) [Edgar SAVISAAR]; Estonian Greens; Estonian Peoples Union (Rahvaliit) [Villu REILJAN]; Estonian Reform Party (Reformierakond) [Andrus ANSIP]; Estonian United Russian Peoples Party or EUVRP [Yevgeniy TOMBERG]; Social Democratic Party (formerly Peoples Party Moodukad or Moderates) [Ivari PADAR]; Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica (Isamaa je Res Publica Liit) [Tonis LUKAS and Taavi VESKIMAGI]

Political pressure groups and leaders


International organization participation

Australia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Juri LUIK
chancery: 2131 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 588-0101
FAX: [1] (202) 588-0108
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Stanley Davis PHILLIPS
embassy: Kentmanni 20, 15099 Tallinn
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [372] 668-8100
FAX: [372] 668-8134

Flag description

pre-1940 flag restored by Supreme Soviet in May 1990 - three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), black, and white

Economy - Estonia:

Economy overview

Estonia has a modern market-based economy with strong ties to the West. It is a WTO and EU member and pegs its currency to the euro. The economy benefits from strong electronics and telecommunications sectors and is greatly influenced by developments in Finland, Sweden, and Germany, three major trading partners. The current account deficit remains high; however, the state budget is essentially in balance, and public debt is low.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$26.85 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$13.89 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

11.4% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$20,300 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 3.4%
industry: 28%
services: 68.6% (2006 est.)

Labor force

673,000 (2006 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 11%
industry: 20%
services: 69% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate

4.5% (2006)

Population below poverty line

5% (2003)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 28.5% (2000)

Distribution of family income gini index

33 (2003)

Inflation rate consumer prices

4.4% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed

32.4% of GDP (2006 est.)


revenues: $5.994 billion
expenditures: $5.718 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)

Public debt

3.6% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture products

potatoes, vegetables; livestock and dairy products; fish


engineering, electronics, wood and wood products, textile; information technology, telecommunications

Industrial production growth rate

8% (2006 est.)

Electricity production

9.29 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

6.846 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

2.141 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

347 million kWh (2004)

Oil production

6,819 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption

60,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

3,958 bbl/day (2004)

Oil imports

54,000 bbl/day (2004)

Oil proved reserves

0 bbl

Natural gas production

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

1.44 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas exports

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas imports

1.44 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Current account balance

-$1.919 billion (2006 est.)


$9.68 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

machinery and equipment 33%, wood and paper 15%, textiles 14%, food products 8%, furniture 7%, metals, chemical products (2001)

Exports partners

Finland 18.4%, Sweden 12.4%, Latvia 8.9%, Russia 8.1%, US 5.5%, Germany 5.1%, Lithuania 4.8%, Gibraltar 4.7% (2006)


$12.03 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

machinery and equipment 33.5%, chemical products 11.6%, textiles 10.3%, foodstuffs 9.4%, transportation equipment 8.9% (2001)

Imports partners

Finland 18.2%, Russia 13.1%, Germany 12.4%, Sweden 9%, Lithuania 6.4%, Latvia 5.7% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$2.344 billion (2006 est.)

Debt external

$13.94 billion (30 June 2006 est.)

Economic aid recipient

$108 million (2000)

Currency code

Estonian kroon (EEK)

Exchange rates

krooni per US dollar - 12.473 (2006), 12.584 (2005), 12.596 (2004), 13.856 (2003), 16.612 (2002)
note: the krooni is pegged to the euro

Communications - Estonia:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

541,900 (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular

1.659 million (2006)

Telephone system

general assessment: foreign investment in the form of joint business ventures greatly improved telephone service; substantial fiber-optic cable systems carry telephone, TV, and radio traffic in the digital mode; Internet services are available throughout most of the country
domestic: a wide range of high quality voice, data, and Internet services is available throughout the country
international: country code - 372; fiber-optic cables to Finland, Sweden, Latvia, and Russia provide worldwide packet-switched service; 2 international switches are located in Tallinn (2001)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 0, FM 98, shortwave 0 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

3 (2001)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

52,241 (2006)

Internet users

760,000 (2006)

Transportation - Estonia:


24 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 12
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 12
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 5 (2006)


1 (2006)


gas 859 km (2006)


total: 958 km
broad gauge: 958 km 1.520 m/1.524-m gauge (2006)


total: 56,856 km
paved: 13,384 km (includes 99 km of expressways)
unpaved: 43,472 km (2004)


500 km (2006)

Merchant marine

total: 35 ships (1000 GRT or over) 388,723 GRT/98,393 DWT
by type: cargo 7, passenger/cargo 26, petroleum tanker 2
foreign-owned: 4 (Denmark 2, Norway 2)
registered in other countries: 72 (Antigua and Barbuda 12, Bahamas 1, Belize 3, Cyprus 6, Dominica 11, Isle of Man 2, Liberia 1, Malta 4, Norway 1, Panama 3, Russia 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 25, Slovakia 1, Vanuatu 1) (2006)

Ports and terminals

Kopli, Kuivastu, Muuga, Tallinn, Virtsu

Military - Estonia:

Military branches

Estonian Defense Forces: Land Force, Navy, Air Force, Volunteer Defense League (Kaitseliit, KL) (2006)

Military service age and obligation

compulsory military service for men between 19 and 28; conscription lasts 11 months for junior NCOs and reserve platoon leaders; reserve officers and designated specialists have a different conscript service obligation; Estonia has committed to retaining conscription for men up to 2010 and, unlike Latvia and Lithuania, has no plan to transition to a contract armed forces; 17 years of age for volunteers; reserve commitment up to the age of 60 (2006)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 291,696
females age 18-49: 304,961 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 200,382 (in 2004, 51% of the young men called up for service were determined to be unfit; main obstacles to conscription were psychiatric and behavioral)
females age 18-49: 250,351 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 15-49: 11,146
females age 18-49: 10,605 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

2% (2005 est.)

Disputes international

Russia recalled its signature to the 1996 technical border agreement with Estonia in 2005, rather than concede to Estonias appending prepared a unilateral declaration referencing Soviet occupation and territorial losses; Russia demands better accommodation of Russian-speaking population in Estonia; Estonian citizen groups continue to press for realignment of the boundary based on the 1920 Tartu Peace Treaty that would bring the now divided ethnic Setu people and parts of the Narva region within Estonia; as a member state that forms part of the EUs external border, Estonia must implement the strict Schengen border rules with Russia

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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