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Flag of Estonia

Country Profile

Capital City: Tallinn (pop. 398 500)

Other Cities: Tartu (101 190); Narva (67 752); Kohtla-Jarve (46 765); Parnu (44 781); Viljandi (20 509)

Local Time: UTC +2h

Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, between Latvia and Russia.
Area: 45 227 sq. km. (17 462 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Estonia is a green land, forests cover around half of the country. Flat, average elevation 50m. Steep limestone banks and 1 521 islands mark the coastline.
Land use: 9.5% arable land, 47,4% forest and woodland, 22% swamps and bogs, 21.5% other. Coastal waters are somewhat polluted.
Border countries: Latvia, Russia

Climate: Temperate, with four seasons of near-equal length.

Type: Parliamentary Democracy.
Constitution: On 28 June 1992 Estonians ratified a constitution based on the 1938 model, offering legal continuity to the Republic of Estonia prior to Soviet occupation.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Estonian(s).
Population: 1.35 million.
GNI per capita PPP: $ 16 461 (year) Ethnic groups: Estonians 65%, Russians 28%, Ukrainians 2.5%, Belarusians 1.4%, Finns 0.9%, other 2.2%. Religions: Lutheran, the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox, subordinated to Constantinople, the Estonian Orthodox, subordinated to the Moscow Patriarchate, Baptist. Languages: Estonian (eesti keel), Russian, Ukrainian, Finnish. Literacy: 99%.


Currency: Estonian Kroon (EEK)

Natural resources: Oil shale, phosphorite, limestone, blue clay.

Agriculture products: Potatoes, vegetables; livestock and dairy products; fish.

Industries: Engineering, electronics, wood and wood products, textile; information technology, telecommunications.

Exports partners:
Finland 16.6%, Sweden 11.1%, UK 8.6%, Latvia 7.4%, Germany 7.2%, Russia 6.9%, USA 5.5%, Lithuania 4% (2004)

Imports partners: Finland 19.9%, Russia 13.2%, Germany 11.6%, Sweden 7.9%, Ukraine, China, Japan (2004)



Background:  After centuries of Danish, Swedish, German, and Russian
rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918. Forcibly incorporated into
the USSR in 1940, 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.

Geography Estonia

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

Geographic coordinates:  59 00 N, 26 00 E

Map references:  Europe

Area:   includes 1,520 islands in the Baltic Sea water: Area -
comparative:  slightly smaller than New Hampshire and Vermont combined

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

Coastline:  3,794 km

Maritime claims:  exclusive economic zone: limits fixed in coordination
with neighboring states territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate:  maritime, wet, moderate winters, cool summers

Terrain:  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: 27% permanent crops: 0% other: 73% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  40 sq km (1998 est.)

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 4.6 times smaller than in 1980; the amount of unpurified
wastewater discharged to water bodies fell 20 times in 2000 compared to
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-Sulphur 85, Air
Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity,
Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ship Pollution,
Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Climate
Change-Kyoto Protocol

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

People Estonia

Population:  1,415,681 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 16.4% (male 118,603; female 114,102) 15-64
years: 68.5% (male 466,882; female 502,343) 65 years and over: 15.1%
(male 70,085; female 143,666) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  -0.52% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  8.96 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  13.44 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -0.73 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.49 male(s)/female total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  12.32 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   76.31 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  1.24 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.04% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  less than 500 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  less than 100 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Estonian(s) adjective: Estonian

Ethnic groups:  Estonian 65.3%, Russian 28.1%, Ukrainian 2.5%, Belarusian
1.5%, Finn 1%, other 1.6% (1998)

Religions:  Evangelical Lutheran, Russian Orthodox, Estonian Orthodox,
Baptist, Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal,
Word of Life, Jewish

Languages:  Estonian (official), Russian, Ukrainian, Finnish, other

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 100% male: 100% female: 100% (1998 est.)

Government Estonia

Country name:   Republic of Estonia conventional short form:  local long
form: Eesti Vabariik

Government type:  parliamentary republic

Capital:  Tallinn

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

Independence:  regained on 20 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 24 February (1918); note - 24
February 1918 was the date of independence from Soviet Russia, 20 August
1991 was the date of reindependence from the Soviet Union

Constitution:  adopted 28 June 1992

Legal system:  based on civil law system; no judicial review of
legislative acts

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal for all Estonian citizens

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Arnold RUUTEL (since 8
October 2001) head of government: Prime Minister Siim KALLAS (since
28 January 2002) cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime
minister, approved by Parliament election results: Arnold RUUTEL
elected president on 21 September 2001 by a 367-member electoral
assembly that convened following Parliament's failure in August to
elect then-President MERI's successor; on the second ballot of voting,
RUUTEL received 188 votes to Parliament Speaker Toomas SAVI's 155;
the remaining 24 ballots were either left blank or invalid elections:
president elected by Parliament for a five-year term; if he or she 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
21 September 2001 (next to be held in the fall of 2006); prime minister
nominated by the president and approved by Parliament

Legislative branch:  unicameral Parliament or Riigikogu (101 seats;
members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) election
results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Center Party 28,
Union of Pro Patria (Fatherland League) 18, Reform Party 18, Moderates 17,
Country People's Party (Agrarians) 7, Coalition Party 7, UPPE 6 elections:
last held 7 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2003)

Judicial branch:  National Court (chairman appointed by Parliament
for life)

Political parties and leaders:  Coalition Party [Mart SIIMANN, chairman];
Estonian Center Party or K [Edgar SAVISAAR, chairman]; Estonian Christian
People's Party [Aldo VINKEL]; Estonian Democratic Party [Jean LAAS];
Estonian Independence Party [Vello LEITO]; Estonian People's Union
[Villu REILJAN]; note - includes Estonian Country People's Party and
two small parties; Estonian Reform Party [Siim KALLAS]; Estonian Social
Democratic Labor Party [Tiit TOOMSALU]; Estonian United People's Party or
UPPE [Viktor ANDREJEV]; Estonian Unity Party [Igor PISSAREV]; Moderates
[Andres TARAND]; New Estonia Party [Ulo NUGIS]; Pro Patria Union [Mart
LAAR, chairman]; Republican Party [Kristian-Olari LEPING]; Res Publica
[Rein TAAGEPERA]; Russian Baltic Party [Sergei IVANOV]; Russian Party
in Estonia [Nikolai MASPANOV] note: Country People's Party, formerly
under Estonian Rural People's Union, has probably dissolved

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, EAPC,
IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent),
WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador Sven
JURGENSON FAX: [1] (202) 588-0108
 [1] (202) 588-0101 chancery:
Diplomatic representation from the US:   Ambassador Joseph M. DeTHOMAS
(designate) embassy:  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, as a new member of the World Trade
Organization, is steadily moving toward a modern market economy with
increasing ties to the West, including the pegging of its currency to the
euro. A major goal is accession to the EU, possibly by 2004. The state of
the economy is greatly influenced by developments in Finland and Sweden,
two major trading partners.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $14.3 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  4.7% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $10,000 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 6% industry: 28% services: 66%

Population below poverty line:  25% of households (2000)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 29.8% (1998)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  37 (1999)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  5.8% (2001)

Labor force:  608,600 (2001 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:  industry 20%, agriculture 11%, services 69%
(1999 est.)

Unemployment rate:  12.4% (2001)

Budget:  revenues: $1.89 billion expenditures: $1.89 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2002 est.)

Industries:  engineering, electronics, wood and wood products, textile;
services; transit, information technology, telecommunications

Industrial production growth rate:  5% (2000 est.)

Electricity - production:  7.056 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 99.77% hydro: 0.06%
other: 0.17% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  5.362 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  1.2 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  potatoes, vegetables; livestock and dairy
products; fish

Exports:  $3.4 billion (f.o.b., 2001)

Exports - commodities:  machinery and equipment 24%, wood products 20%,
textiles 17%, food products 9%, metals, chemical products (1999)

Exports - partners:  Finland 27.6%, Sweden 11%, Russia 8%, Latvia 7%,
Germany 6%, US 2.0% (1999) (2001)

Imports:  $4.1 billion (f.o.b., 2001)

Imports - commodities:  machinery and equipment 38.5%, chemical products
11.2%, textiles 9.5%, foodstuffs 8.6%, metals 8.1% (2000)

Imports - partners:  Finland 27%, Russia 10%, Germany 10%, Sweden 8%

Debt - external:  $0 (2001 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  $108 million (2000)

Currency:  Estonian kroon (EEK)

Currency code:  EEK

Exchange rates:  krooni per US dollar - 17.518 (January 2002), 17.538
(2001), 16.969 (2000), 14.678 (1999), 14.075 (1998), 13.882 (1997); note -
the kroon is tied to the euro at a fixed rate of 15.65 krooni per euro

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Estonia

Telephones - main lines in use:  501,691 (2000)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  711,000 (yearend 2001)

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 - only about 11,000 subscriber requests were unfilled by
September 2000 domestic: a wide range of high quality voice, data, and
internet services is available throughout the country international:
fiber-optic cables to Finland, Sweden, Latvia, and Russia provide
worldwide packet-switched service; two international switches are located
in Tallinn (2001)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 0, FM 98, shortwave 0 (2001)

Radios:  1.01 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  3 (2001)

Televisions:  605,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .ee

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  38 (2001)

Internet users:  540,000 (2001)

Transportation Estonia

Railways:  total: 968 km common carrier lines only; does not include
dedicated industrial lines broad gauge: 968 km 1.520-m gauge (132 km
electrified) (2001)

Highways:  total: 30,300 km paved: 29,200 km (including 75 km
of expressways); note - these roads are said to be hard-surfaced,
and include, in addition to conventionally paved roads, some that are
surfaced with gravel or other coarse aggregate, making them trafficable
in all weather unpaved: Waterways:  320 km (perennially navigable) (2002)

Pipelines:  natural gas 2,000 km (2002)

Ports and harbors:  Haapsalu, Kunda, Muuga, Paldiski, Parnu, Tallinn

Merchant marine:   37 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 245,958
GRT/193,042 DWT note:  Liberia 1 (2002 est.)  ships by type: bulk 2,
cargo 13, container 5, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 9, short-sea
passenger 6

Airports:  32 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 8 2,438 to 3,047 m: 7 under 914 m:
1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 24 over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to
3,047 m: 5 1,524 to 2,437 m: 7 914 to 1,523 m: 5 under 914 m: 6 (2001)

Military Estonia

Military branches:  Estonia Defense Forces (including Ground Forces,
Navy, Air Force), Republic Security Forces (internal and border troops),
Volunteer Defense League (Kaitseliit), Maritime Border Guard, Coast Guard
note: Border Guards and Ministry of Internal Affairs become part of the
Estonian Defense Forces in wartime; the Coast Guard is subordinate to
the Ministry of Defense in peacetime and the Estonian Navy in wartime

Military manpower - military age:  18 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 359,902 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 282,716
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 11,164
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $155 million (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  2% (2002 est.)

Transnational Issues Estonia

Disputes - international:  Russia continues to reject signing and
ratifying the joint December 1996 technical border agreement with Estonia

Illicit drugs:  transshipment point for opiates and cannabis from
Southwest Asia and the Caucasus via Russia, cocaine from Latin America
to Western Europe and Scandinavia, and synthetic drugs from Western
Europe to Scandinavia; increasing domestic drug abuse problem; possible
precursor manufacturing and/or trafficking

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Internet Links

Official Sites of Estonia

Eesti Vabariigi Presidendi Kantselei


Estonian State Web Center

Esti Välisministeerium

Diplomatic Missions
Embassy of Estonia

Estonia's Representations around the world

Foreign Representations accredited to Estonia


Estonia Maps
Estonian Atlas

Map of Estonia

BNS News

Eesti Ekspress

Eesti Päevaleht

SL Öhtuleht


Arts & Culture

Eesti Kirjandusmuuseum

Eesti Rahva Muuseum

Business & Economy
Eesti Pank - Bank of Estonia

Baltic Stock Exchanges

HEX Tallinn

Invest in Estonia

Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Estonian Air

Tallinna Lennujaam

Destination Estonia - Travel and Tour Guides

Estonian Ecotourism Association

Eestimaa Turismiinfo

Eesti Panoraamgalerii



Lahemaa National Park

Lake Peipsi

Saaremaa island


Web encyclopaedia Estonica

City Guides




Eesti Humanitaarinstituut

Eesti Instituut

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Eesti Teaduste Akadeemia

Estonian Academy of Arts

Tallinna Tehnikaülikool

Tartu Ülikool

Tiigri Hype

Estonia History

Estonian History

Baltic Business Server

Estonia-Wide Web

Newsgroup of Estonia





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