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Europe :: Estonia
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Estonia
  • 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 the West. It joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004, formally joined the OECD in late 2010, and adopted the euro as its official currency on 1 January 2011.
  • Geography :: ESTONIA

  • Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, between Latvia and Russia
    59 00 N, 26 00 E
    Europe
    total: 45,228 sq km
    land: 42,388 sq km
    water: 2,840 sq km
    note: includes 1,520 islands in the Baltic Sea
    slightly smaller than New Hampshire and Vermont combined
    total: 657 km
    border countries (2): Latvia 333 km, Russia 324 km
    3,794 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: limits as agreed to by Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Sweden, and Russia
    maritime; wet, moderate winters, cool summers
    marshy, lowlands; flat in the north, hilly in the south
    lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
    highest point: Suur Munamagi 318 m
    oil shale, peat, rare earth elements, phosphorite, clay, limestone, sand, dolomite, arable land, sea mud
    agricultural land: 22.2%
    arable land 14.9%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 7.2%
    forest: 52.1%
    other: 25.7% (2011 est.)
    4.58 sq km (2010)
    12.81 cu km (2011)
    total: 1.8 cu km/yr (3%/97%/0%)
    per capita: 1,337 cu m/yr (2009)
    sometimes flooding occurs in the spring
    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 1/20 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
    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, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    the mainland terrain is flat, boggy, and partly wooded; offshore lie more than 1,500 islands
  • People and Society :: ESTONIA

  • noun: Estonian(s)
    adjective: Estonian
    Estonian 68.7%, Russian 24.8%, Ukrainian 1.7%, Belarusian 1%, Finn 0.6%, other 1.6%, unspecified 1.6% (2011 est.)
    Estonian (official) 68.5%, Russian 29.6%, Ukrainian 0.6%, other 1.2%, unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
    Lutheran 9.9%, Orthodox 16.2%, other Christian (including Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal) 2.2%, other 0.9%, none 54.1%, unspecified 16.7% (2011 est.)
    1,257,921 (July 2014 est.)
    0-14 years: 15.6% (male 101,018/female 95,204)
    15-24 years: 11.2% (male 72,318/female 68,373)
    25-54 years: 41.5% (male 250,244/female 271,450)
    55-64 years: 13.2% (male 71,518/female 94,029)
    65 years and over: 18.6% (male 77,492/female 156,275) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 52%
    youth dependency ratio: 24.3%
    elderly dependency ratio: 27.7%
    potential support ratio: 3.6% (2014 est.)
    total: 41.2 years
    male: 37.6 years
    female: 44.5 years (2014 est.)
    -0.68% (2014 est.)
    10.29 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    13.69 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    -3.37 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    urban population: 67.6% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: -0.45% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    TALLINN (capital) 392,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.49 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.84 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    26.4 (2011 est.)
    11 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total: 6.7 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 7.81 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 5.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    total population: 74.07 years
    male: 68.85 years
    female: 79.61 years (2014 est.)
    1.46 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    63.4%
    note: percent of women aged 18-49 (2004/05)
    5.7% of GDP (2013)
    3.24 physicians/1,000 population (2012)
    5.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    improved:
    urban: 99.8% of population
    rural: 97.6% of population
    total: 99.1% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0.2% of population
    rural: 2.4% of population
    total: 0.9% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 95.8% of population
    rural: 93.8% of population
    total: 95.2% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 4.2% of population
    rural: 6.2% of population
    total: 4.8% of population (2012 est.)
    1.3% (2013 est.)
    8,600 (2013 est.)
    NA
    degree of risk: intermediate
    vectorborne disease: tickborne encephalitis (2013)
    24.5% (2014)
    5.2% of GDP (2011)
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 99.8%
    male: 99.8%
    female: 99.8% (2015 est.)
    total: 16 years
    male: 16 years
    female: 17 years (2012)
    total: 20.9%
    male: 23.4%
    female: 17.9% (2012 est.)
  • Government :: ESTONIA

  • conventional long form: Republic of Estonia
    conventional short form: Estonia
    local long form: Eesti Vabariik
    local short form: Eesti
    former: Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic
    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
    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 (declared); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union)
    Independence Day, 24 February (1918); note - 24 February 1918 was the date Estonia declared its independence from Soviet Russia and established its statehood; 20 August 1991 was the date it declared its independence from the Soviet Union
    several previous; latest adopted 28 June 1992; amended several times, last in 2012 (2012)
    civil law system
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal for all Estonian citizens
    chief of state: President Toomas Hendrik ILVES (since 9 October 2006)
    head of government: Taavi ROIVAS (since 26 March 2014)
    cabinet: 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 councils) elects the president, choosing between the two candidates with the highest number of votes; election last held on 29 August 2011 (next to be held in the fall of 2016); prime minister nominated by the president and approved by Parliament
    election results: Toomas Hendrik ILVES reelected president; parliamentary vote - Toomas Hendrik ILVES 73, Indrek TARAND 25
    description: unicameral Parliament or Riigikogu (101 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 1 March 2015 (next to be held in March 2019)
    election results: percent of vote by party - RE 27.7%, K 24.8%, SDE 15.2%, IRL 13.7, EV 8.7%, EKRE 8.1%; seats by party - RE 30, K 27, SDE 15, IRL 14, EV 8, EKRE 7
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and organized into the Civil Chamber with a chamber chairman and 6 justices, the Criminal Chamber with a chamber chairman and 5 justices, the Administrative Law Chamber with a chamber chairman and 4 justices, and the Constitutional Review Chamber with 9 members - the chief justice and 2 justices from the Civil Chamber, 3 from the Criminal Chamber and 3 from the Administrative chamber)
    judge selection and term of office: the chief justice is proposed by the president and appointed by the Riigikogu; other justices proposed by the chief justice and appointed by the Riigikogu; justices appointed for life
    subordinate courts: circuit (appellate) courts; administrative, county, city, and specialized courts
    Center Party of Estonia (Keskerakond) or K [Edgar SAVISAAR]
    Estonian Conservative People's Party (Konservatiivne Rahvaerakond) or EKRE [Mart HELME]
    Estonian Reform Party (Reformierakond) or RE [Taavi ROIVAS]
    Free Party or EV [Andres HERKEL]
    Social Democratic Party or SDE [Sven MIKSER]
    Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica (Isamaa je Res Publica Liit) or IRL [Urmas REINSALU]
    Australia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA (cooperating state), EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Eerik MARMEI (since 18 September 2014)
    chancery: 2131 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 588-0101
    FAX: [1] (202) 588-0108
    consulate(s) general: New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Jeffrey D. LEVINE (since 24 July 2012)
    embassy: Kentmanni 20, 15099 Tallinn
    mailing address: use embassy street address
    telephone: [372] 668-8100
    FAX: [372] 668-8134
    three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), black, and white; various interpretations are linked to the flag colors; blue represents faith, loyalty, and devotion, while also reminiscent of the sky, sea, and lakes of the country; black symbolizes the soil of the country and the dark past and suffering endured by the Estonian people; white refers to the striving towards enlightenment and virtue, and is the color of birch bark and snow, as well as summer nights illuminated by the midnight sun
    barn swallow, cornflower; national colors: blue, black, white
    name: "Mu isamaa, mu onn ja room" (My Native Land, My Pride and Joy)
    lyrics/music: Johann Voldemar JANNSEN/Fredrik PACIUS
    note: adopted 1920, though banned between 1940 and 1990 under Soviet occupation; the anthem, used in Estonia since 1869, shares the same melody as Finland's but has different lyrics
  • Economy :: ESTONIA

  • Estonia, a member of the European Union since 2004 and the euro zone since 2011, has a modern market-based economy and one of the higher per capita income levels in Central Europe and the Baltic region. Estonia's successive governments have pursued a free market, pro-business economic agenda and have wavered little in their commitment to pro-market reforms. The current government has followed sound fiscal policies that have resulted in balanced budgets and low public debt. The economy benefits from strong electronics and telecommunications sectors and strong trade ties with Finland, Sweden, and Germany. Estonia's economy fell into recession in mid-2008, as a result of an investment and consumption slump following the bursting of the real estate market bubble and a decrease in export demand as result of economic slowdown in the rest of Europe, but the economy recovered strongly in the five years up to 2014. Growth fell below 2% in 2014 as a consequence of weak EU and Russian growth. Estonia is challenged by a shortage of labor, both skilled and unskilled, and the government has amended its immigration law to allow easier hiring of highly qualified foreign workers.
    $35.63 billion (2014 est.)
    $34.97 billion (2013 est.)
    $34.41 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    $26.36 billion (2014 est.)
    1.9% (2014 est.)
    1.6% (2013 est.)
    4.7% (2012 est.)
    $26,600 (2014 est.)
    $26,500 (2013 est.)
    $26,000 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 63
    25.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    26.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
    26.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    household consumption: 50.5%
    government consumption: 20.1%
    investment in fixed capital: 28.2%
    investment in inventories: -0.3%
    exports of goods and services: 87.1%
    imports of goods and services: -85.6%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 3.6%
    industry: 29.2%
    services: 67.2% (2014 est.)
    grain, potatoes, vegetables; livestock and dairy products; fish
    engineering, electronics, wood and wood products, textiles; information technology, telecommunications
    2% (2014 est.)
    669,800 (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 3.9%
    industry: 28.4%
    services: 67.7% (2014)
    7.4% (2014 est.)
    8.6% (2013 est.)
    22.1% (2013 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.7%
    highest 10%: 27.7% (2004)
    32.9 (2013)
    37 (1999)
    revenues: $9.811 billion
    expenditures: $9.877 billion (2014 est.)
    37.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -0.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    9.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
    9.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
    note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities, including sub-sectors of central government, state government, local government, and social security funds
    calendar year
    -0.1% (2014 est.)
    2.8% (2013 est.)
    5.1% (31 December 2014 est.)
    5.37% (31 December 2013 est.)
    $10.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $9.741 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
    $14.71 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $14.05 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $21.54 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $21.24 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $2.332 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $1.611 billion (31 December 2011)
    $2.26 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $-118.4 million (2014 est.)
    $-271 million (2013 est.)
    $15.82 billion (2014 est.)
    $15.22 billion (2013 est.)
    machinery and electrical equipment 29%, food products and beverages 16%, mineral fuels 11%, wood and wood products 9%, metals 7%, furniture 7%, vehicles and parts 5%, textiles 4%, chemicals 5% (2014 est.)
    Sweden 17.4%, Finland 16.6%, Russia 11.7%, Latvia 10.7%, Lithuania 6%, Germany 4.7% (2013)
    $17.05 billion (2014 est.)
    $16.52 billion (2013 est.)
    machinery and electrical equipment 28 %, mineral fuels 13%, food and food products 10%, chemical products 8%, metals 8%, plastics 5% (2014 est.)
    Finland 15.1%, Germany 10.8%, Sweden 10.4%, Latvia 9.5%, Lithuania 8.9%, Poland 8.2%, Russia 4.7%, China 4.3%, UK 4.3% (2013)
    $366 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $314.4 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    $22.79 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $21.33 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $25 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $24 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $9.012 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $8.762 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    kroon (EEK) per US dollar -
    0.77 (2013 est.)
    0.78 (2012 est.)
    0.72 (2011 est.)
    11.81 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: ESTONIA

  • 11.66 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    7.681 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    6.301 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    2.712 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    2.825 million kW (2011 est.)
    91.1% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0.2% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    8.7% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    13,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    29,550 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    21,490 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    678 million cu m (2013 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    678 million cu m (2013 est.)
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    5.686 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: ESTONIA

  • 448,200 (2012)
    2.07 million (2012)
    general assessment: foreign investment in the form of joint business ventures greatly improved telephone service with a wide range of high quality voice, data, and Internet services available
    domestic: substantial fiber-optic cable systems carry telephone, TV, and radio traffic in the digital mode; Internet services are widely available; schools and libraries are connected to the Internet, a large percentage of the population files income-tax returns online, and online voting was used for the first time in the 2005 local elections
    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 (2011)
    the publicly owned broadcaster, Eesti Rahvusringhaaling (ERR), operates 2 TV channels and 5 radio networks; growing number of private commercial radio stations broadcasting nationally, regionally, and locally; fully transitioned to digital television in 2010; national private TV channels expanding service; a range of channels are aimed at Russian-speaking viewers; high penetration rate for cable TV services with more than half of Estonian households connected (2008)
    AM 0, FM 34, shortwave 0 (2009)
    15 (2008)
    .ee
    865,494 (2012)
    971,700 (2009)
  • Transportation :: ESTONIA

  • 18 (2013)
    total: 13
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
    914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 5
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 1
    under 914 m:
    3 (2013)
    1 (2012)
    gas 868 km (2013)
    total: 1,196 km
    broad gauge: 1,196 km 1.520-m and 1.524-m gauge (133 km electrified) (2011)
    total: 58,412 km (includes urban roads)
    paved: 10,427 km (includes 115 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 47,985 km (2011)
    335 km (320 km are navigable year round) (2011)
    total: 25
    by type: cargo 4, chemical tanker 1, passenger/cargo 18, petroleum tanker 2
    foreign-owned: 3 (Germany 1, Norway 2)
    registered in other countries: 63 (Antigua and Barbuda 10, Belize 1, Cambodia 1, Canada 1, Cook Islands 1, Cyprus 6, Dominica 6, Finland 2, Latvia 3, Malta 16, Russia 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 8, Sierra Leone 2, Sweden 3, Venezuela 1, unknown 1) (2010)
    major seaport(s): Kuivastu, Kunda, Muuga, Parnu Reid, Sillamae, Tallinn
  • Military :: ESTONIA

  • Estonian Defense Forces (Eesti Kaitsevagi): Land Force (Maavagi), Navy (Merevagi), Air Force (Ohuvagi), Defense League (Kaitseliit) (2012)
    18-27 for compulsory military or governmental service, conscript service requirement 8-11 months depending on education; NCOs, reserve officers, and specialists serve 11 months (2013)
    males age 16-49: 291,801
    females age 16-49: 302,696 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 210,854
    females age 16-49: 251,185 (2010 est.)
    male: 6,668
    female: 6,309 (2010 est.)
    2% of GDP (2013)
    1.92% of GDP (2012)
    1.69% of GDP (2011)
    1.92% of GDP (2010)
  • Transnational Issues :: ESTONIA

  • Russia and Estonia in May 2005 signed a technical border agreement, but Russia in June 2005 recalled its signature after the Estonian parliament added to its domestic ratification act a historical preamble referencing the Soviet occupation and Estonia's pre-war borders under the 1920 Treaty of Tartu; Russia contends that the preamble allows Estonia to make territorial claims on Russia in the future, while Estonian officials deny that the preamble has any legal impact on the treaty text; Russia demands better treatment of the Russian-speaking population in Estonia; as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Estonia implements strict Schengen border rules with Russia
    stateless persons: 88,076 (2014); note - following independence in 1991, automatic citizenship was restricted to those who were Estonian citizens prior to the 1940 Soviet occupation and their descendants; thousands of ethnic Russians remained stateless when forced to choose between passing Estonian language and citizenship tests or applying for Russian citizenship; one reason for demurring on Estonian citizenship was to retain the right of visa-free travel to Russia; stateless residents can vote in local elections but not general elections; stateless parents who have been lawful residents of Estonia for at least five years can apply for citizenship for their children before they turn 15
    growing producer of synthetic drugs; increasingly important transshipment zone for cannabis, cocaine, opiates, and synthetic drugs since joining the European Union and the Schengen Accord; potential money laundering related to organized crime and drug trafficking is a concern, as is possible use of the gambling sector to launder funds; major use of opiates and ecstasy
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