country in northeastern Europe

Estonia /isˈtniə/ (audio speaker iconlisten) (Estonian: Eesti), officially the Republic of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Vabariik) is a small country in the Baltic Region of Northern Europe. The capital city is Tallinn. Estonia's neighbors are Sweden, Finland, Russia and Latvia. Its population is 1,332,893.[10]

Republic of Estonia
Eesti Vabariik  (Estonian)
Location of  Estonia  (dark green) – on the European continent  (green & grey) – in the European Union  (green)  —  [Legend]
Location of  Estonia  (dark green)

– on the European continent  (green & grey)
– in the European Union  (green)  —  [Legend]

and largest city
59°25′N 24°45′E / 59.417°N 24.750°E / 59.417; 24.750
Official language
and national language
Other recognised languages
  • Russian
  • Ukrainian
  • Lithuanian
  • Belarusian
  • Latvian
  • Finnish
  • Swedish
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
• President
Alar Karis
Kaja Kallas
12 April 1917
24 February 1918
2 February 1920
20 August 1991
1 May 2004
• Total
45,227[2] km2 (17,462 sq mi) (129thd)
• Water (%)
• 2020 estimate
Increase 1,328,360[3] (153rd)
• 2011 census
• Density
28/km2 (72.5/sq mi) (149th)
GDP (PPP)2020 estimate
• Total
$49.644 billion[5]
• Per capita
$37,605[5] (43rd)
GDP (nominal)2020 estimate
• Total
$32.742 billion[5]
• Per capita
$24,802[5] (35th)
Gini (2018)Positive decrease 30.6[6]
HDI (2018)Increase 0.882[7]
very high · 30th
CurrencyEuro () (EUR)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
• Summer (DST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+372
ISO 3166 codeEE
Internet TLD.eee
  1. The Supreme Court and one ministry are based in Tartu.
  2. According to the Constitution of Estonia, Estonian is the only official language.[8] In southern counties, Võro and Seto are spoken along with it. Russian is spoken in parts of Ida-Virumaa and Tallinn.
  3. Including 5.4% Võros and 0.93% Setos.[9]
  4. 47,549 km2 (18,359 sq mi) were defined according to the Treaty of Tartu in 1920
  5. Also .eu, shared with other member states of the European Union.

The territory of Estonia has the mainland and 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea.[11]

History change

People have lived in Estonia since at least 9,000 BC. The oldest known settlement in Estonia is the Pulli settlement, which was on the banks of the Pärnu River.

Estonia became independent from Russia in 1920 after a brief War of Independence at the end of World War I. During World War II (1939–1945), Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union and Germany. It then became the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic and lost its independence.

Estonia had its independence restored in 1991.[12] It became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on 29 March 2004. It joined the European Union on 1 May 2004.

Politics change

In January 2021, Estonia became the only country in the world led by women by having a female president (Kersti Kaljulaid) and female prime minister (Kaja Kallas).[13] A few months later, Alar Karis replaced Kaljulaid as president.

The foreign intelligence service warned in 2024 that Russia intended to double the number of its troops stationed along its border. Estonia plans to spend more than 3% of GDP on defence.[14]

Geography change

Estonia is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland with Finland on the other side, to the west by the Baltic Sea with Sweden on the other side, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia (338.6 km).[15]

Average elevation reaches only 50 metres (164 ft). The country's highest point is the Suur Munamägi in the southeast at 318 metres (1,043 ft).

Estonia has many forests, almost 50% of the land is covered with forests.[16] The most common tree species are pine, spruce and birch.[17] Estonia has over 1,400 lakes and over 2,000 islands. The longest rivers are Võhandu (162 km or 101 mi), Pärnu (144 km or 89 mi), and Põltsamaa (135 km or 84 mi).

Biodiversity change

Mammals in Estonia include the grey wolf, lynx, brown bear, red fox, badger, wild boar, moose, red deer, roe deer, beaver, otter, grey seal, and ringed seal. The critically endangered European mink has been successfully reintroduced to the island of Hiiumaa. The rare Siberian flying squirrel is present in east Estonia.[18][19]

Over 300 bird species have been found in Estonia. These include the white-tailed eagle, lesser spotted eagle, golden eagle, western capercaillie, black and white stork, many species of owls, waders, geese and many others.[20] The Barn swallow is the national bird of Estonia.[21]

Protected areas cover 18% of Estonian land and 26% of its sea territory. There are 5 national parks, 159 nature reserves, and many other protection areas.[22]

Government change

The Riigikogu is the name of the parliament in Estonia.

Administrative regions change

Administrative divisions of Estonia

Since administrative reform in 2017, there are in total 79 local governments. This includes 15 towns and 64 rural municipalities. All municipalities have equal legal status and form part of a county, which is a state administrative unit.[23]

The counties are:

Culture change

According to, Estonia has one of the fastest Internet download speeds in the world with an average download speed of 27.12 Mbit/s.[24]

Estonia won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2001 with the song "Everybody" performed by Tanel Padar and Dave Benton. In 2002, Estonia hosted the event.

The Estonian National Day is the Independence Day celebrated on 24 February. This is the day the Estonian Declaration of Independence was issued. As of 2013, there are 12 public holidays and 12 national holidays celebrated each year.

In June 2023, the Estonian government passed a bill legalising same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption in Estonia.[25] The bill went into effect on 1 January 2024, making Estonia the first Baltic state and country formerly occupied by the Soviet Union to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption.[26][27]

International rankings change

The following are links to international rankings of Estonia.

Index Rank Countries reviewed
Freedom House Internet Freedom 2016 1 65
Environmental Performance Index 2016 8 180
Index of Economic Freedom 2017 6 180
Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index 2011–2012 11 187
State of World Liberty Index 2006 1 159
Human Development Index 2019[28] 30 189
Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 22 176
TRACE Matrix business bribery risk 2016[29] 3 199
Networked Readiness Index 2014 21 133
Ease of Doing Business Index 2017 12 190
State of The World's Children's Index 2012[30] 10 165
State of The World's Women's Index 2012 18 165
World Freedom Index 2014[31] 8 165
Legatum Prosperity Index 2019 21 149

Related pages change

References change

  1. "Rahvaarv rahvuse järgi, 1. jaanuar, aasta". Archived from the original on 2020-04-20. Retrieved 2020-04-19.
  2. "Minifacts About Estonia 2017". Archived from the original on 3 November 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  3. "Population at beginning of year". Statistics Estonia. 2020. Archived from the original on 2018-12-19. Retrieved 2020-04-19.
  4. "Phc 2011 results". Statistics Estonia. 2011. Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Estonia". International Monetary Fund. 2019.
  6. "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income". EU-SILC survey. Eurostat. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  7. "2015 Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  8. Constitution of the Republic of Estonia Archived 2016-10-19 at the Wayback Machine, 6th article
  9. Võrokesed ees, setod järel. (13 July 2012).
  10. "World Bank, World Development Indicators - Google Public Data Explorer".
  11. Matthew Holehouse Estonia discovers it's actually larger after finding 800 new islands The Telegraph, 28 August 2015
  12. "The August coup and Estonian independence (1991)". Archived from the original on 2021-02-25. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  13. Hankewitz, Sten (26 January 2021). "Estonia becomes the only country in the world led by women". Estonian World. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  14. "Russia to double military presence along Nato border, Estonia warns". Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  15. "Estonian Republic". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link). Official website of the Republic of Estonia (in Estonian)
  16. Facts Archived 2 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine Estonian Timber
  17. "European Commission – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – Land Use/Cover Area frame Survey 2012 Buildings, roads and other artificial areas cover 5% of the EU ...and forests 40%". Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  18. Taylor, Neil (2014). Estonia. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 6–7. ISBN 978-1-84162-487-7.
  19. Taylor, Neil (2014). Estonia. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-84162-487-7.
  20. Taylor, Neil (2014). Estonia. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-1-84162-487-7.
  21. Spilling, Michael (2010). Estonia. Marshall Cavendish. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-84162-487-7.
  22. "Nature conservation in Estonia". Estonian Environmental Board. 16 November 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  23. Pesti, Cerlin; Randma-Liiv, Tiina (April 2018). "Estonia". In Thijs, Nick; Hammerschmid, Gerhard (eds.). Public administration characteristics and performance in EU28. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. pp. 252–255. doi:10.2767/74735. ISBN 978-92-79-90453-0. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  24. "Household Download Index". Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  25. "Estonian government approves draft same-sex marriage act". ERR News. 2023-05-15. Retrieved 2023-06-06.
  26. "Hääletustulemused 22.05.2023 / 23:42". Riigikogu (in Estonian). Retrieved 2023-06-06.
  27. "Ajalooline otsus: Eesti seadustas samasooliste abielu". ERR News (in Estonian). 2023-06-20. Retrieved 2023-06-20.
  28. "2019 Human Development Index Ranking | Human Development Reports". Archived from the original on 2020-04-30. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  29. "Trace Matrix". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  30. "Nutrition in the First 1,000 Days: State of the World's Mothers 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  31. "World Freedom Index". Retrieved 27 March 2015.

Other websites change