Estonia facts on every entity in the world

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.



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

Geographic coordinates

59.00° N, 26.00° E

Area 133/257

total: 45,228 sq km

land: 42,388 sq km

water: 2,840 sq km

note: includes 1,520 islands in the Baltic Sea

Area - comparative

about twice the size of New Jersey

Land boundaries

total: 657 km

border countries (2): Latvia 333 km, Russia 324 km


3,794 km

Maritime claims

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


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m

highest point: Suur Munamagi 318 m

Natural resources

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

Land use

agricultural land: 22.2%

arable land 14.9%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 7.2%

forest: 52.1%

other: 25.7% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

40 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

12.81 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 1.8 cu km/yr (3%/97%/0%)

per capita: 1,337 cu m/yr (2009)

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 amounts of pollutants emitted to the air have fallen dramatically; the pollution load of wastewater at purification plants has decreased substantially; 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, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, 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 and Society


noun: Estonian(s)

adjective: Estonian

Ethnic groups

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.)

Population 158/238

1,265,420 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 15.99% (male 103,855/female 98,478)

15-24 years: 9.74% (male 63,840/female 59,425)

25-54 years: 41.83% (male 265,496/female 263,873)

55-64 years: 13.32% (male 75,279/female 93,264)

65 years and over: 19.12% (male 81,525/female 160,385) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 53.5%

youth dependency ratio: 24.7%

elderly dependency ratio: 28.8%

potential support ratio: 3.5% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 42.1 years

male: 38.7 years

female: 45.5 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 224/233

-0.55% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 185/224

10.51 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 24/225

12.4 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 187/222

-3.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)


urban population: 67.5% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: -0.45% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

TALLINN (capital) 391,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.81 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.51 male(s)/female

total population: 0.87 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

26.4 (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 184/184

9 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 195/224

total: 3.85 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 3.73 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 86/224

total population: 76.47 years

male: 71.64 years

female: 81.53 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 183/224

1.59 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate


note: percent of women aged 18-49 (2004/05)

Health expenditures 113/191

5.7% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

3.24 physicians/1,000 population (2012)

Hospital bed density

5.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source


urban: 100% of population

rural: 99% of population

total: 99.6% of population


urban: 0% of population

rural: 1% of population

total: 0.4% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access


urban: 97.5% of population

rural: 96.6% of population

total: 97.2% of population


urban: 2.5% of population

rural: 3.4% of population

total: 2.8% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

1.3% (2013 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

8,600 (2013 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths


Obesity - adult prevalence rate 95/191

24.5% (2014)

Education expenditures 52/173

5.2% of GDP (2011)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 16 years

male: 16 years

female: 17 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 53/134

total: 18.7%

male: 17.8%

female: 19.7% (2013 est.)


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

etymology: the country name may be derived from the Aesti, an ancient people who lived along the eastern Baltic Sea in the first centuries A.D.

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 (declared); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union)

National holiday

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 2015 (2015)

Legal system

civil law system

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Estonia

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


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: Taavi ROIVAS (since 26 March 2014)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister, approved by Parliament

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by Parliament for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); if a candidate does not secure two-thirds of the votes after three rounds of balloting, then an electoral assembly of Parliament and local council members 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; Parliament vote - Toomas Hendrik ILVES (independent) 73, Indrek TARAND (independent) 25

Legislative branch

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%, other 1.8%; seats by party - RE 30, K 27, SDE 15, IRL 14, EV 8, EKRE 7

Judicial branch

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

Political parties and leaders

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 [Jevgeni OSSINOVSKI]

Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica (Isamaa je Res Publica Liit) or IRL [Margus TSAHKNA]

International organization participation

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

Flag description

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

National symbol(s)

barn swallow, cornflower; national colors: blue, black, white

National anthem

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 - overview

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. Successive government have 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 following years. 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.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 115/230

$37.88 billion (2015 est.)

$37.14 billion (2014 est.)

$36.1 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$22.93 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 147/225

2% (2015 est.)

2.9% (2014 est.)

1.6% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 63/230

$28,700 (2015 est.)

$28,200 (2014 est.)

$27,400 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 44/179

26.1% of GDP (2015 est.)

27.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

27.5% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 50.6%

government consumption: 20.5%

investment in fixed capital: 26.2%

investment in inventories: -0.4%

exports of goods and services: 89.9%

imports of goods and services: -86.8%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 3.7%

industry: 28.4%

services: 67.9% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

grain, potatoes, vegetables; livestock and dairy products; fish


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

Industrial production growth rate 80/202

3.2% (2015 est.)

Labor force 152/233

669,400 (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 3.9%

industry: 28.4%

services: 67.7% (2014)

Unemployment rate 85/207

7.2% (2015 est.)

7.3% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

22.1% (2013 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.7%

highest 10%: 27.7% (2004)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 105/144

32.9 (2013)

37 (1999)


revenues: $8.757 billion

expenditures: $8.734 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 48/219

38.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 27/220

0.1% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 165/176

10.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

10.6% of GDP (2014 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

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 54/226

0.5% (2015 est.)

-0.1% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 139/156



Commercial bank prime lending rate 147/184

5.1% (31 December 2015 est.)

4.76% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 76/192

$10.09 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$10.19 billion (31 December 2014 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

Stock of broad money 96/193

$14.71 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$14.05 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 87/191

$18.54 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$20.47 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 98/121

$2.332 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

$1.611 billion (31 December 2011)

$2.26 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 49/197

$131 million (2015 est.)

$19 million (2014 est.)

Exports 79/224

$13.44 billion (2015 est.)

$14.96 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

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.)

Exports - partners

Sweden 18.5%, Finland 15.8%, Latvia 11.1%, Russia 10%, Lithuania 5.5%, Germany 5% (2014)

Imports 86/223

$14.43 billion (2015 est.)

$16.39 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery and electrical equipment 28 %, mineral fuels 13%, food and food products 10%, chemical products 8%, metals 8%, plastics 5% (2014 est.)

Imports - partners

Finland 15.5%, Germany 11.9%, Sweden 9.1%, Latvia 8.6%, Lithuania 8%, Poland 7.8%, Netherlands 5.6%, Russia 4.7%, China 4.5% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 149/170

$509.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$436.8 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 84/206

$22.95 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$24.15 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 74/120

$26.34 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$24.99 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 61/105

$9.262 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$9.012 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

kroon (EEK) per US dollar -

0.92 (2015 est.)

0.75 (2014 est.)

0.75 (2013 est.)

0.72 (2011 est.)


Electricity - production 94/220

11.34 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 97/219

8.22 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 26/218

6.301 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 54/219

2.712 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 94/214

2.926 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 90/214

84.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 86/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 149/214

0.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 20/212

14.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 129/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 64/214

11,680 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports 185/214

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 128/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 177/214

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 114/212

32,100 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 90/214

6,738 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 96/213

31,140 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production 181/216

0 cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 96/215

530 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports 93/215

0 cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - imports 65/214

530 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 133/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 122/212

5.686 million Mt (2012 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines 103/219

total subscriptions: 410,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 32 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 150/217

total: 2.1 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 162 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

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)

Broadcast media

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)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 0, FM 34, shortwave 0 (2009)

Television broadcast stations

15 (2008)

Internet country code


Internet hosts 49/232

865,494 (2012)

Internet users 122/217

total: 1 million

percent of population: 81.6% (2014 est.)


Airports 141/236

18 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

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)

Airports - with unpaved runways

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)

Railways 85/136

total: 1,196 km

broad gauge: 1,196 km 1.520-m and 1.524-m gauge (133 km electrified)

note: includes 277 km of private rail (2014)

Roadways 72/223

total: 58,412 km (includes urban roads)

paved: 10,427 km (includes 115 km of expressways)

unpaved: 47,985 km (2011)

Waterways 90/107

335 km (320 km are navigable year round) (2011)

Merchant marine 89/156

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)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Kuivastu, Kunda, Muuga, Parnu Reid, Sillamae, Tallinn

Military and Security

Military branches

Estonian Defense Forces (Eesti Kaitsevagi): Land Force (Maavagi), Navy (Merevagi), Air Force (Ohuvagi), Defense League (Kaitseliit) (2012)

Military service age and obligation

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)

Military expenditures 39/132

2% of GDP (2013)

1.92% of GDP (2012)

1.69% of GDP (2011)

1.92% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

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 years old

Illicit drugs

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