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Estonia / Eesti

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Background:
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:
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:
total: 45,228 sq km
country comparison to the world: 132
land: 42,388 sq km
water: 2,840 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 343 km, Russia 290 km

Coastline:
3,794 km

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

Climate:
Current Weather
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: 12.05%
permanent crops: 0.35%
other: 87.6% (2005)

Irrigated land:
40 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:
21.1 cu km (2005)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 1.41 cu km/yr (56%/39%/5%)
per capita: 1,060 cu m/yr (2002)

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-20th 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, 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



Population:
1,291,170 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154

Age structure:
0-14 years: 15% (male 99,770/female 93,965)
15-64 years: 67.4% (male 414,315/female 456,025)
65 years and over: 17.6% (male 74,852/female 152,243) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 40.2 years
male: 36.7 years
female: 43.7 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:
-0.635% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 228

Birth rate:
10.42 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184

Death rate:
13.48 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23

Net migration rate:
-3.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149

Urbanization:
urban population: 69% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: -0.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.063 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.49 male(s)/female
total population: 0.84 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 7.19 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 169
male: 8.34 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.96 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.08 years
country comparison to the world: 117
male: 67.74 years
female: 78.76 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.43 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.3% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
9,900 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 500 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne disease: tickborne encephalitis (2009)

Nationality:
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)

Religions:
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)

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

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

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 16 years
male: 15 years
female: 17 years (2006)

Education expenditures:
5.1% of GDP (2004)
country comparison to the world: 67



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

Capital:
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

Independence:
20 August 1991 (from the 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

Constitution:
adopted 28 June 1992

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

Suffrage:
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: Ministers appointed by the prime minister, approved by Parliament
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
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 largest number of votes; election last held on 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 RUUTEL's 162; remaining 9 ballots left blank or invalid

Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament or Riigikogu (101 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 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 People's Union 7.1%, other 5%; seats by party - Estonian Reform Party 31, Center Party 28, Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica 19, Social Democratic Party 10, Estonian Greens 6, Estonian People's Union 6, independent 1

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

Political parties and leaders:
Center Party of Estonia (Keskerakond) [Edgar SAVISAAR]; Estonian Greens (Rohelised) [Marek STRANDBERG]; Estonian People's Union (Rahvaliit) [Karel RUUTLI]; Estonian Reform Party (Reformierakond) [Andrus ANSIP]; Social Democratic Party [Juri PIHL]; Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica (Isamaa je Res Publica Liit) [Mart LAAR]

International organization participation:
Australia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA (cooperating state), EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD (accession state), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNITAR, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Vaino REINART
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 Michael C. POLT
embassy: Kentmanni 20, 15099 Tallinn
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [372] 668-8100
FAX: [372] 668-8265

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



Economy - overview:
Estonia, a 2004 European Union entrant, 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 pursued relatively sound fiscal policies that have resulted in balanced budgets - at least up until 2009 - and low public debt. Tallinn's priority has been to sustain high growth rates - on average 8% per year from 2003 to 2007. The economy benefits from strong electronics and telecommunications sectors and strong trade ties with Finland, Sweden, and Germany. The government is on track to adopt the euro in 2011. Estonia's economy slowed down markedly and fell sharply into recession in mid-2008, primarily as a result of an investment and consumption slump following the bursting of the real estate market bubble. GDP dropped nearly 15% in 2009, among the world's highest rates of contraction.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$24.36 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
$28.36 billion (2008 est.)
$29.42 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$18.26 billion (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
-14.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 209
-3.6% (2008 est.)
7.2% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$18,700 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
$21,700 (2008 est.)
$22,400 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.7%
industry: 26.3%
services: 71% (2009 est.)

Labor force:
691,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 2.8%
industry: 22.7%
services: 74.5% (2008)

Unemployment rate:
13.8% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141
5.7% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line:
19.5% (2007)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 27.7% (2004)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
34 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 91
37 (1999)

Investment (gross fixed):
21.8% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70

Budget:
revenues: $8.348 billion
expenditures: $8.677 billion (2009 est.)

Public debt:
7.2% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
4.6% of GDP (2008 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
-0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
10.4% (2008 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
8.55% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 132
6.46% (31 December 2007)

Stock of money:
$6.106 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 62
$7.158 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$5.478 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 81
$4.253 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:
$22.02 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 63
$21.35 billion (31 December 2007)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$169.6 million (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 94
$1.95 billion (31 December 2008)
$6.037 billion (31 December 2007)

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

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

Industrial production growth rate:
-25.2% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166

Electricity - production:
11.46 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87

Electricity - consumption:
7.686 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96

Electricity - exports:
2.31 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:
1.369 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:
7,600 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 87

Oil - consumption:
30,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114

Oil - exports:
7,280 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98

Oil - imports:
30,590 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200

Natural gas - consumption:
1.51 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60

Natural gas - imports:
1.51 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181

Current account balance:
$898.7 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
-$2.245 billion (2008 est.)

Exports:
$9.08 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
$12.57 billion (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment 29%, wood and paper 13%, metals 10%, food products 8%, textiles 5%, chemical products

Exports - partners:
Finland 18.57%, Sweden 12.52%, Latvia 9.51%, Russia 9.33%, Germany 6.09%, Lithuania 4.76%, US 4.26% (2009)

Imports:
$9.783 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
$15.33 billion (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment 35%, textiles 19%, mineral fuels 19%, chemical products 9%, foodstuffs 6%

Imports - partners:
Finland 14.52%, Lithuania 10.84%, Latvia 10.47%, Germany 10.33%, Russia 8.59%, Sweden 8.34%, Poland 5.63% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$3.981 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
$3.972 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$22.54 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
$26.84 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$16.23 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
$15.94 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$6.534 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
$6.658 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Exchange rates:
kroon (EEK) per US dollar - 11.482 (2009), 10.7 (2008), 11.535 (2007), 12.473 (2006), 12.584 (2005)
note: the kroon is pegged to the euro



Telephones - main lines in use:
498,100 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 97

Telephones - mobile cellular:
2.525 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 115

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 (2008)

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 34, shortwave 0 (2009)

Television broadcast stations:
15 (2008)

Internet country code:
.ee

Internet hosts:
706,449 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 47

Internet users:
888,100 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 94



Airports:
19 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 135

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 13
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2009)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 3 (2009)

Heliports:
1 (2009)

Pipelines:
gas 859 km (2009)

Railways:
total: 1,196 km
country comparison to the world: 86
broad gauge: 1,196 km 1.520 m/1.524-m gauge (131 km electrified) (2008)

Roadways:
total: 57,016 km
country comparison to the world: 79
paved: 12,371 km (includes 99 km of expressways)
unpaved: 44,645 km (2008)

Waterways:
320 km (2008)
country comparison to the world: 92

Merchant marine:
total: 29
country comparison to the world: 85
by type: cargo 5, passenger/cargo 21, petroleum tanker 2, chemical tanker 1
foreign-owned: 4 (Denmark 1, Germany 1, Norway 2)
registered in other countries: 85 (Antigua and Barbuda 23, Belize 6, Cyprus 5, Dominica 7, Finland 2, Latvia 2, Liberia 1, Malta 11, Norway 1, Panama 5, Saint Kitts and Nevis 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 16, Sweden 2, Vanuatu 1) (2008)

Ports and terminals:
Kuivastu, Kunda, Muuga, Tallinn, Virtsu



Military branches:
Estonian Defense Forces: Land Force, Navy, Air Force (Eesti Ohuvagi), Volunteer Defense League (Kaitseliit, KL) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:
obligation for compulsory service ages 16-60, with conscription "likely" ages 18-27; service requirement 8-11 months (2009)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 297,096
females age 16-49: 308,229 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 213,740
females age 16-49: 255,926 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 6,945
female: 6,564 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
2% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74



Disputes - international:
Russia recalled its signature to the 1996 technical border agreement with Estonia in 2005, rather than concede to Estonia's 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 EU's external border, Estonia must implement the strict Schengen border rules with Russia

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

 

Information from the CIA's "The World Fact Book" 2010

 

 

 

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