[Country map of Estonia]



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

Map references: Europe

total area: 45,100 sq km
land area: 43,200 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than New Hampshire and Vermont combined
note: includes 1,520 islands in the Baltic Sea

Land boundaries: total 557 km, Latvia 267 km, Russia 290 km

Coastline: 1,393 km

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

International disputes: claims over 2,000 sq km of Russian territory in the Narva and Pechora regions - based on boundary established under the 1921 Peace Treaty of Tartu

Climate: maritime, wet, moderate winters, cool summers

Terrain: marshy, lowlands

Natural resources: shale oil, peat, phosphorite, amber

Land use:
arable land: 22%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 11%
forest and woodland: 31%
other: 36%

Irrigated land: 110 sq km (1990)

current issues: air heavily polluted with sulfur dioxide from oil-shale burning power plants in northeast; contamination of soil and groundwater with petroleum products, chemicals at military bases
natural hazards: flooding occurs frequently in the spring
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ship Pollution, Wetlands


Population: 1,625,399 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 22% (female 174,304; male 181,101)
15-64 years: 65% (female 549,473; male 515,426)
65 years and over: 13% (female 139,722; male 65,373) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.53% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 13.9 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 11.93 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 3.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 18.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.17 years
male: 65.2 years
female: 75.39 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.98 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Estonian(s)
adjective: Estonian

Ethnic divisions: Estonian 61.5%, Russian 30.3%, Ukrainian 3.17%, Byelorussian 1.8%, Finn 1.1%, other 2.13% (1989)

Religions: Lutheran

Languages: Estonian (official), Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian, other

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1989)
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100%

Labor force: 750,000 (1992)
by occupation: industry and construction 42%, agriculture and forestry 20%, other 38% (1990)


conventional long form: Republic of Estonia
conventional short form: Estonia
local long form: Eesti Vabariik
local short form: Eesti
former: Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic

Digraph: EN

Type: republic

Capital: Tallinn

Administrative divisions: 15 counties (maakonnad, singular - maakond): Harju maakond (Tallinn), Hiiu maakond (Kardla), Ida-Viru maakond (Johvi), Jarva maakond (Paide), Jogeva maakond (Jogeva), Laane maakond (Haapsalu), Laane-Viru maakond (Rakvere), Parnu maakond (Parnu), Polva maakond (Polva), Rapla maakond (Rapla), Saare maakond (Kuessaare), Tartu maakond (Tartu), Valga maakond (Valga), Viljandi maakond (Viljandi), Voru maakond (Voru)
note: county centers are in parentheses

Independence: 6 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 24 February (1918)

Constitution: adopted 28 June 1992

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

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Lennart MERI (since 21 October 1992); election last held 20 September 1992; (next to be held fall 1996); results - no candidate received majority; newly elected Parliament elected Lennart MERI (21 October 1992)
head of government: Prime Minister Andres TARAND (since NA October 1994)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by the prime minister, authorized by the legislature

Legislative branch: unicameral
Parliament (Riigikogu): elections last held 5 March 1995 (next to be held NA 1998); results - KMU 32.22%, RE 16.18%, K 14.17%, Pro Patria and ERSP 7.85%, M 5.98%, Our Home is Estonia and Right-Wingers 5.0%; seats - (101 total) KMU 41, RE 19, K 16, Pro Patria 8, Our Home is Estonia 6, M 6, Right-Wingers 5

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: Coalition Party and Rural Union (KMU) made up of 4 parties: Coalition Party, Country People's Party, Farmer's Assembly, and Pensioners' and Families' League; Coalition Party, Tiit VAHI, chairman; Country People's Party, Arnold RUUTEL, chairman; Farmer's Assembly, Jaak-Hans KUKS, chairman; Pensioners' and Families' League; Reform Party-Liberals (RE), Siim KALLAS, chairman; Center Party (K), Edgar SAVISAAR, chairman; Union of Pro Patria (Isaama of Fatherland), Mart LAAR, chairman; National Independence Party (ERSP), Kelam TUNNE, chairman; Our Home is Estonia made up of 2 parties: United Peoples Party and the Russian Party in Estonia; United Peoples Party, Viktor ANDREJEV, chairman; Russian Party in Estonia, Sergei KUZNETSOV, chairman; Moderates (M) made up of 2 parties: Social Democratic Party and Rural Center Party; Social Democratic Party, Eiki NESTOR, chairman; Rural Center Party, Vambo KAAL, chairman; Right-Wingers, Ulo NUGIS, chairman


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Toomas Hendrik ILVES
chancery: 1030 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005, Suite 1000
telephone: [1] (202) 789-0320
FAX: [1] (202) 789-0471
consulate(s) general: New York

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Keith SMITH
embassy: Kentmanni 20, Tallinn EE 0001
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [372] (2) 312-021 through 024
FAX: [372] (2) 312-025

Flag: pre-1940 flag restored by Supreme Soviet in May 1990 - three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), black, and white


Overview: Bolstered by a widespread national desire to reintegrate into Western Europe, the Estonian government has pursued an ambitious program of market reforms and stabilization measures, which is rapidly transforming the economy. Three years after independence - and two years after the introduction of the kroon - Estonians are beginning to reap tangible benefits; inflation, though still high, was brought down to about 2% per month in second half 1994; production declines have bottomed out with estimated growth of 4% in 1994; and living standards are rising. Economic restructuring has been dramatic. By 1994 the service sector accounted for over 55% of GDP, while the once-dominant heavy industrial sector continues to shrink. The private sector is growing rapidly; the share of the state enterprises in the economy has steadily declined and by late 1994 accounted for only about 40% of GDP. Estonia's foreign trade has shifted rapidly from East to West; the Western industrialized countries now account for two-thirds of foreign trade.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $10.4 billion (1994 estimate as extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1992)

National product real growth rate: 4% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $6,460 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.3% per month (1994 average)

Unemployment rate: about 2% in 1994 (official estimate but large number of underemployed workers)

revenues: $643 million
expenditures: $639 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1993 est.)

Exports: $1.65 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
commodities: textile 14%, food products 11%, vehicles 11%, metals 11% (1993)
partners: Russia, Finland, Sweden, Germany

Imports: $1 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
commodities: machinery 18%, fuels 15%, vehicles 14%, textiles 10% (1993)
partners: Finland, Russia, Germany, Sweden

External debt: $650 million (end of 1991)

Industrial production: growth rate -27% (1993)

capacity: 3,420,000 kW
production: 11.3 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 6,528 kWh (1993)

Industries: oil shale, shipbuilding, phosphates, electric motors, excavators, cement, furniture, clothing, textiles, paper, shoes, apparel

Agriculture: accounts for 10% of GDP; employs 20% of work force; very efficient by Soviet standards; net exports of meat, fish, dairy products, and potatoes; imports of feedgrains for livestock; fruits and vegetables

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for illicit drugs from Central and Southwest Asia and Latin America to Western Europe; very limited illicit opium producer; mostly for domestic consumption

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (1992), $10 million

Currency: 1 Estonian kroon (EEK) = 100 cents (introduced in August 1992)

Exchange rates: kroons (EEK) per US$1 - 12.25 (January 1995); note - kroons are tied to the German Deutschmark at a fixed rate of 8 to 1

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 1,030 km common carrier lines only; does not include dedicated industrial lines
broad gauge: 1,030 km 1.520-m gauge (1990)

total: 30,300 km
paved or graveled: 29,200 km
unpaved: earth 1,100 km (1990)

Inland waterways: 500 km perennially navigable

Pipelines: natural gas 420 km (1992)

Ports: Haapsalu, Narva, Novotallin, Paldiski, Parnu, Tallinn

Merchant marine:
total: 65 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 415,332 GRT/532,749 DWT
ships by type: bulk 6, cargo 44, container 2, oil tanker 2, roll-on/roll-off cargo 7, short-sea passenger 4

total: 22
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 3
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 2
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 4
with unpaved runways under 914 m: 5


Telephone system: about 400,000 telephones; 246 telephones/1,000 persons; telephone system is antiquated; improvements are being made piecemeal, with emphasis on business needs and international connections; there are still about 150,000 unfulfilled requests for telephone service
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: international traffic is carried to the other former USSR republics by land line or microwave and to other countries partly by leased connection to the Moscow international gateway switch, and partly by a new Tallinn-Helsinki fiber optic submarine cable which gives Estonia access to international circuits everywhere; substantial investment has been made in cellular systems which are operational throughout Estonia and also Latvia and which have access to the international packet switched digital network via Helsinki

broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 3; note - provide Estonian programs as well as Moscow Ostenkino's first and second programs
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Force (not officially sanctioned), Maritime Border Guard, Volunteer Defense League (Kaitseliit), Security Forces (internal and border troops), Coast Guard

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 396,588; males fit for military service 311,838; males reach military age (18) annually 11,915 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $34.1 million, almost 5% of the overall State budget and 1.5% of GDP (1995)