Fact Sheet

 



 ESTONIA
 

BACKGROUND

After centuries of Danish, Swedish, German, and Russian rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918. Forcibly incorporated into the USSR in 1940, 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

AREA

45,226 square kilometers - including 1,520 islands in the Baltic Sea

Slightly smaller than New Hampshire and Vermont combined

ECONOMY

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 followed relatively sound fiscal policies that have resulted in balanced budgets and very low public debt. The economy benefits from strong electronics and telecommunications sectors and strong trade ties with Finland, Sweden, and Germany. Tallinn's priority has been to sustain high growth rates - on average 8% per year from 2003 to 2007. 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 14% in 2009, among the world's highest rates of contraction. Rising exports to Sweden and Finland lead an economic recovery in 2010, but unemployment stands above 17%. Estonia joined the OECD in December 2010 and adopted the euro in January 2011.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Oil Shale, Peat, Rare Earth Metals, Phosphorite, Clay, Limestone, Dolomite, Arable Lad, Sea Mud

AGRICULTURE

Grain, Potatoes, Vegetables, Livestock & Dairy Products, Fish

GOVERNMENT

Parliamentary Republic

CURRENCY

Estonian Kroon (EEK)

CAPITAL

Tallinn

POPULATION

1,282,963 (July 2011 est.)

INDUSTRIES

Engineering, Electronics, Wood & Wood Products, Textile, Information Technology, Telecommunications

 

LANGUAGE

Estonian (official) 67.3%, Russian 29.7%, other 2.3%

ETHNIC GROUPS

Estonian 68.7%, Russian 29.7%, Ukrainian 2.1%, Belarusian 1.2%, Finn .8%, Other 1.6%

RELIGIONS

Evangelical Lutheran 13.6%, Russian Orthodox 12.8%, Other Christian (Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal) 1.4%, unaffiliated 34.1%, unspecified 32%, none 6.1%

INDEPENDENCE

20 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)


chief of mission: Ambassador Marina KALJURAND

chancery: 2131 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 588-0101

FAX: [1] (202) 588-0108

consulate(s) general: New York

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