Fact Sheet

Estonia

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Area 45,227 sq km
Population  1.32 million
Ethnicity - Estonian 69%, Russian 25%, Other  6%
Language - Estonian (official) 69%, Russian 30%
Labor Force 693,000      Unemployment 11%
By sector Agriculture 4%, Industry 20%, Services 76%
GDP  US$ 24 Billion  Per capita $22,400 Growth 1.5%
By sector Agriculture 4%  Industry 30%  Services 66%
Exports US$15 billion  equipment, wood prod, metals
Sweden 17%, Finland 15%, Russia 13%, other 55%
Imports US$16 billion machinery, fuels, chemicals
Finland 15%, Germany 11%, Sweden 11%, Latvia 10%

Data Source – CIA World Fact Book – data 2012/13

After centuries of Swedish, German and Russian rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918; in November of the same year the War of Independence started and ended in February 1920 when the Tartu Peace Treaty was signed and Russia accepted the independence of the Republic of Estonia. During World War II Estonia lost its independence – first it was occupied by the Soviet Union and after that by Germany. In autumn 1944 the Republic of Estonia was annexed by the Soviet Union. The restoration of Estonian independence was declared on 20 August 1991 and it became a member of the United Nations a month later. Estonia became a member of NATO and the European Union in 2004 and in 2010 a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In January 2011, Estonia adopted the Euro and thereby became the 17th member state of the European Union.

As a member of the European Union, Estonia is considered a high income economy by the World Bank. The GDP per capita of the country was $22,400 in 2013, between that of Portugal and Lithuania and, while still somewhat below that of the long term EU members, is targeted to be one of the EU’s highest within the next decade. The country is ranked 16th in the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom with freest economy in Eastern Europe. Because of its rapid growth, Estonia has been described as the Baltic Tiger. Estonia today is mostly influenced by developments in Finland, Sweden and Germany, its three largest trade partners and countries with which it had historically been most aligned.

Estonia has the lowest ratio of Government debt to GDP among the world countries, 6% in 2013 (UK 88%, Germany 80%, Russia 8%). A balanced budget, almost non-existent public debt, flat income-
tax rate, free trade regime, competitive commercial banking sector, innovative e-Services (including
the creation of Skype) are all hallmarks of Estonia’s market economy. Estonia produces 75% of its consumed energy of which some 85% is generated with locally mined oil shale. Oil shale energy (including oil shale exports), telecommunications, textiles, chemical products, banking service, food and fishing, timber, shipbuilding, electronics and transportation are key sectors of the economy.

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