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 Estonia [Country Flag of Estonia]
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Estonia]

Estonia

Geography

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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: 45,226 sq km
land: 43,211 sq km
water: 2,015 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 339 km, Russia 294 km

Coastline: 3,794 km

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

Climate: maritime, wet, moderate winters, cool summers

Terrain: marshy, lowlands

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Suur Munamagi 318 m

Natural resources: shale oil (kukersite), peat, phosphorite, amber, cambrian blue clay

Land use:
arable land: 22%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 11%
forests and woodland: 31%
other: 36% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 110 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: flooding occurs frequently in the spring

Environment—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 former Soviet military bases; Estonia has more than 1,400 natural and manmade lakes, the smaller of which in agricultural areas are heavily affected by organic waste; coastal sea water is polluted in many locations

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ship Pollution, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

People

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Population: 1,421,335 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 19% (male 136,278; female 131,480)
15-64 years: 67% (male 456,796; female 492,946)
65 years and over: 14% (male 66,261; female 137,574) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.99% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 9.04 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 14.15 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -4.76 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.48 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 13.98 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.52 years
male: 62.5 years
female: 74.83 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.29 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Estonian(s)
adjective: Estonian

Ethnic groups: Estonian 64.2%, Russian 28.7%, Ukrainian 2.7%, Byelorussian 1.5%, Finn 1%, other 1.9% (1995)

Religions: Evangelical Lutheran, Russian Orthodox, Estonian Orthodox, others include Baptist, Methodist, 7th Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Word of Life, 7th Day Baptist, Judaism

Languages: Estonian (official), Russian, Ukrainian, other

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

Government

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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

Data code: EN

Government type: parliamentary democracy

National capital: Tallinn

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 (Kuessaare), Tartumaa (Tartu), Valgamaa (Valga), Viljandimaa (Viljandi), Vorumaa (Voru)
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following 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 for all Estonian citizens

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Lennart MERI (since 5 October 1992)
head of government: Prime Minister Mart SIIMANN (since 12 March 1997)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, approved by Parliament
elections: president elected by Parliament for a five-year term; if he or she does not secure two-thirds of the votes after 3 rounds of balloting, then an electoral assembly (made up of Parliament plus members of local governments) elects the president, choosing between the two candidates with the largest percentage of votes; election last held August-September 1996 (next to be held fall 2001); prime minister nominated by the president and approved by Parliament
election results: Lennart MERI elected president by an electoral assembly after Parliament was unable to break a deadlock between MERI and RUUTEL; percent of electoral assembly vote—Lennert MERI 61%, Arnold RUUTEL 39%

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Riigikogu (101 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 5 March 1995 (next to be held NA March 1999)
election results: percent of vote by party—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 by party—KMU 41, RE 19, K 16, Pro Patria 8, Our Home is Estonia 6, M 6, Right-Wingers 5

Judicial branch: National Court, chairman appointed by the Parliament for life

Political parties and leaders: Coalition Party and Rural Union or KMU [Mart SIIMAN, chairman] made up of 4 parties: Coalition Party or EK, Country People's Party [Arnold RUUTEL, chairman]/Farmer's Assembly or EME, Rural Union or EM [Arvo SIRENDI, chairman] , and Pensioners' and Families' League or EPPL [Mai TREIAL, chairperson]; Reform Party or RE [Siim KALLAS, chairman]; Center Party or K [Edgar SAVISAAR, chairman]; Union of Pro Patria or Fatherland League (Isamaaliit) [Toivo JURGENSON, chairman]; National Independence Party or ERSP [Tunne KELAM, chairman]; Our Home is Estonia [Viktor ANDREJEV] made up of two parties: United Peoples Party and the Russian Party of Estonia; note—Our Home is Estonia split when two Russian Party of Estonia members withdrew; United Peoples Party [Viktor ANDREJEV, chairman]; Russian Party of Estonia [Nikolai MASPANOV, chairman]; Moderates or M [Andres TARAND] made up of two parties: Social Democratic Party or ESDP and Rural Center Party or EMK; Social Democratic Party [Eiki NESTOR, chairman]; Rural Center Party [Vambo KAAL, chairman]; Right-Wingers [Ulo NUGIS, chairman]; Republican Conservative [Vootele HANSEN]; Development/Progressive Party [Andra VEIDEMANN, chairwoman], note—party was created by defectors from Center Party in late spring 1996, Development Party faction split and now holds five independent seats

International organization participation: BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNMIBH, UNTSO, UPU, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Grigore-Kalev STOICESCU
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 (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Walter ANDRUSYSZYU
embassy: Kentmanni 20, Tallinn EE 0001
mailing address: American Embassy Tallinn; PSC 78, Box T; APO AE 09723
telephone: [372] (6) 312-021
FAX: [372] (6) 312-025

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

Economy

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Economy—overview: In 1997 Estonia's continued implementation of market economic reforms, disciplined fiscal and monetary policies, and a liberal free trade regime resulted in GDP growth of 10% and a drop in inflation to 11.2%. Estonia can point to its inclusion among the first group of Central and East European countries to begin EU accession talks in 1998 as its most significant economic achievement in 1997. Other economic strengths include solid investment grade rating from both Standard and Poors and Moody's, government revenue collection in excess of projections by more than 6%, growth in exports at a faster rate than imports, and record levels of foreign direct investment, among the highest per capita in Central and East Europe. Estonia privatized its shipping company in 1997, but failed to make as much progress privatizing other large infrastructure/utility companies, such as Eesti Energia and the Oil Shale company, which it plans to privatize in the next two years. The growing current account deficit, which stood at nearly 10% of GDP at yearend 1997, remains a serious concern. In 1998, GDP is expected to grow by 5.5% and inflation to fall 10%.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$9.34 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 10% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$6,450 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 7.1%
industry: 24.9%
services: 68% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 11.2% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 785,000 (1996 est.)
by occupation: industry and construction 42%, agriculture and forestry 20%, other 38% (1990)

Unemployment rate: 3.6% (1997 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $1.7 billion
expenditures: $1.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $214 million (1996 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: 3% (1996 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 3.287 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 8.083 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 4,355 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: potatoes, fruits, vegetables; livestock and dairy products; fish

Exports:
total value: $2 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: textiles 16%, food products 16%, machinery and equipment 16%, metals 9% (1995)
partners: Finland, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Latvia (1995)

Imports:
total value: $3.2 billion (c.i.f., 1996)
commodities: machinery and equipment 29%, foodstuffs 14%, minerals 13%, textiles 13%, metals 12% (1995)
partners: Finland, Russia, Sweden, Germany (1995)

Debt—external: $270 million (January 1996)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $147 million (1993)
note: Western commitments $285 million (including international financial institutions)

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

Exchange rates: krooni (EEK) per US$1—14.527 (January 1998), 13.882 (1997), 12.034 (1996), 11.465 (1995), 12.991 (1994), 13.223 (1993); note—krooni are tied to the German deutsche mark at a fixed rate of 8 to 1

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications

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Telephones: 400,000 (1994 est.)

Telephone system: 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 subscriber service
domestic: substantial investment has been made in cellular systems which are operational throughout Estonia
international: international traffic is carried to the other former Soviet republics by landline or microwave radio relay 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; access to the international packet-switched digital network via Helsinki

Radio broadcast stations: 3 commercial broadcast stations, 1 government broadcast station (1994)

Radios: 710,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 4 (1993)
note: provide Estonian programs as well as Moscow Ostenkino's first and second programs

Televisions: 600,000 (1993 est.)

Transportation

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Railways:
total: 1,018 km common carrier lines only; does not include dedicated industrial lines
broad gauge: 1,018 km 1.520-m gauge (132 km electrified) (1995)

Highways:
total: 15,304 km
paved: 8,142 km (including 65 km of expressways)
unpaved: 7,162 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 500 km perennially navigable

Pipelines: natural gas 420 km (1992)

Ports and harbors: Haapsalu, Narva, Paldiski, Parnu, Tallinn

Merchant marine:
total: 53 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 368,340 GRT/455,696 DWT
ships by type: bulk 6, cargo 27, combination bulk 1, container 5, oil tanker 2, roll-on/roll-off cargo 7, short-sea passenger 5 (1997 est.)

Airports: 5 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 5
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m : 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (1997 est.)

Military

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

Military manpower—military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 351,148 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 275,610 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 10,424 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $35 million (1995)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 1.5% (1995)

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: Estonian and Russian negotiators reached a technical border agreement in December 1996 which has not been ratified; Estonia claimed over 2,000 sq km territory in the Narva and Pechory regions of Russia—based on boundary established under the 1920 Peace Treaty of Tartu

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for opiates and cannabis from Southwest Asia and the Caucasus, and cocaine from Latin America to Western Europe and Scandinavia