|Road network length||58,974 km|
|Length of highway network||0 km|
|License plate code||EST|
Estonia (Eesti), formally the Republic of Estonia (Eesti Vabariik), is a small country in Northern Europe which is considered to be part of the Baltic States. The country is about the same size as the Netherlands and has 1.3 million inhabitants. The capital is Tallinn.
According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic republics and is located on the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland. It borders Russia to the east and Latvia to the south. 60 kilometers to the north is Finland. The country measures a maximum of 330 kilometers from west to east and 230 kilometers from north to south. The land is quite flat, with a lot of forest. On the border with Russia is the large Peipus Lake, to the west are the large islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa. In addition, there are many smaller islands off the coast.
The country has a humid continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters with lots of snow. Temperatures range from 22°C in summer to -7°C in winter, but due to the continental climate there are peaks up and down to 34°C and -31°C. In Estonia there is approximately 600 mm of precipitation per year.
Estonia is the most prosperous of the three Baltic countries, with an average salary of €1,321 per month in 2018. Unemployment is relatively low. The Estonian economy is one of the most ‘free’ in Europe, with little government intervention. The country has been paying with the euro since 2011 and its national debt is the lowest in the European Union. The country has a flat tax. More recently, the country has been compared more with Scandinavia than Eastern Europe.
Estonia has relatively little heavy industry, except for shale oil extraction in the Narva region, where almost all of Estonia’s electricity is produced. There is some light industry and manufacturing industry around Tallinn. Estonia is one of the most technologically developed countries in Europe and is at the forefront of government e-services.
About 70% of the inhabitants are ethnic Estonian, 25% are Russian and 2% Ukrainian. The population declined sharply since independence in 1991, mainly because many Russians migrated. The population decline has stopped since around 2007 and grew slightly between 2011 and 2014. See Estonia population density. The dominant city in Estonia is the capital, Tallinn, where almost a third of Estonians live. Tartu and Narva are the only other cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. Elsewhere there are only small regional towns.
The language in Estonia is Estonian, which is closely related to Finnish. The language is very different from the Baltic and Slavic languages of the region. Estonian does have many loan words from Germanic languages. Since Estonia belonged to the Soviet Union until 1991, Russian is relatively widely spoken among ethnic Russians, but also as a second language of older Estonians. In some places, Russian is a majority language.
Modern Estonia emerged in 1918 when it declared its independence from the Russian Empire. By the early 1920s, the country was widely recognized internationally. Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940. In the period 1941-1944, an occupation by Nazi Germany followed. The Germans were initially seen as liberators. In 1944, the Soviet Union reoccupied Estonia and annexed it as part of the Soviet Union. Until 1991 Estonia was part of the Soviet Union and there was mass migration of Russians to Estonia, as a result the population increased by about 50%. When Estonia became independent in 1991, many Russians left again, reducing the population by about 200,000 in 15 years. The last Russian troops left Estonia in 1994 and the country joined NATO and the EU in 2004.