Estonia Toni Diegel

Physical Geography


Estonia lies at 59 N and 26 E on the shores of the eastern side of the Baltic Sea. Estonia is north of Latvia and to the left of Russia and covers 17,462 square miles. The country is very flat and the elevation average reaches only 164 feet above sea level. The highest point, called Suur Munamagi, reaches 318 meters above sea level. At least 1,520 islands dot the outline of the long and shallow coast. The largest of these islands is Saaremaa, which means island land. Estonia is about the size of New Hampshire and Vermont combined. There are no mountain ranges in the country, but it's covered with more than 1,400 lakes. The largest of the lakes is Lake Peipsi which forms most of the border between Russia and Estonia. Estonia a temperate climate with four seasons that are almost the same in length. The average temperature during the hottest month is 61 degrees fahrenheit and during the coldest month it averages to 23 degrees fahrenheit. The capital and largest city of Estonia is Tallinn. The city is ranked as a global city and has been listed in the top 10 digital cities in the world. It was also named the European Capital of Culture for 2011. Read More:

Flag of Estonia


The flag of Estonia is tricolored with horizontal blue, black, and white stripes. The flag was issued to the Estonians on February 24, 1918, and officially and formally adopted by the country on November 21, 1918. The colors of the flag can mean different things in all parts of the country. Blue stands for ancient freedom or the sky above native land, black for lost independence or soil of homeland, and white for a brighter future or purity and hard work.



Estonias population is currently around 1,282,963 people. Nearly 70% of these people are ages 15 to 64. The growth rate in Estonia is -0.64 percent, and the population in the capital city Tallinn is currently 412,144 people. The next three cities after Tallinn for population density are Tartu, Parnu, and Narva. The overall population density is 78 people for each square mile. The total fertality rate in Estonia is about 1.4 children for each woman. There are 0.84 males for every one female, and -3.31 people for every 1,000 people in the country are migrants. For each 1,000 people at midyear, the death rate is 13.55 deaths, 500 of which are the result of HIV/AIDS.


The top 20 percent of the population earns 40 percent of the total income, while the bottom 20 percent earns only 2 percent. Inequality has increased dramatically since 1991, but the trend has slowed since 1996. The nouveau riche engage in many forms of conspicuous consumption, including expensive cars, cellular phones, designer clothing, and the display of trophy wives and mistresses.


Much like any given society, Estonia is unique in their etiquette and customs. Many customs are similar to the ones we use here in the United States, but others are specific to Estonia. It is custom to stand up and make eye contact when greeting someone. The most common greeting is "Tere" which means hello. Last names and titles are important to Estonians. Titles such as Mr. or Mrs, are to be used. Read More: __


Estonia is a democratic republic based on a parliamentary representative system. The proportional representation is elected to a four year term by the people of Estonia. Estonia's parliment is made up of 101 members. The parliment's primary role is to manage income and expenses. Estonia has both a President and a Prime Minister. Interestingly enough however, the President is more of a figure head then Political power and actually possesses no executive power. The true Head of State is the Prime Minister.
Estonia's law's are entrenched in the Constitution of Estonia. The judical powers are vested in the 19 judges of the Supreme Court. Read More: __


Estonia recently became a member of the European Union. Estonia has the lowest ratio of goverment dept to Gross Domestic Product of all the 17 nations in the E.U. Although Estonia's location remains in the Baltic area, it is being described more as a Nordic country, like its northern neighbours Sweden and Norway, due to its constantly growing and effecient economy. Estonia is exteremly effecient power wise and supplies 90% of its own electricity with locally mined shales. Key sectors of Estonia's economy include : Fishing, electronics, telecommunications, banking, chemical products, services, food, timber, transportation and Oil shale energy. Estonia's economy may be decent and apparently growing but Unemployment rates remain at around 17%. Estonia is a free trade market and continues to maintain and grow due to good trading ties with Germany, Sweden and Finland. A positive sign for Estonia is that their GDP growth rate is 2.4% as opposed to most countries who find themselves well into the negatives with this number. Read More:




Estonia's culture is made up mostly of Estonian's and Russians, but has many influences from their neighbors in Sweden and Finland. Estonia's culture is rich with music, and many festivals take place there. An example is the Estonia's National Awakening festival. It is one of the world's largest choral festivals. The festival has been known to attract hundreds of thousands and held every 5 years. The main holiday in Estonia is their indepence day, which is celebrated on February 24th. Estonia has 12 national holidays that are celebrated yearly. Unlike the United States, Estonia is not enriched with sport. Estonia does however complete in the world olympics, with most of its medals being in : Wrestling, weigh lifting and cross country skiing. Read More:

Ethnic/Religious Makeup


Citizens of Estonia are guarenteed their right to freedom of religion, seperation of religion and state, and privacy to religious beliefs in their constitution. The faith with the biggest following in Estonia is currently Evangelical Lutheran at 13.6%. The second largest religious following is Orthodox at 12.8%. Interestingly, Estonia is considered the least religious country in the world. 75.7% of its popluation interviewed claimed to be non-religious. While most Estonia's polled denied a belief in god, more then half claimed to believe in a some sort of spirit or higher being.
The Majority of the Estonia's population are Estonian (68.7%). The second largest ethnic group is Russian (25.6%). The rest being significanly smaller and spread out. As expected the language of the Country reflects its poplution with the majority speaking Estonian (67.3%). The second largest being Russian (29.7%). Read More: