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The World Factbook 2002

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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Map of Estonia

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Estonia
Definition Field Listing
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.
   Geography    Estonia
Definition Field Listing
Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, between Latvia and Russia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
59 00 N, 26 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
total: 45,226 sq km
note: includes 1,520 islands in the Baltic Sea
water: 2,015 sq km
land: 43,211 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than New Hampshire and Vermont combined
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 633 km
border countries: Latvia 339 km, Russia 294 km
Definition Field Listing
3,794 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
exclusive economic zone: limits fixed in coordination with neighboring states
territorial sea: 12 NM
Definition Field Listing
maritime, wet, moderate winters, cool summers
Definition Field Listing
marshy, lowlands; flat in the north, hilly in the south
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Suur Munamagi 318 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
oil shale, peat, phosphorite, clay, limestone, sand, dolomite, arable land, sea mud
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 27%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 73% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
40 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
sometimes flooding occurs in the spring
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
air polluted with sulfur dioxide from oil-shale burning power plants in northeast; however, the amount of pollutants emitted to the air have fallen steadily, the emissions of 2000 were 4.6 times smaller than in 1980; the amount of unpurified wastewater discharged to water bodies fell 20 times in 2000 compared to 1980; in connection with the start-up of new water purification plants, the pollution load of wastewater decreased; Estonia has more than 1,400 natural and manmade lakes, the smaller of which in agricultural areas need to be monitored; coastal seawater is polluted in certain locations
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ship Pollution, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
the mainland terrain is flat, boggy, and partly wooded; offshore lie more than 1,500 islands
   People    Estonia
Definition Field Listing
1,415,681 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 16.4% (male 118,603; female 114,102)
15-64 years: 68.5% (male 466,882; female 502,343)
65 years and over: 15.1% (male 70,085; female 143,666) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.52% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
8.96 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
13.44 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.73 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.49 male(s)/female
total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
12.32 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 70.02 years
female: 76.31 years (2002 est.)
male: 64.03 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.24 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.04% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
less than 500 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
less than 100 (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Estonian(s)
adjective: Estonian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Estonian 65.3%, Russian 28.1%, Ukrainian 2.5%, Belarusian 1.5%, Finn 1%, other 1.6% (1998)
Definition Field Listing
Evangelical Lutheran, Russian Orthodox, Estonian Orthodox, Baptist, Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Word of Life, Jewish
Definition Field Listing
Estonian (official), Russian, Ukrainian, Finnish, other
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (1998 est.)
   Government    Estonia
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Estonia
conventional short form: Estonia
local short form: Eesti
former: Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic
local long form: Eesti Vabariik
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
parliamentary republic
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
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 (Kuressaare), Tartumaa (Tartu), Valgamaa (Valga), Viljandimaa (Viljandi), Vorumaa (Voru)
note: counties have the administrative center name following in parentheses
Definition Field Listing
regained on 20 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 24 February (1918); note - 24 February 1918 was the date of independence from Soviet Russia, 20 August 1991 was the date of reindependence from the Soviet Union
Definition Field Listing
adopted 28 June 1992
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on civil law system; no judicial review of legislative acts
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal for all Estonian citizens
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Arnold RUUTEL (since 8 October 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Siim KALLAS (since 28 January 2002)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, approved by Parliament
election results: Arnold RUUTEL elected president on 21 September 2001 by a 367-member electoral assembly that convened following Parliament's failure in August to elect then-President MERI's successor; on the second ballot of voting, RUUTEL received 188 votes to Parliament Speaker Toomas SAVI's 155; the remaining 24 ballots were either left blank or invalid
elections: president elected by Parliament for a five-year term; if he or she does not secure two-thirds of the votes after three rounds of balloting in the Parliament, 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 21 September 2001 (next to be held in the fall of 2006); prime minister nominated by the president and approved by Parliament
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Parliament or Riigikogu (101 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Center Party 28, Union of Pro Patria (Fatherland League) 18, Reform Party 18, Moderates 17, Country People's Party (Agrarians) 7, Coalition Party 7, UPPE 6
elections: last held 7 March 1999 (next to be held NA March 2003)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
National Court (chairman appointed by Parliament for life)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Coalition Party [Mart SIIMANN, chairman]; Estonian Center Party or K [Edgar SAVISAAR, chairman]; Estonian Christian People's Party [Aldo VINKEL]; Estonian Democratic Party [Jean LAAS]; Estonian Independence Party [Vello LEITO]; Estonian People's Union [Villu REILJAN]; note - includes Estonian Country People's Party and two small parties; Estonian Reform Party [Siim KALLAS]; Estonian Social Democratic Labor Party [Tiit TOOMSALU]; Estonian United People's Party or UPPE [Viktor ANDREJEV]; Estonian Unity Party [Igor PISSAREV]; Moderates [Andres TARAND]; New Estonia Party [Ulo NUGIS]; Pro Patria Union [Mart LAAR, chairman]; Republican Party [Kristian-Olari LEPING]; Res Publica [Rein TAAGEPERA]; Russian Baltic Party [Sergei IVANOV]; Russian Party in Estonia [Nikolai MASPANOV]
note: Country People's Party, formerly under Estonian Rural People's Union, has probably dissolved
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
BIS, CBSS, CCC, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNTSO, UPU, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Sven JURGENSON
FAX: [1] (202) 588-0108
consulate(s) general: New York
telephone: [1] (202) 588-0101
chancery: 1730 M Street NW, Suite 503, Washington, DC 20036
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph M. DeTHOMAS (designate)
embassy: Kentmanni 20, 15099 Tallinn
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [372] 668-8100
FAX: [372] 668-8134
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
pre-1940 flag restored by Supreme Soviet in May 1990 - three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), black, and white
   Economy    Estonia
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Estonia, as a new member of the World Trade Organization, is steadily moving toward a modern market economy with increasing ties to the West, including the pegging of its currency to the euro. A major goal is accession to the EU, possibly by 2004. The state of the economy is greatly influenced by developments in Finland and Sweden, two major trading partners.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $14.3 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.7% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $10,000 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 6%
industry: 28%
services: 66% (2000)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
25% of households (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 29.8% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
37 (1999)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
5.8% (2001)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
608,600 (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
industry 20%, agriculture 11%, services 69% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
12.4% (2001)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $1.89 billion
expenditures: $1.89 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
engineering, electronics, wood and wood products, textile; services; transit, information technology, telecommunications
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
5% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
7.056 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 99.77%
hydro: 0.06%
other: 0.17% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
5.362 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
1.2 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
potatoes, vegetables; livestock and dairy products; fish
Definition Field Listing
$3.4 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment 24%, wood products 20%, textiles 17%, food products 9%, metals, chemical products (1999)
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Finland 27.6%, Sweden 11%, Russia 8%, Latvia 7%, Germany 6%, US 2.0% (1999) (2001)
Definition Field Listing
$4.1 billion (f.o.b., 2001)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment 38.5%, chemical products 11.2%, textiles 9.5%, foodstuffs 8.6%, metals 8.1% (2000)
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Finland 27%, Russia 10%, Germany 10%, Sweden 8% (2001)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$0 (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$108 million (2000)
Definition Field Listing
Estonian kroon (EEK)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
krooni per US dollar - 17.518 (January 2002), 17.538 (2001), 16.969 (2000), 14.678 (1999), 14.075 (1998), 13.882 (1997); note - the kroon is tied to the euro at a fixed rate of 15.65 krooni per euro
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Estonia
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
501,691 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
711,000 (yearend 2001)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: foreign investment in the form of joint business ventures greatly improved telephone service; substantial fiber-optic cable systems carry telephone, TV, and radio traffic in the digital mode; internet services are available throughout most of the country - only about 11,000 subscriber requests were unfilled by September 2000
domestic: a wide range of high quality voice, data, and internet services is available throughout the country
international: fiber-optic cables to Finland, Sweden, Latvia, and Russia provide worldwide packet-switched service; two international switches are located in Tallinn (2001)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 0, FM 98, shortwave 0 (2001)
Definition Field Listing
1.01 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
3 (2001)
Definition Field Listing
605,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
38 (2001)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
540,000 (2001)
   Transportation    Estonia
Definition Field Listing
total: 968 km common carrier lines only; does not include dedicated industrial lines
broad gauge: 968 km 1.520-m gauge (132 km electrified) (2001)
Definition Field Listing
total: 30,300 km
paved: 29,200 km (including 75 km of expressways); note - these roads are said to be hard-surfaced, and include, in addition to conventionally paved roads, some that are surfaced with gravel or other coarse aggregate, making them trafficable in all weather
unpaved: 1,100 km (2000)
Definition Field Listing
320 km (perennially navigable) (2002)
Definition Field Listing
natural gas 2,000 km (2002)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Haapsalu, Kunda, Muuga, Paldiski, Parnu, Tallinn
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 37 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 245,958 GRT/193,042 DWT
note: includes a foreign-owned ship registered here as a flag of convenience: Liberia 1 (2002 est.)
ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 13, container 5, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 9, short-sea passenger 6
Definition Field Listing
32 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
under 914 m: 1 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 24
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 6 (2001)
   Military    Estonia
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Estonia Defense Forces (including Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force), Republic Security Forces (internal and border troops), Volunteer Defense League (Kaitseliit), Maritime Border Guard, Coast Guard
note: Border Guards and Ministry of Internal Affairs become part of the Estonian Defense Forces in wartime; the Coast Guard is subordinate to the Ministry of Defense in peacetime and the Estonian Navy in wartime
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 359,902 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 282,716 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 11,164 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$155 million (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
2% (2002 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Estonia
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Russia continues to reject signing and ratifying the joint December 1996 technical border agreement with Estonia
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
transshipment point for opiates and cannabis from Southwest Asia and the Caucasus via Russia, cocaine from Latin America to Western Europe and Scandinavia, and synthetic drugs from Western Europe to Scandinavia; increasing domestic drug abuse problem; possible precursor manufacturing and/or trafficking

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

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