|Population:||1.4 million (2001)|
|Area:||45,100 sq km or 17,413 sq mi|
|Currency:||Kroon ($ 1 = 17.27)|
|Major Cities:||Tartu, Kohtla-Jarve|
|Climate:||Cool summers and cold winters|
Independence came in 1918, after centuries of Danish, Swedish, German, and Russian rule. However USSR's forcible incorporation of the country in 1940, took away that Independence. Finally it regained its freedom in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed.
Estonia consists mainly of low-lying plains, with some hills in the central and southern regions. Over 20 percent of the country's territory is covered by Wetlands and lakes and reservoirs cover another 5 percent.
The Pärnu is the longest river and follows a southwesterly course into the Gulf of Riga at Pärnu Bay. The country has more than 1,500 islands. The coastline stretches across 1,393 km (866 mi).
Location of Estonia
Estonia is a republic in northeastern Europe. It is bordered by the Gulf of Finland in the north, by Russia in the east, by Latvia in the south, and by the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga in the west. Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia together constitute the Baltic States.
Climate of Estonia
Cool summers and cold winters characterize Estonia's climate. Proximity to the Baltic Sea and the Gulfs of Riga and Finland, keeps the climate moderate in most parts though temperatures are more extreme in the interior. Temperatures range from 18°C (64°F) in summer to below freezing point in winter. Annual precipitation is moderate, ranging from 500 to 700 mm (19 to 27 in), and July and August are the wettest months. Rivers often flood due to a combination of rain and melting snow in the spring.
Flag of Estonia
Estonia's flag contains three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), black, and white. The pre-1940 flag was restored by the Soviet Union in May 1990.
Flora And Fauna of Estonia
Nearly 50% of Estonia is covered by forests. Pine, birch, aspen, and fir are the common trees found. Elk and deer are the common wildlife. Some species like the beaver, red deer, and willow grouse are protected due to their small numbers.
History of Estonia
The ancestors of Estonians seem to have settled on the Baltic shores around 3500 BC, and were soon organized in loosely federated small states. Ethnic Estonians are a majority in the population amounting to almost 64%. Russians come second. Many of the Russians or their ancestors settled in Estonia after the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) annexed the republic in 1940. Estonia is highly urbanized and about 69 percent of the people live in cities or towns, with nearly one-third of the total population residing in the capital, Tallinn. About 46 percent of the people are Christians. Estonia has an adult literacy rate of nearly 100 percent. Education is compulsory for 9 years starting from age 7.
Folk songs are an important part of Estonian culture. Estonia's literary tradition began to develop in the early 19th century. Cultural events in Estonia include ballet, opera, and drama performances that are mostly based in Tallinn. Estonia has two symphony orchestras that perform at the Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn. Spectator sports like basketball and ice hockey are popular. Museums include the Estonian Museum of Art and the Estonian History Museum, both located in the capital, and the Estonian National Museum, located in Tartu.
Economy of Estonia
The Economy of Estonia was agriculture based in the early 1900s. Soviet rule resulted into collective economics, but after independence in the 1990s, Estonia transformed its economy from a centrally planned system to a free market. Estonia is a member of the World Trade Organization and is steadily moving toward a modern market economy with increasing ties to the West, including the pegging of its currency to the euro. The strong electronics and telecom sectors have benefited the economy. The economy of Estonia is greatly influenced by developments in Finland, Sweden, and Germany, its major trading partners.