Information Technology Landscape in



About Estonia
Government Policies
IT Deregulation
Internet Diffusion
Legal Environment
IT Geographics
IT Financing
IT Labor Market
Transborder Data Flow
IT Impact on Business
Sources Used
About the Author

                            General Country Information



Background: After centuries of Swedish 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. 


Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, between Latvia and Russia

total: 45,226 sq km
land: 43,211 sq km
water: 2,015 sq km
note: includes 1,520 islands in the Baltic Sea

Land boundaries:
633 km
border countries: Latvia 339 km, Russia 294 km

Coastline: 3,794 km 



Population: 1,423,316 (July 2001 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years:  17.08% (male 123,997; female 119,166)
15-64 years:  68.14% (male 466,823; female 503,032)
65 years and over:  14.78% (male 68,802; female 141,496) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.55% (2001 est.)

Ethnic groups: Estonian 65.1%, Russian 28.1%, Ukrainian 2.5%, Byelorussian 1.5%, Finn 1%, other 1.8% (1998)

Religions: Evangelical Lutheran, Russian Orthodox, Estonian Orthodox, Baptist, Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Word of Life, Jewish

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

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (1998 est.) 


Government type: parliamentary democracy

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: counties have the administrative center name following in parentheses

Legal system: based on civil law system; no judicial review of legislative acts

International organization participation: 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


 In 1999, Estonia experienced its worst year economically since it regained independence in 1991 largely because of the impact of the August 1998 Russian financial crisis. Estonia joined the WTO in November 1999 - the second Baltic state to join - and continued its EU accession talks. GDP is forecast to grow 4% in 2000. Privatization of energy, telecommunications, railways, and other state-owned companies will continue in 2000. Estonia expects to complete its preparations for EU membership by the end of 2002.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $14.7 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 6.4% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $10,000 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 30.7%
services: 65.7% (1999)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.2%
highest 10%: 28.5% (1996)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):4.1% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 785,500 (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate: 11.7% (1999 est.)

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

Imports - partners: Finland 23%, Russia 13.2%, Sweden 10%, Germany 9.1%, US 4.7 (1999) 

 (CIA Fact Book)





Last Updated 12/14/2001 by Alec Snetkov