Eesti Vabariik
Republic of Estonia
Flagge Estlands: Drei horizontal verlaufende Blockstreifen. Von oben in blassem blau, schwarz, weiß.
Wappen Estlands
(detail) (detail)
office language Estnisch
capital Tallinn (Reval)
president Arnold Rüütel
prime minister Andrus Ansip
surface 45,227 km ²
number of inhabitants 1.347.510 (conditions January 2005)
population density of 30 inhabitants per km ²
gros domestic product/inhabitant 9,112 US-$ (2005)
unemployment ratio 5.9% (Feb.2006)
independence 24. February 1918 (declaration); 20. August 1991 (regaining)
currency Estni crown
time belt UTC +2
national anthem Mu isamaa, mu õnn rõõm
state border 633km
Kfz characteristic EST
Internet TLD .ee
ISO land code (num) 233
preselection +372
Lage von Estland in Europa
Karte von Estland

Estonia (estnisch Eesti) a state is in Northern Europe and member of the European union.

Table of contents


Finnischer Meerbusen
Finnish sea bosoms

Estonia borders on Latvia, Russia as well as on the Baltic Sea. Over the Finnish sea bosoms away close relations existsto Finland. The country is surface-moderately somewhat smaller than Lower Saxony and somewhat larger than Switzerland. In the south of the country is the highest collection, the Suur Munamägi (318 m). The largest lake is the Peipsi Järv (Peipussee). Pre-aged are 1520 islands, the largest of it are Saaremaa.

See also: List of the islands of Estonia, Liste of the cities in Estonia

Flora and fauna

remarkable is the rich tree vegetation, approximately 44% of the national surfaceare wooded. Beside deer, deer and foxes also moose ( 2000-3000) come, beaver, Marder, the very rare snow hares (approx. 200) and isolated pay forwards. Also the large robbery animal species are brown bear (approx. 800!) and wolf (approx. 600) in Estoniadomestic, likewise the Luchs (approx. 2000). One hears again and again isolated of dogs and herds of sheep, which are resulted allegedly by wolves. Wolf, bar and Luchs are huntable in Estonia, whereby the entry to the European Union here - in Estonia often criticized- Restrictions brought, particularly since it concerns with the Luchsjagd pure “sport”.

to population

the inhabitants of Estonia (2003) the following nationalities belong:

scarce 45%the population of capital in Tallinn are not estnischer native language.

Meanwhile numerous foreigners let themselves be in-patriated. The naturalization procedure is however connected with a language test, which many above all older Russians than feel unreasonably and with difficulty. Younger Russians control often Estnisch and dowith the photograph criteria more easily. Lately bring Russians increases their children in the estnischen kindergartens and schools.

Despite the numerous national programs did not succeed yet eliminating the disadvantage of the minorities completely. There are even Russians,those changed their surnames to have in hope, better chances on the job market. The Esten has a higher income on the average compared with the russischsprachigen minority. Esten are to be found particularly in the line positions, the Russiansmore in the service, production department. The Esten again speaks less and less Russian, which communication with the neighborly business partners difficult more difficult and which better professional prospects to Russian-speaking inhabitants opens.

40,000 Esten live in Russia.

largest cities

City circle inhabitant
31.March 2000 1. January 2005
Tallinn Harju 400,378 396,010
Tartu Tartu 101,169 101,483
Narva IDA Viru 68,680 67,144
Kohtla Järve IDA Viru 47,679 46,032
Pärnu Pärnu 45,500 44,396
Viljandi Viljandi 20,756 20,354
Sillamäe IDA Viru 17,199 16,678
Rakvere Lääne Viru 17,097 16,786
Maardu Harju 16.738 16,601
Kuressaare Saare 14,925 14,897
Võru Võru 14,879 14,609
Valga Valga 14,323 13,980
Jõhvi IDA Viru 12,112 11,533
Haapsalu Lääne 12,054 11,809
Paide Järva 9,642 9,744
Keila Harju 9,388 9,401
Kiviõli IDA Viru 7,405 6,992


a majority thatEsten is today denominationless.

Religion plays only for a minority of the population a role. Traditional religion of the Esten is the Christian faith in the form of the Protestant Luthertums, how it is far common in Scandinavia. Nevertheless is the Estni Evangelical-Lutheran church (EELK) a quasi official church (services to openings of parliament etc.) and its archbishop the central figure of the estnischen public religion; the EELK dominates also the relatively comprehensive theologian training in Estonia (in Tartu at the university and in Tallinnat the church university). Today still about 30% of the population admit themselves as members in Christian churches and/or religious communities. Of it are:

beside it gives it smaller municipalities otherProtestant, Jewish and Islamic communities.


major item: History of Estonia

Geschichtsträchtig: Tallinn, das alte Reval
historicalpregnant: Tallinn, the old Reval

today's Estonia consists of the former (until 1918 to the Russian realm due) Baltic Sea province Estonia and the northern part of live country, to thatalso the island Saaremaa (Ösel) belonged. The Vasallen come with the German medal into the country had united 1252 for the first time to an autonomous Landesverwaltung, which was confirmed by to 1346 Danish Nordestland. After the end of the rule of the medal 1561, the hanseatischen cities took and to knight shanks on the country the public tasks of autonomy were. The national privileges, an autonomy status also ab1561 was confirmed by the Swedish, and since 1710 of the Russian upper rule.

Estonia stood up to the end of the Nordi war under Swedish rule (the last schwedischsprachigen inhabitants during German occupation in the Second World War to Sweden were repatriated). Up to this time became in parts of Estonia, particularly on the islands Hiiumaa (Dagö), Vormsi and Ruhnu (Runö) still Estlandschwedisch spoken. This dialect, which ranks with the Finland-Swedish among the eastSwedish languages, quite developed with the time to an independent language.

A central role played the university with this development to the own cultural and political identity Tartu (Dorpat), on since the 70's the 19. Century the studying Esten consciously no more over the membership in the Corporationen to assimilate itself did not want, but promoted an own identity particularly in the association of studying Esten (EÜS). Duringthe decay of the Russian realm in the process of the October Revolution Estonia 1918 attained its independence.

In the years 1939 /40 were gotten the Deutschbalten by the national socialists from Estonia and Lettland “home in the realm”. Reason was in the secret treaty to Hitler Stalin pact closed agreement to leave the Baltic to the Soviet catchment area.

Under substantial pressure and threat of force by the Soviet Union the Baltic countries “ joined1940 this “”. (“Estni socialist Soviet republic “was proclaimed with support by Soviet Emmisaren), after Estoniabefore already Russian troops on his territory to bear had. From 1941 to 1944 the country was occupied and involved itself now by German troops as part of the Generalkommissariats east country at the Genozid - politics of the third realm.

Due to the experienceswith the Soviets also Esten the German troops followed, however likewise Esten on the Soviet side fought. After renewed occupation by the Red Army in the autumn 1944, as consequence of the conference of Jalta, the country became inthe CSU integrated. Deportierungen followed.

In August 1991 Estonia became after efforts of several years in particular since 1988 again independent. The term of the singing revolution showed that predominantly peaceful process of the release efforts. It became to 2. April 2004 NATO - member. The estnischePopulation endorsed to 14. September 2003 in a referendum the entry to the European union. At the 1. May 2004 thereupon Estonia taken up to the European Union. Still 2001 was in inquiries only 30 per cent for it and 51 per cent against thatEuropean Union entry; 2004 were excluded the large Russian minority from the referendum.


European monetary system

to 27. Estonia and further two of the 10 new European Union stepped June 2004 - countries the rate of exchange mechanism II in the context EMSII, the first step, in order to introduce in at the earliest 2 years the euro. Estonia, Litauen and Slowenien committed themselves the guidance courses of their currencies to the euro and to obligate immediately to hold the fluctuations under ± 15%.

The guidance coursefor the estnische crown is now 15.6466 per euro, which means a maximum range from (rounded) 13.30 to 17.99 crowns. Appropriate course results on the 1993 specified coupling of the crown to the D-mark in the relationship 1 = 8 EEK.Further Estonia (like also Lithuania) commits itself to a lasting budgetary policy.

tuning to the European Union membership

to 14. Septembers 2003 co-ordinated the Esten on the entry to the European union. The election turnout was with 64%. With oneMajority of 66,9% yes-voices to 33.1% negative votes the citizens for the membership in the European Union votierten; that is the lowest agreement rate all central and Eastern European European Union new members.

See also: Estni euro coins

of results of the European elections 2004

election turnout: 26.89%

A party % seats
Social Democrat 36.8 3
central party 17.5 1
native country federation 10.5 a 1
reform party 12.2 1

Grenzvertrag with Russia

to 18. May 2005 was signed in Moscow since 1999 the Grenzvertrag with Russia, out-negotiated. ThoseDelay was connected with the refusal of the Russian president Putin , which estnische view of the Annexion 1940 (Estni Soviet republic) to accept (see also contract of Dorpat 1920). To 27. June 2005 pulled the performed signature to Russia however againback, since it did not agree with the estnischen draft of the preamble, which these wanted to place in front the contract and in on the “decades the crew” as well as the past “aggressions of the Soviet Union against Estonia” are referred to. The border question is therebyfurther inexplicably.

administrative arrangement

Kreiseinteilung of Estonia

Estonia is divided into 15 districts (estnisch pl. maakonnad, sing. maakond):

Circle administrative seat
Harju Tallinn
Hiiu Kärdla
IDA Viru Jõhvi
Jõgeva Jõgeva
Järva Paide
Lääne Haapsalu
Lääne Viru Rakvere
Põlva Põlva
Pärnu Pärnu
Rapla Rapla
Saare Kuressaare
Tartu Tartu
Valga Valga
Viljandi Viljandi
Võru Võru


the transportation network is well developed. The road and the navigation on the Baltic Sea play the most important role, in the goods traffic in addition also the railwayin form of the society Eesti Raudtee. International person railway traffic is limited to a daily train connection to Moscow. High seas port are in Tallinn, Pärnu and Sillamäe. The country of the via Baltica is crossed from the south to the north.Air traffic concentrates on the international airport Tallinns, Ülemiste, which is basis of the estnischen airlines Estonian air , aero airlines and Avies. Estonian air serves 737 -500 European Destinationen with five Boeing, among other things Stockholm, Oslo, London, Moscow, Brussels and Copenhagen. In Germany Berlin becomes - Tegel, Frankfurt and Hamburg serve. Aero airlines serves the distance Tallinn with turboprop aircraft the type ATR-72 -200 - Helsinki in co-operation with the Finnish airline Finnair. AviesBritish Aerospace Jetstream 31 and Let L-410 von Tallinn connects the pre-aged islands Saaremaa and Hiiumaa with small turboprop aircraft of the types. Foreign airlines, which approach Tallinn, are air Baltic (of Riga and Vilnius), Lufthansa (from Frankfurt), Easyjet (of Londonand Berlin), SAS (of Stockholm), PLUMB BOB (of Warsaw), Czech airlines (of Prague) and KLM (of Amsterdam). To 28. September 1994 sank the estnische ferry Estonia before the coast of Finland on the passage to Stockholm, after the Bugklappe on higherLake broke off. With the misfortune 852 humans died.


after Scandinavian model organized Estonia after the case of the wall its community completely over: few hierarchies, much transparency of the national organs, modern communicationses. This has itself fastpaid made.


since the overcoming of the Russia crisis of 1998/99 grows the economy of all three Baltic states, however on the basis of a low starting situation after the crisis. In Estonia the increase of the gross domestic product was appropriate (GROS DOMESTIC PRODUCT) (material) since that timeannually at least 5%, (2004) with 6,2%, 2005 - presumably 8.5%.

The regularly high growth of the Baltic countries brought in the designation Baltic tigers for them.

The estländische GROS DOMESTIC PRODUCT 2004 reached thereby 2004 9.0 billion , corresponds 6,703€ perInhabitant (to the comparison: Germany: 26.400 €).

state State of, taxes, prices, wages

the state budget was 2004 with 3,37 billion Euro, whereby a surplus of 151 millions Euro to register was. Since 2001 this was the fourth positive national budget inConsequence - a rarity in the European Union. This led to it that the estnische state and thus the population can afford again more, the state State of (portion of the public expenditures of the GROS DOMESTIC PRODUCT) rose 2004 to 38% on (like last 1998), after italready on 35% (2001) had sunk. The national indebtedness amounted to in the year 2004 5.5% GROS DOMESTIC PRODUCT, with which Estonia European Union far lies clearly seen scarcely before Luxembourg (6.6%), but before most other European Union member countries. For 2005 a further will drop of theDebt conditions on 5,1% expects.

between 1992 and 2000 the portion

of the public expenditures for the health service was to public expenditures for health, education

control system

Estonia has a standard tax set, which is with 24%.

After independence 1991 a progressive taxation with 16, 24 and 33 per cent applied in Estonia to persons. The control system was reformed 1994. As the first European country Estonia led onelow standard tax set , which was at that time with 26%. Amounts to current these 24% and is to be lowered until 2009 on 20%.


had clearly slowed prices down and wages raising the price of (1.3%), with the European Union entrybut again attraction (2004: 3%). The comparatively high price increases of the previous years (on average with 5%) had led - with stable currency - in Estonia to clearly higher cost of living than in the neighbour states Latvia and Litauen. The comparatively high are accordinglyAverage wages of 462 € (2004; to the comparison: Latvia 317 € (2004)) to set not automatically with higher standard of living directly.

branches of production

prevailing branches of industry are (2002) the wood, paper and furniture industry (25%) and food industry (28%). Large increases gaveit in the electrical industry/machine and building of vehicle parts (18%), where Estonia with Norma accommodates one the world-wide largest manufacturer for seat belts.

Important enterprises of the producing trade in Estonia:

  • Wood and furniture industry: Horizon in Kehra
  • of vehicle parts: Norma in Tallinn (seat belts)
  • electronics:Elcoteq in Tallinn
  • of building materials: Nordic Tsement in Kunda
  • building industry: Merko Ehitus in Tallinn
  • textile industry: Kreenholm (kitchen textiles) in Narva, Baltex 2000 (materials and yarns) in Tallinn
  • food:Rakvere Lihakombinaat in Rakvere (meat), A.LeCoq in Tartu (beer & beverages), Saku in Saku/Harjumaa(Beer & beverages), Kalev in Rae with Tallinn (sweets)
  • energy: Eesti Põlevkivi in Jõhvi (oil shale dismantling)


conditions 31 have direct investments small Estonia. December 2004 scarcely 7 billion € foreign capital at direct investments attraction, that are 5.170€ per head and nearly 80% annual GROS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (to the comparison Lithuania: scarcely 1350 € per head). Most important country of origin of direct investments (FDI) in Estonia is with far distance Sweden. The investments at a value of approximately 3.2 billion€ became v.a. within the range banking and telecommunications transacted. Finland (1.7 billion follows €) and with already large distance the USA (300 millions €). From Germany so far only 157 millions originate €, insignificantly more than from Austria (104 millions€).

Important one foreign investors:

  • Financing: Swedbank (s): 60% at Hansabank, SEB (s): 100% at Eesti Ühispank, Sampo bank (FIN), If (S/Versicherung), Ergo (D/Versicherung), Nordea Finance (FIN/Leasing)
  • telecommunications: TeliaSonera over Baltic Tele (S-FIN): 50% at Eesti Telekom (fixed net), Tele 2 (s)
  • Energy: Shell and/or. Statoil (UK and/or. N/Tankstellen), E.on Ruhr gas, Fortum and Gazprom (D/FIN/RU) at Eesti ATMs, Daikia (F) at Tallinna Küte (warmth)
  • textile: Tolaram (SGP) 100% at Baltex 2000, Bora's Wäfveri (s) at Krenholm
  • of building materials:Atlas Nordic Cement (FIN)at Kunda Nordic Tsement
  • wood working: Tolaram (SGP): 100% at Horizon, Atlantic Veneer Group (the USA) at Balti Spoon (wooden plates, furniture)
  • food: HC Ruokatalo (FIN) at Rakvere Lihakombinaat (meat), Olvi at A. LeCoq (beer & beverages), Carl mountain /Scottish-Newcastle over Baltic Breweries getting thing(UK-DK) at Saku (beer & beverages), Procordia Food (s) at Felix Pöltsamaa (canned goods)

foreign trade

principal trade partner of Estonia the Scandinavian neighboring countries Sweden and Finland as well as Baltic neighbour states Latvia and Litauen are. In addition, Germany is an important partner:8% of the exports go coming to Germany and even 13% of the imported goods from Germany (in each case rank 3).

Main export products are followed machines and machine parts (27% of the export goods) of wood and wood products/furniture (13%). Only then textiles (9%) follow, metalsand metal products (8%) and food (7%). Despite somewhat export products more highly wertigen compared with the Baltic neighboring countries the commercial balance sheet is continuously clearly negative (with tendency even rising): Exports in the value of 4,7 billion € stand imported goods in the value of6.7 billion € (2004) opposite. Thus also the balance of payments ( inclusive remains Financial transfer direct investments, services) negatively, the deficit reaches 2004 13% of the gros domestic product value.


in Estonia came it in only few years to a true electronicRevolution: 93% of the population have a mobile telephone (2004) and by law Estonia guarantees the entrance in Internet, by furnishing free public Internet places. This regulation is in Europe so far uniquely and already today uses half thatEsten Internet, until 2007 want to increase the estnische government the portion on 90%. In addition in Estonia all schools are on-line.

See also: Tourism in Estonia


importantly is since age the University of Tartu ago asonly full university beside several other universities, under it particularly the technical University of Tallinn.

The estnische culture and architecture were coined/shaped during one period by approximately 800 years strongly by the local resident German-Baltic Oberschicht. Today the estnische orients itself Culture because of the language proximity Estni to the Finnish one strongly at Finland. It is to a large extent west aligned.

Estnische national pos is the Kalevipoeg. See also Estni literature.


beside the four estnischsprachigen TV - transmitters 'ETVEesti Television' (public), “TV1” (undertake Polish), “channel 2” (of the Norwegian enterprise Shibsted) & “TV3 Eesti” (of Swedish decaying of Time Group) one receives numerous anderssprachige transmitters over Terrestrik, satellite and cable in Estonia (with 4 cable system operators). Soit is usual that one receives still Finnish , Swedish , Russian , English and German transmitters. Among the receiptable German transmitter Sat1 , RTL , RTL II, Pro7 , VIVA, 3sat ranks and arte.

The state television Russia started a folder for Estonia named “Perviy Baltijskyi channel Estonia”. Estni television over satellite gives it in the Pay TV - to package of Scandinavian offerer “Viasat”, which on the satellite position 5°Ost (Sirius 2/3) sends. Who subscribes this package, receives in Estoniabeside the estnischen key-stations, Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and English-language transmitters. “TV3 Eesti” is to be received at present freely over Sirius 2/3. The transmitter offers one mixes from American series like “the Nanny “or” golden Girls “, Shows like estnische the “who millionaire becomes?“, Sport, documentations, messages, Telenovelas and estnische own productions. The other three estnischsprachigen transmitters belong also to the section “full program”. Section programs are not represented due to the small market in Estonia.

As also in Scandinavia it is in the Baltic because of the high translation costs to a large extent usually that the transmitters foreign TV-productions in the original with estnischen sub-title - insertions send, thus without synchronous translation as in Germany.

97% of the estnischen population possess TV-equipment.


Estni group of people dances as culture carriers on journey abroad

world-wide admits is Arvo part, a contemporary composer of modern classical period. Rudolf Tobias, exit 19. Century the first estnische composer, is connoisseurs of the choir music by his Motetten alsooutside of of Estonia a term.Eduard Tubin made in 20. Century by its romantically to A-tonal Symphonien on Estonia attentively, which was appreciated in the year 2005 by a large festival. Neeme Järvi is a conductor of world-wide reputation (at present Detroiter symphony orchestra). Within the popular rangeOlav Ehala a great importance comes to the pianist, which numerous Filmmusiken wrote, and in theatre productions participates. Ester magic attributes similarly as Veljo gate-badly many compositions and Volkslieder for choir over, during the crew time of the Soviet Union into oblivionguessed/advised threatened and since independence became very popular. One thinks only of every five years the specified choir celebration, where ten thousands sing, united to a choir national song property.

Estonia is momentarily also very successful with Acts such as Eda Ines Etti and Vanilla Ninja in the European Pop culture integrates.

Estonia achieved also considerable successes with Eurovision the Song Contest, which the country won 2001. 2002 found to the Eurovision Song Contest thereupon in Tallinn.


the highest buildingEstonia is the TV tower in Tallinn (314 m), which was built in the years 1975 - 1980 on the occasion of the olympic plays in Moscow.


  • Yorck Deutschler, ““the singing revolution” - chronicle of the Estni liberty movement (1987-1991)”, part1 (chronicle, annex I Estni state symbols - flags and coat of arms, annex II the most important estnischen songs, annex III a fragmentary essay for the word meaning of the “Baltic one”, together with plant I the Aestii - designation of the today's Esten Estonia or the gone down PruzzenEast Prussia and plant II German Balten versus Baltendeut), part of 2 (person and index), 349 sides, 15 maps and document photocopies, Ingelheim, March 1998/Juni 2000, ISBN 3-88758-077-X
  • Seraina Gilly, the national state in the change. Estonia in 20. Century, (= work from the historical one Seminar of the University of Zurich, Bd. 97) Berne/Berlin among other things 2002, 676 S., 26 fig., 4 maps, ISBN 3-906769-19-4
  • Krista Hinno, education and social structure. The case example Estonia, Marburg 2004, 290 S., 70 fig., ISBN 3-8288-8652-3

See also

Web on the left of

Wiktionary: Estonia - word origin, synonyms and translations
Wikiquote: Estni proverbs - quotations

coordinates: 58° 42 ' N, 25° 31 ' O


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