We’re known mostly for our digital ambition. But there’s a lot more to discover.
Estonia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia. Across the Baltic Sea lie Sweden and Finland.
Located in Northern Europe.
Population density in Estonia is 30.3 people per km². That is almost four times less than EU’s average - 116.7 people per km² –, making Estonia the third sparsely populated country in EU.
Most of the glacial erratic boulders of northern Europe are found in Estonia. We have around 100 known boulders greater than 25 metres in circumference. They are protected and serve as part of our national identity.
Forests cover about half of Estonian territory. More than 40% of them belong to the state and are organic. As all our forests are grown naturally, granting private forests the certificate they deserve would make half of Estonian soil organic.
Forests cover nearly half of Estonia.
In addition to the traditional four seasons, some areas of Estonia also have a fifth — the natural flood — beginning at the end of March or early April. Water levels can rise as much as five meters, creating possibilities for canoeing.
With the high time in June, 38 blooming species of orchids have been counted. The richest area of orchids is Saaremaa where 36 of them can be found. The area has even its own orchid called Saaremaa dactylorhiza.
About 1.1 million people speak Estonian, one of the world’s smallest official national languages. It is used successfully in all areas of society. Estonians also speak a variety of other languages.
Number of native speakers (in millions).
According to OECD’s PISA results, Estonian basic education is the best in Europe and in the top 3 globally. Our pupils’ science, math and reading skills are outranked only by Singapore and Japan.
Estonians understand technology: Skype revolutionized communication, TransferWise changed international money transfers, GrabCAD helps to build products faster and Starship robots reframe local delivery.
By culture consumption, Estonia is one of the leading countries in Europe. Our 1.3 million inhabitants make about 3.3 million museum visits, 3.1 million cinema visits, 2 million concert visits, and 1.2 million theatre visits annually.
Youth aged 15-30 who have been to a theatre, dance performance, or opera in the past year.
Our choir music is world famous. Grammy Awards in the Best Choral Performance category have been received by Paavo Järvi, Tiia-Ester Loitme, and Ants Soots 2004; to conductor Paul Hillier and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in 2007; and to conductor Tõnu Kaljuste in 2014.
World’s premium annual BMX and skateboarding event Simple Session is known for the biggest names in the business and with participants from 30 countries, Simple Session is the most international action-sport event in the world.
The digital signature, with legal standing equal to one made with ink, has been in wide use since 2002. The digital signature helps save the equivalent of one entire workweek per year per working age adult. This is roughly equal to a stack of paper as high as the Eiffel tower saved each month.
A stack of paper as high as Eiffel tower is saved every month.
One of the most popular digital services among Estonians is the digital prescription – a centralized, paperless system for issuing and handling medical prescriptions. A doctor prescribes medicine electronically and the patient presents their ID card at the pharmacy.
In May 2008, more than 50,000 people gathered for the “Let’s Do It!”, a nationwide initiative to clean Estonia of garbage. 10,000 tons of garbage was gathered in 5 hours. The movement has become international with 150 countries participating in 2018.
Estonia’s export of goods and services exceeds 85% of our GDP. The major exports are electrical machinery and equipment, wood and wood products, and mineral products. Main export destinations are Sweden, Finland, and Latvia.
Main export destinations.
Producing most of its consumed electricity from locally-mined oil shale, Estonia has the lowest energy dependency rate in the EU. Our domestic energy sources suffice and the need to import energy is at a minimum.
With 140 enterprises, the manufacturing of wooden houses is one of Estonia’s key industries. Around 85-90% of houses are exported, mainly to Norway, Germany, and the UK, making Estonia the most successful home exporter in Europe and the seventh largest in the world.