About Estonia

Where we come from

Population: 1.34 million
Capital: Tallinn (401 000)
Area: 45 227 sq km
Major languages: Estonian, Russian (30%)
Main foreign language: English (at high level)
GDP per capita: 11 918 € (2011)
GDP growth: +3% (2010), +8% (2011)
Currency: Euro (since 1.1.2011)
Average age: 68,6 (M); 79,2(F)
Member of: EU, NATO and OECD


Strategically excellent geographical location

  • Good strategic geographical location
  • Safe and secure environment, temperate climate
  • Favourable legislation; stable and supportive business environment
  • Advanced high-tech and ICT industries
  • Excellent connectivity throughout Europe and beyond
  • Highly educated and skilled, multilingual labour force at a reasonable cost

Estonia is a small country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. With an area of 45,000 km2, Estonia is larger than, for example, Slovenia, Holland, Denmark or Switzerland, or a little smaller than New Hampshire and Massachusetts combined. Conversely, Estonia’s population ranks amongst the smallest in the world: an estimated 1.34 million people live there, making up a population density of only 31 people per km2. The capital of Estonia, Tallinn, with its famous medieval old town, is located on Estonia’s northern coast, just 80 km south of Helsinki, 350 km west of St. Petersburg and 400 km east of Stockholm.

Estonia is a democratic parliamentary republic. Since 2004, Estonia has been a member of the United Nations, European Union and NATO, and since 2010 a member of the OECD. From 1 January 2011, the currency in Estonia is the euro.

Estonia is one of the leading countries in Europe in the usage of advanced technologies and innovative solutions for the benefit of its citizens. Estonia’s e-government, e-elections, e-tickets, m-parking, m-payments, mobile-ID, not to mention the development of Skype, are all very well known. The digital signature has been in use since 2006. In the June 2009 elections, the Estonian residents were able to vote via their mobile phones, making Estonia the first country to officially introduce m-voting.

Internet access is not considered a privilege in Estonia, but a human right. Free wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) is available in most cities and villages throughout the country. Regular live radio-broadcasts began in Estonia in December 1925 and the first public TV-broadcast in July 1955. A fact well known among the European broadcasting and media professionals is that Estonia was the first country to launch fully MPEG-4 AVC based commercial Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) services in December 2006. On 31 March 2007, the Estonian island of Ruhnu become the first region within the new EU Member States, where analogue-TV transmissions were switched off. Some keywords about Estonia: Skype, Tallinn Old Town, wetlands, composer Arvo Pärt, bird migration, Laulupidu song festival, University of Tartu, semiotician Juri Lotman, skiing, free Wi-Fi, Singing Revolution, conductor Neeme Järvi, e-government, m-elections, mobile-ID.

Telecommunications and IT

  • 77% of the population aged 16 to 74 are Internet users (2011, Statistics Estonia)
  • 71% of households have home access to the Internet (2011, Statistics Estonia)
  • All Estonian schools are connected to the Internet
  • All Estonian towns and villages are covered by the network of public Internet access points
  • There are more than 1,100 free wireless Internet zones around the country
  • Incomes can be declared to the Tax and Customs Board via the Internet. In 2012, the percentage of electronic tax declarations was 94
  • All of Estonia is covered with digital mobile phone networks
  • There are more mobile phone contracts than residents – 139 per 100 people

Read also “Estonia: The safest country in the world” (28 March 2011)

Find out more about Estonia from http://www.estonia.eu