Backgrounder: Key facts about Republic of Estonia

19:52, September 21, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

The Republic of Estonia is located in the Baltic Region of northern Europe. It is bordered to the east by the Russian Federation, to the south by Latvia, to the north by the Gulf of Finland, and to the west by the Baltic Sea.

The country covers an area of 45,227 square kilometers and has a population of 1.34 million.

Estonians constitute a majority of the country's population. Minority ethnic groups include the Russians and immigrants from Ukraine and Belarus. Estonian language is the official language. English and Russian are also widely used in the country.

The largest religion in the country is Evangelical Lutheranism, followed by Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholicism.

The capital Tallinn is in the northwestern part of the country. It used to be an important transit center since the medieval period, dubbed as the crossroad of Europe. Tallinn is also the biggest port city of Estonia.

In history, Estonia has once been occupied and ruled by Prussia, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Germany and Russia.

Estonia declared independence on Feb. 24, 1918. In July 1940, Estonia joined the former Soviet Union. On Aug. 20, 1991, Estonia declared its independence again.

Since then, Estonia has carried out market reforms and free trade policies. In 1994, Estonia became one of the first countries to adopt zero tariff.

Entering the European Union in 2004, Estonia has also become one of the strongest economies of the new member states of the bloc.

In recent years, the Estonian economy has been growing with admirable rates. In 2009, the country's GDP registered 19.1 billion U.S. dollars, or, 14,238 dollars per capita.

China established diplomatic ties at ambassadorial level with Estonia on Sept. 11, 1991. The bilateral relations have developed steadily since then, with exchange of high-level visits and exchanges in the areas of politics, economy and culture strengthening continuously.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Chinese Navy soldiers hold an evening party marking the upcoming 62nd National Day aboard Chinese Navy hospital ship "Peace Ark" in the Pacific on Sept. 28, 2011. The Chinese National Day falls on Oct. 1. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 30, 2011 shows the crowd at the plaza of Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, capital of China. The railway transportation witnessed a travel peak with the approach of the seven-day National Day holidays on Friday. (Xinhua)
  • A man wearing high-heel shoes takes part in the 3rd annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an event when men literally walk in women's shoes to raise awareness about ending violence against women, at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows a cargo ship in danger on the sea near Zhuhai City, south China's Guangdong Province. Cargo ship Fangzhou 6 of Qingzhou of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region lost control after water stormed into its cabin due to Typhoon Nesat on the sea near Zhuhai Thursday, leaving 12 crew members in danger. Rescuers rushed to the ship and saved them by using a helicopter. (Xinhua)
  • Actress Gong Li poses for L'Officiel Magazine. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street campaign hold placards as they march in the financial district of New York September 29, 2011. After hundreds of protesters were denied access to some areas outside the New York Stock Exchange on September 17, demonstrators set up a rag-tag camp three blocks away. Zuccotti Park is a campground festooned with placards and anti-Wall Street slogans. The group is adding complaints of excessive police force against protesters and police treatment of ethnic minorities and Muslims to its grievances list, which includes bank bailouts, foreclosures and high unemployment. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Hot Forum Discussion