Estonia (official title: Republic of Estonia) is a European country located in the Baltic region of northern Europe. Estonia borders two bodies of water, the Gulf of Finland to the north and the Baltic Sea to the west. It has land borders with Latvia to the south and also borders the Russian Federation to the east. Estonia is a small country and covers an area of 45,227 km2 (17,462 sq mi). Estonia is home to approximately 1,294,236 people with 418,107 of those residing in the capital city of Tallinn.
Interesting facts about Estonia
- Estonia is ranked 3rd in the world for press freedom.
- The official language of the country is Estonian, which is a language derived from Finnish and Hungarian. However, a total of 109 languages are spoken in Estonia.
- Estonia was once part of Sweden and was given to Russia in the Treaty of Nystad. Estonia remained under Russian control until 24 February 1918 when independence was declared in Estonia.
- Despite declaring neutrality during World War II, Estonia suffered one of the highest causality rates in Europe with approximately 25% of the population killed.
- Estonia was forced to become part of the USSR when they were invaded by The Red Army in 1944. The country became recognised as Soviet Estonia or Estonian SSR until 20 August 1991 when independence was once again declared.
- Estonia became part of the European Union in 2004.
- Despite the location of the country, many Estonians identify themselves as Nordic rather than Baltic. This is because they share a common language group and ancestry with the Nordic countries.
- The border between Russia and Estonia is not well defined due to the land in the area being claimed by Stalin.
- The highest point in Estonia is Suur Munamägi in the southeast at 318 meters (1,043 ft).
- The territory of Estonia also includes approximately 1500 islands with two of these islands being recognised as their own counties.
- Estonia is home to a cluster of meteorite craters which are thought to be relatively young in age.
- Estonia experiences four seasons during the year. The average temperature during July (the warmest month of the year) ranges between 16.3 °C (61.3 °F) on the Baltic islands to 18.1 °C (64.6 °F) inland.
- Te average temperatures during the winter months range from -3.5 °C (25.7 °F) on the Baltic islands to -7.6 °C (18.3 °F) inland.
- Estonia experiences an average precipitation of 535-727 mm (21.1-28.6 in) per year.
- There are many lakes and rivers in Estonia. The largest lake is Lake Peipus, (Peipsi in Estonian) with a surface area of 3,555 km2 (1,373 sq mi). The longest river, the river Võhandu is 162 km (101 mi) in length.
- Skype is an Estonian invention. It was created by Estonian developers.
- Estonia is the one of the least religious countries in the world. 75.7% of the population claim to have no religious affiliations and only 16% profess a belief in God.
- Estonian parents are given 100% of their salary for 18 months after the birth of a baby. Estonia has the lowest maternal death rate in the world.