macrohistory & world report

Republic of Estonia

Map of Estonia

Estonia, its capital Tallinn, and surrounding states

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Estonia, a member of the European Union and the eurozone since 2004, has a modern market-based economy and one of the higher per capita income levels in Central Europe and the Baltic region. Estonia's successive governments have pursued a free market, pro-business economic agenda and have wavered little in their commitment to pro-market reforms. The current government has followed sound fiscal policies that have resulted in balanced budgets and low public debt. The economy benefits from strong electronics and telecommunications sectors and strong trade ties with Finland, Sweden, Russia, and Germany."

Economic growth
2013: 1.5%
2012: 3.9%
2011: 9.6%

Unemployment rate:
2011: 12.1%
2010: 16.9%

Public Debt:
2011: 5.8% of GDP
2010: 7.7% of GDP

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 110th among 140 countries (higher rank number is more equal, lower rank less equal). Less equal than Sweden, which ranks most equal.

Healthcare is financed mainly publicly with state and municipal budgets accounting for approximately 8% and 2% of total healthcare expenditures respectively.

Health expenditures
2009: 4.3% (compared to 16.2% for the United States)


Living in an urban area
2010: 69%

Ethnic groups
2008 census: stonian 68.7%, Russian 25.6%, Ukrainian 2.1%, Belarusian 1.2%, Finn 0.8%, other 1.6%

Capital: Tallinn.

Recent History

The Estonians have been ruled by the Danes, Swedes, Germans and by the Russians. They were independent following the fall of Russia's tsar Nicholas II and were forced back under Russian, or Soviet, rule in 1940. They were emotional about getting Russian troops out and winning back their independence, which came with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The last of the Russian troops left in 1994.

From Soviet times, Estonians suffered air pollution from oil-shale burning power plants and extensive pollution of war. By the year 2000 the air pollution was reduces to 80 percent what they had been in 1980, and by 2000 the discharging of unpurified wastewater into the environment was reduced to one-twentieth the amount in 1980. At points, coastal water remains polluted.

In 2004, Estonia joined the European Union, and upset Russia

The World Factbook

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