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After centuries of Danish, Swedish, German, and Russian rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918. Forcibly incorporated into the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US - it regained its freedom in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since the last Russian troops left in 1994, Estonia has been free to promote economic and political ties with the West. It joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004, formally joined the OECD in late 2010, and adopted the euro as its official currency on 1 January 2011.


Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, between Latvia and Russia

Natural Resources

oil shale, peat, rare earth elements, phosphorite, clay, limestone, sand, dolomite, arable land, sea mud

Population - distribution

a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations

Estonian (official) 68.5%, Russian 29.6%, Ukrainian 0.6%, other 1.2%, unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
TALLINN (capital) 391,000 (2015)
Conventional long form
Republic of Estonia
Conventional short form
Local long form
Eesti Vabariik
Local short form
parliamentary republic
Geographic coordinates
59 26 N, 24 43 E
Time difference
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Estonia, a member of the EU since 2004 and the euro zone since 2011, has a modern market-based economy and one of the higher per capita income levels in Central Europe and the Baltic region, but its economy is highly dependent on trade, leaving it vulnerable to external shocks. Estonia's successive governments have pursued a free market, pro-business economic agenda, and sound fiscal policies that have resulted in balanced budgets and low public debt.
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ 616,874,395
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 17,498,427,894
Exports of goods and services
US$ 18,415,379,210
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 715,034,631
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 6,058,329,044
grain, potatoes, vegetables; livestock and dairy products; fish
food, engineering, electronics, wood and wood products, textiles; information technology, telecommunications
machinery and electrical equipment 30%, food products and beverages 9%, mineral fuels 6%, wood and wood products 14%, articles of base metals 7%, furniture and bedding 11%, vehicles and parts 3%, chemicals 4% (2016 est.)
Sweden 18.8%, Finland 16%, Latvia 10.4%, Russia 6.7%, Lithuania 5.9%, Germany 5.2%, Norway 4.1% (2015)
machinery and electrical equipment 28%, mineral fuels 11%, food and food products 10%, vehicles 9%, chemical products 8%, metals 8% (2015 est.)
Finland 14.5%, Germany 11%, Lithuania 9%, Sweden 8.5%, Latvia 8.3%, Poland 7.4%, Russia 6.1%, Netherlands 5.5%, China 4.8% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
The political and economic situation is good. A basically stable and efficient business environment nonetheless leaves room for improvement. Corporate default probability is low on average.
Business Climate Rating
The business environment is very good. Corporate financial information is available and reliable. Debt collection is efficient. Institutional quality is very good. Intercompany transactions run smoothly in environments rated A1.
  • Balanced public accounts and low level of debt
  • Membership of the Eurozone and the OECD
  • Close trading, financial, and cultural links with Scandinavia
  • Virtual energy self-sufficiency thanks to oil shale
  • Growth of high added value sectors (electronics, IT services)
  • Very favorable business climate
  • Digitization of administrative procedures
  • Flexible economic policy
  • Small open economy
  • Declining active population
  • Drop in competitiveness and profitability: labor costs rising faster than productivity
  • Lack of overland connections with the rest of the European Union
  • Electronic sector dependent on the imports of a single Swedish company
  • Eastern mostly Russian-speaking regions lagging behind

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