Population: 1.2 million (July 2018).
Religions: Lutheran 9.9%, Orthodox 16.2%, other Christian (including Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal) 2.2%, other 0.9%, none 54.1%, unspecified 16.7% (2011 est.).
Ethnic groups: Estonian 68.7%, Russian 24.8%, Ukrainian 1.7%, Belarusian 1%, Finn 0.6%, other 1.6%, unspecified 1.6% (2011 est.).
Language: Estonian (official) 68.5%, Russian 29.6%, Ukrainian 0.6%, other 1.2%, unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.).
Country name: Republic of Estonia (local: Eesti Vabariik).
Government type: parliamentary republic.
Independence: regained on 20 August 1991 (from Soviet Union).
Administrative divisions: 15 counties (maakonnad, singular - maakond): Harjumaa (Tallinn), Hiiumaa (Kardla), Ida-Virumaa (Johvi), Jarvamaa (Paide), Jogevamaa (Jogeva), Laanemaa (Haapsalu), Laane-Virumaa (Rakvere), Parnumaa (Parnu), Polvamaa (Polva), Raplamaa (Rapla), Saaremaa (Kuressaare), Tartumaa (Tartu), Valgamaa (Valga), Viljandimaa (Viljandi), Vorumaa (Voru). Note: counties have the administrative center name following in parentheses.
Terrain: marshy, lowlands; flat in the north, hilly in the south.
Total area: 45,226 km².
Coastline: 3,794 km (offshore lie more than 1,500 islands).
Highest point: Suur Munamagi 318 m.
Climate: maritime, wet, moderate winters, cool summers.
Ports and harbors: Haapsalu, Kunda, Muuga, Paldiski, Parnu, Tallinn.
After centuries of Danish, Swedish, German, and Russian rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918. Forcibly incorporated into the USSR in 1940, 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 Western Europe. It joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.
Haapsalu Episcopal Castle, West-Estonia (photo Estonian Tourist Board).
Jägala waterfall, North-Estonia (photo Estonian Tourist Board).
Tallinn, capital of Estonia. View of Old Town from Dome Hill (photo Estonian Tourist Board).