Unless you live in the northeast corner of Europe, you probably don't know much about Estonia. So let’s review a few notable facts about this mysterious little country:
- Estonia is small, but it isn’t the smallest country in Europe. It’s bigger than Slovenia, Holland, Denmark, and Switzerland. It’s about the same size as New Hampshire and Massachusetts combined.
- Despite its small size, it feels big because only 1.3 million folks live here. It makes Estonia one of the least dense countries in Europe, with just 32 Estonians per square kilometer.
- Suur Munamägi, at a measly 318 meters (about 1,000 feet), is the tallest mountain in the country.
- Estonia’s relative flatness makes it a great place for Nordic ski training. One Estonian woman won two gold medals in Turino’s 2006 Olympic Winter Games and Estonians bought every pair of skis available at the shops the next day.
- Out of the nearly 200 countries in the world, Estonia ranks number two in adult literacy with its rate of 99.8 percent.
- Estonia’s forests keep getting bigger, perhaps due to the declining population.
- In 1990, there were 22,304 babies born; today it’s almost half that amount. With the death rate increasing slightly, you can understand why the Estonian population is declining.
- Only 46 percent of the population is male. However, before you single men book a flight to Estonia consider that the main reason for this disparity is that the men die off quickly—their average life expectancy is only 65 years.
- Estonia is the most libertarian country in the world, according to The State of the World Liberty Project.
- Estonia adopted the euro on January 1, 2011 with its government finances in better shape than all the other countries in the euro zone!
Estonia capital, Tallinn has Eastern Europe's quaintest and most adorable Old Town. Go visit!
This is an excerpt from The Hidden Europe that got edited down substantially. I originally wrote this article for ezinearticles.com. Learn more about what we can learn from Eastern Europeans. If you don't think Estonia is in Eastern Europe, read the Introduction to The Hidden Europe.