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Interesting and Unique Facts about Estonia

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Internet-focused country

Let start by saying that even though the internet was invented elsewhere, there’s no doubt that a small nation like Estonia has taken this and put it into a more valuable use than other countries. This Baltic country has become very Internet-oriented. Access to wifi is considered a human right and almost 100% of the land has coverage. You can access your social media accounts while sitting by the riverside on a hot summer day or while spending a marvelous morning at the ski resort at Otepää in December because you are never too far away from free Wifi spots. Estonia has also one of the world’s fastest internet speeds. Governmental and public services are set up for convenient use and are widely used for different activities every single day. Estonia is also the first country in the world that made it available to vote for political selections online in 2005. Since then the percentage of eligible voters has grown and the action doing it from home, barely giving any reason not to vote, is more acceptable to people.

We created Skype

What most people don’t know is that Skype was invented in Estonia. Taxify (Bolt now), Transferwise (Wise now) and Nortal as well. If you ever meet an Estonian anywhere in the world and get to talking, it’s almost always certain that they will slip that fact into the conversation. The team who created Skype included a couple of Estonians who did the main work and published the software worldwide. It became the number one communication software in the world and has over 300 million users. Now, Microsoft owns the company but they still have offices in Tallinn, hiring the brightest minds from the country who invented that famous program.

Beautiful people

It’s true. The statistic has proven it. Estonia has the highest number of supermodels per capita. Just google the name Carmen Kass and you won’t be disappointed.

Green world

Half of the country’s land is covered by forest and 22% of the land is under agriculture. Estonians love their pure nature and intend to keep it that way. Forestry is strickly monitored and even almost every single tree is counted for. An old oak tree in Orissaare, Saaremaa is growing in the middle of a football field and kids don’t mind playing around it. The wild nature hides a huge variety of wild animals and bears, wolves, deer can be spotted regularly. Estonia has also one of the cleanest air in the world.

Singing us free

Estonians love to sing and an Estonian Song and Dance Celebration is the local signature event and a reason why Estonians are often referred to as the “singing nation”.  The uniqueness of this mesmerizing event has even earned the song and dance celebration a place at UNESCO’s prestigious list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. People gather every 5 years and head to the Song Festival Ground. First held in 1869 in Tartu, it has become one of the longest and incredible Estonian traditions. In 2019, over 32 thousand singers and hundreds of thousands of participants took part in the three-day celebration. People who don’t have the opportunity to travel to Tallinn can view the broadcast live on TV. Everybody sings along, even the audience.

Travel free

Public transport is entirely free for residents of the Estonian capital, Tallinn. But it’s not very expensive outside the capital. Free or cheap transportation options lowered the rate of cars on the road, avoiding traffic jams and pollution.

Estonia is a member of the European Union

Estonia joined the European Union in 2004 as one of the first eastern and central European countries to initiate accession negotiations. The country benefited from an increase in foreign investment and its economy has expanded rapidly since its enlargement. By the early 21st century, the privatization of state-owned enterprises was almost complete, though some activities like energy production and seaports are still under government control.

The country is situated in northeastern Europe, jutting out into the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea surrounds the country to the north and west. It shares borders with Russia on the east and south.

It has a low population density

The population density in Estonia is low in comparison to many other European countries. In 1970, it was 22% of its total population, while in 2009, it was only 15%. This has resulted in low birth rates and an aging population. The OECD’s average fertility rate is 1.6 children per woman. Estonia’s birth rate is below average, but it makes up for it with new arrivals.

Estonia has a relatively low dependency ratio, which measures the proportion of the population that is not in the labor force. This includes those aged 65 and below, as well as the working population. It shows the pressure on the productive part of the population. The dependency ratio is 22.5 percent in Estonia.

It has a high literacy rate

Estonia has a very high literacy rate. Estonia’s average adult literacy rate is 99.8%, higher than its neighbors, Latvia and North Korea. Estonia’s government spends 4.8% of its GDP on education. Its education index is 0.859. Estonia has high levels of formal education, and higher education is widely available. Estonian is the official language, and about 650,000 people speak English as a second language.

Estonia is one of the most educated countries in Europe, with more than ninety percent of adults having completed secondary education. Estonian households own an average of 174 books. This is higher than the OECD and G20 average of 68.3 and 64%, respectively.

It has a lot of meteorite craters

Estonia is home to the highest concentration of meteorite craters per square kilometer in the world. Its largest meteorite crater, known as Kaali, is believed to have been created by the last giant meteorite to hit humans, some 4,000 years ago. Other craters, such as Suur Munamägi, are believed to have been made by a giant called Kalevipoeg and stand six meters higher than Latvia’s highest point.

Another crater field in Estonia is the Ilumetsa crater field. There are two craters within the field. The larger of the two is a rim-to-rim structure measuring about 75-80 meters in diameter. Both craters have a true depth of about eight meters. Their rim heights range from 1.5 to 4.5 meters.

It has a lot of supermodels

Estonia is home to several supermodels. One of them is Carmen Kass, a model who has made her name in the fashion industry. Born in 1978, Kass has been featured in several fashion magazines and ads. She has worked for brands such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Dolce&Gabbana. In addition, she is also a Victoria’s Secret angel, and has opened the show for the brand several times. She has also appeared in several films, including Zoolander, Welcome to America, Set Point, and more. She is a part-owner of the Baltic Models agency.

Other Estonian supermodels include Katlin Aas and Elisabeth Arm. Aside from supermodels, Estonia is also home to saunas, and the country is known to have the highest number of saunas per capita of any country in the world. In fact, there are 74 of them per million people in Estonia. Estonians are also the third tallest people in the world, with an average height of 169 cm for women and 180 cm for men.