Do you know which country in the European continent is most sparsely populated?
It is none other than Estonia, one of the three countries that are commonly referred to as the Baltic States, the other two countries being Latvia and Lithuania. Comprising of an area of around 45,228 square kilometers, the total population in the country is just about 1.3 million, resulting in an average density of about 29 people per square kilometer. The country is ranked about 173rd in terms of density of population in the world.
Estonia has yet another very unique distinction. It is one country in the world comprising of more atheists. More than 70% of the people aged above 15 years have stated that they are not affiliated to any specific religion or religious faith.
Estonia, officially called as the Republic of Estonia, gained independence from the Russian occupation on 20th August 1991. The capital city of the country is Tallinn and incidentally it happens to be the largest city in the country as well.
About 69% of the total population in the country are ethnic Estonias and around 26% of the population comprise of the Russians. About 2% of the total population is the Ukrainians and the balance represent minor ethnic groups.
The official language of the country is Estonian. The other major language spoken in the country is Russian. The country has adopted Estonian Kroon as its official currency.
The country shares its boundaries with the Russian Federation in the eastern side, with Sweden in the western side, another Baltic country Latvia in the southern side and with Finland on the northern side across the Gulf of Finland.
Being a small but beautiful country, Estonia is renowned for the natural scenic beauty comprising of the sandy beaches, picturesque lakes, castles of the medieval period and magnificent cathedrals.
Since regaining independence from the erstwhile Russian domination in 1991, the country of Estonia has taken up social as well as economic reforms on fast-track basis, and has gained international recognition for the economic freedom. The country also integrated itself with the outside world in a much faster way. It became a member of the United Nations in September 1991, within one month of gaining independent status. The country became a member of the European Union in 2004 and also joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO in the same year.
Estonia is one of the few countries in the world to be among the fastest growing economies in the world, not just for one or two years, but for a number of years now.