Moving to Estonia
Located in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, Estonia has much natural beauty for expats to appreciate. Estonia’s economy made it to the 11th freest in the 2014 Index. With improvements in property rights, Estonia is ranked 4th out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is thriving above the regional and world averages. Estonia has also focused on the availability of education on cybersecurity – it is the birthplace of Skype.
Estonia is a country of around 1.4 million people situated on the Baltic Sea. The official language of Estonia is the Estonian language. The Estonian language is related to the Finnish language, spoken in neighbouring Finland.
The Estonians have lived in this country since the beginnings of its recorded history. It remained a pagan country into the 1200s, when it was conquered by Christian crusaders. Following the Protestant Reformation and more warfare in the 1500s, it became controlled by Sweden. The territory was lost to Russia in the year 1721. Germans continued locally to govern the Estonian people throughout this time, until serfdom was ended in the year 1816. With the German invasion in the First World War and the rise of the Soviet Union, Estonia became an independent country, until 1940 when it was illegally annexed by the Soviet Union. This act was never recognized by the United States, in accordance with the Hoover Doctrine. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Estonia again became independent, and it joined the European Union in the year 2004. Estonia has been using the euro as its official currency since 2011, but it is not represented by one of the 12 stars of Europe on the design of the euro, as these represent the 3 countries of Benelux and the other 9 countries that first began sharing the same currency.
Typical ingredients used in Estonian cooking include potatoes, black bread, sauerkraut, and sausage. On the night of June 23rd, as in neighbouring regions, Estonians celebrate St John's Eve by lighting bonfires, jumping over them, and getting drunk.
The population of Estonia has been shrinking every year since 1991, because of low birth rates coupled with high emigration rates. Relatively few people have been moving to Estonia lately, but there are a few scattered expatriates. Estonia has been taking a leading role in the Information Society, with one of the most advanced e-government services in the world. In fact, the currently popular social application Skype was created and is maintained in Estonia, by the same Estonian developers who created Kazaa, which was popular a decade ago. Estonia has a democratically elected Parliament and Prime Minister. Services, construction, agriculture, industry and electronics are important economic sectors in Estonia. Recent polls show that a vast majority of Estonians today profess no religion, making them second only to China in that regard. Around a quarter of the population are Christian, mostly Lutheran or Orthodox.
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