Country profile - Distinguishing factors (Estonia)
Estonia is located on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, being the northernmost of the three Baltic States. Estonia is one of Europe’s smallest countries, its total area being only 45 227 km2.
Estonia is a lowland country. Only southern Estonia is known for its hillocks and ”curved” landscape with plains in the north and west and hills in the southeast. The highest point — Suur Munamägi (Great Egg Hill) in the southeast - is only 318 m above sea level.
About one half of Estonia’s mainland is covered with forests. Wooded meadows in Estonia are among the most species-rich plant communities in the world as measured by the number of vascular plant species per one square metre. Peatlands account for about 22 % of the territory.
Estonia has the world's largest exploited deposits of oil-shale, which provide raw materials for power production and chemical industry. Of other mineral resources, Estonia has limestone and dolomite, but also sand, gravel and clay (Map 1).