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It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland with Finland on the other side, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia (338.6 km).(16,366 sq mi), and is influenced by a humid continental climate.
After the loss of its de facto independence, Estonia's de jure state continuity was preserved by diplomats and government in exile.
In 1987 the peaceful Singing Revolution against Soviet rule began, culminating with restoration of its de facto independence on 20 August 1991.
Since restoration of its independence, Estonia has been a democratic unitary parliamentary republic divided into fifteen counties. With a population of 1.3 million, it is one of the least-populous member states of the European Union, Eurozone, OECD, Schengen Area, and of NATO.
Estonia is a developed country with an advanced, high-income economy that as of 2011 is among the fastest growing in the EU. The land inhabited by Estonians was called Maavald meaning "Country Realm" or "Land Realm".
One hypothesis regarding the modern name of Estonia is that it originated from the Aesti, a people described by the Roman historian Tacitus in his Germania (ca. The historic Aesti were allegedly Baltic people, whereas the modern Estonians are Finno-Ugric.