The NUTS county codes listed below were apparently created as long ago as 2000. The European
Union adopted NUTS codes for its new Eastern European members in 2004, and they agree with these
codes up to the NUTS-3 level. Eurostat has changed the terminology, so that the NUTS-4 and NUTS-5
level codes have been replaced with LAU level 1 and LAU level 2, respectively, where LAU stands for
Local Administrative Units. The latest NUTS spreadsheet for Estonia shows all the codes truncated
to five characters (e.g.
EE004), which are region codes. The LAU-1 codes are four
digits, always beginning with 00, and the last two digits are the same as the ISO county codes
0039 for Hiiu).
Karem Abdalla has provided me with population and area figures for the counties of Estonia.
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Modern Estonia corresponds to the Russian government (guberniya) of Estonia, plus the northern part of the government of Livonia, as they stood in 1900. In 1918-02, it declared its independence, with essentially its present borders. Estonia was occupied by the army of the Soviet Union in 1940, and became a constituent republic of the U.S.S.R., the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, on 1940-08-06. The annexation was never recognized by the United States. Estonia once again proclaimed its independence, this time from a disintegrating Soviet Union, on 1991-08-20.
Possibly meaning shore dwellers, from Baltic aueist: water dweller
Estonia is divided into fifteen maakonnad (sing. maakond: counties).
The first five characters of a county's NUTS code determine which group of counties it belongs to. The names of the groups of counties are Kesk-Eesti (EE006), Kirde-Eesti (EE007), Lääne-Eesti (EE004), Lõuna-Eesti (EE008), and Põhja-Eesti (EE001).
Estonia uses five-digit postal codes. Postal codes for Estonian addresses can be identified by prefixing them with "EE-". Under the Soviet Union, Estonia used postal codes from the Soviet system. They were six digits, beginning with '2'. After independence, it adopted a set of four-digit codes, replaced with the current set in 1997.
See the Municipalities of Estonia page.
The counties are divided into linnad (sing. linn: towns) and vallad (sing. vald: parishes). In 1997 there were 254 towns and parishes. The parishes are further subdivided into alevid (alev: borough), alevikud (alevik: small borough), and külad (küla: village). Some of the towns are subdivided into linnaosad (linnaosa: district).
Estonia includes many islands. The largest ones are Saaremaa (Saare county), Hiiumaa (Hiiu county), Muhu, and Vormsi in the Baltic Sea, Ruhnu and Kihnu in the Gulf of Riga, Nais, Osmus, and Prangli in the Gulf of Finland, and Piiri in Lake Peipus.
All of the counties may be written with -maa suffixed to their names, especially Hiiumaa and Saaremaa, which are also island names. Officially preferred, but less common, are the forms "Harju maakond," "Hiiu maakond," etc.
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