What Estonia Does Best

Source: Remo Savisaar

What Estonia Does Best

When Estonia scores high in international rankings, it is a topic of conversation for the Northeastern European nation. Here are some of the country's most surprising and entertaining strengths. 

Quality of Life

Life is something to be enjoyed and appreciated. You could say that having a high quality of life means a life worth living. In that regard, Estonia ranks twelfth in the world. People enjoy their lives in Estonia due to the country's safety, security, climate, and more.

Clean environment and Sustainable Thinking

The World Health Organization has ranked Estonia's air as some of the cleanest air in the world, along with countries like Finland and Iceland. The fact that over half of Estonia's land area is covered by forest (52%), making it the 6th most forested nation in Europe, contributes to the high air quality. Nature reserves make up about one-fifth of Estonia's wilderness, ensuring its preservation for the future.

The appreciation for nature that Estonian have also makes the country one of the most sustainable in the world. Today Estonia holds the number 4 spot in the world for sustainability.

A breath of fresh air  

The large number of trees and lack of pollution in Estonia make its air quality one of the best in the world, according to the WHO.  

Photo by Jaanus Ree

Top models

Did you know that Estonia produces more fashion models per capita than any other country in the world with about 74 models per one million people? It certainly doesn't hurt that Estonians are the 3rd tallest people in the world, according to a century-long study. The average height for Estonian women is 169 cm and 180 cm for men.


The results of the 2018 PISA study, the same study that put Finland on the map over 15 years ago, rank Estonia's basic education as the best in Europe. Estonia's 15-year-olds rank 1st in reading, science, and mathematics in Europe. And in the world, Estonia's students rank 5th in reading, 8th in mathematics, and 4th in sciences. Consequently, Estonia also has a literacy rate of 100%.

This high appreciation for education extends to Estonia's university system as well. Four of Estonia's universities remain highly competitive with the rest of the world and the University of Tartu ranks between 251-300 in the world.

Best basic education in Europe

Estonia ranked 5th in terms of reading, 8th in math and 4th in sciences in the world, according to PISA 2018.

Photo by Erik Riikoja

Quality of life and opportunity

In addition to education, Estonia has gained attention in various international measurements like internet freedom (2nd globally), economic freedom (7th globally), press freedom (11th globally), overall quality of life (25th globally), and prosperity (21st globally). This equates to an excellent business climate and the most startups per capita in Europe.

Ranking the Estonian Capital

Of course, Estonia's largest and most populated city, Tallinn, has garnered plenty of accolades as well. You can feel that as soon as you arrive as the Tallinn International Airport is one of the most highly ranked in Europe and certainly the cosiest. If you've come to the city to do business then you're in luck since it was named the best conference destination in 2021. If you're coming for a long stay, there's more good news since that same year, the city was named the number 1 place for remote workers. With so much to do, see, taste, experience, it's no surprise that Tallinn landed on TIME magazine's 2021 list of the world's best places.

Last updated : 23.12.2022

In category: History & culture