Is Estonia a Nordic country?

The borders of where one area, cultural group or geography begins and another ends can get tricky.

If you search for ‘Is Estonia a Nordic country’ the first answer seems to sum up the question well. It is a link to a Wikipedia entry on ‘Countries with close relations to the Nordic countries’. Estonians are descended from Finns, while parts of Estonia were once part of the Danish empire, later falling under Swedish control.

Estonia has much in common with many of its Nordic neighbours. Like the Nordics it is one of the most innovative countries in Europe, and is according to some measures the world leader in start-ups per capita. The best-known company to emanate from Estonia is calling service Skype, with this Economist article describing it as a world leader in technology.

On the other hand the country was heavily influenced by the legacy of Soviet rule, when it was known as the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. The country also has a large population of Russian descent, who comprise up to thirty per cent of the population.

While Estonia is technically a Baltic nation, it also has much in common with the Nordic nations, in particular in the field of innovation in technology and its strong ranking in corruption rankings. Life is never black and white and so the argument as to whether or not Estonia is in the Nordics ultimately falls in the eye of the beholder.

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