Estonia is one of the three Baltic States, bordering Russia in the east, Latvia in the south, and the Baltic Sea in the north and the west. Estonia regained its independence in 1991 after a period of Soviet occupation that lasted five decades. Since gaining control over their own country, the people of Estonia have made strenuous efforts to rebuild the democratic institutions and the free market economy that was destroyed in the Soviet time. In April 2004, Estonia became a member of NATO and since May 2004, Estonia has been a full member of EU.
In early 2007, Estonia had a total population of 1.34 million. The local population has decreased by 14% because of emigration and low birth rate since 1991. In addition to Estonians, there are a lot of people living in Estonia who belong to other ethnic minorities and who constitute a substantial part of the population. According to the last census (31.03.2000) data, the ethnic composition in Estonia is as follows: Estonians, 68%, Russians, 26% and others, 6%. The proportion of Estonians decreased significantly during the Soviet occupation. As part of the Soviet Union, Estonia had experienced intense migration from other regions of USSR. Yet, the intensive immigration in the Soviet period helped preserve a relatively young population. Since the 1990s, however, the Estonian population has been steadily aging. In 1991, those of age 60 and above constituted 15% of the population; at the beginning of 2007, the respective proportion was 21% (Statistical Office of Estonia, 2003, p. 31).
KeywordsRisk Behaviour Collective Efficacy Gang Member Hard Drug Property Offence
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