Estonia, is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by the Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation (338.6 km). Estonia is a democratic parliamentary republic and is divided into 15 counties. The capital and largest city is Tallinn. With a population of 1.34 million, Estonia is one of the least-populous members of the European Union, Eurozone and NATO. Today, Estonia has the highest GDP per person among former Soviet republics. Estonia is listed as a "High-Income Economy" by the World Bank, as an "advanced economy" by the International Monetary Fund. The United Nations lists Estonia as a developed country with a Human Development Index of "Very High". The country is also ranked highly for press freedom, economic freedom, democracy and political freedom and education. Estonia lies on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea immediately across the Gulf of Finland from Finland on the level northwestern part of the rising east European platform between 57.3° and 59.5° N and 21.5° and 28.1° E. Average elevation reaches only 50 meters. Estonia is situated in the northern part of the temperate climate zone and in the transition zone between maritime and continental climate. Estonia has four seasons of near-equal length. Average temperatures range from 16.3 °C on the Baltic islands to 18.1 °C inland in July, the warmest month, and from −3.5 °C on the Baltic islands to −7.6 °C inland in February, the coldest month.
Estonia has over 1,400 lakes. Most are very small, with the largest, Lake Peipus, (Peipsi in Estonian) being 3,555 km2.