Municipalities of Estonia

A municipality (Estonian: omavalitsus, plural omavalitsused) is the smallest administrative subdivision of Estonia. Each municipality is a unit of self-government with its representative and executive bodies. The municipalities in Estonia cover the entire territory of the country.

Municipalities of Estonia

Municipalities in Estonia are of two types:

  • Urban municipalities or towns (linnad, singular linn)
  • Rural municipalities or parishes (vallad, singular vald).

There is no other status distinction between them.

Municipalities may contain one or several settlements. All but 5 urban municipalities (Haapsalu, Narva-Jõesuu, Paide, Pärnu and Tartu) plus 1 rural municipality (Ruhnu) contain only one settlement. As of 2017, there are no longer any "borough-parishes", i.e. rural municipalities with only one borough-type settlement. Ruhnu Parish contains only one village and is therefore a "village-parish".

Some municipalities are divided into districts. The 8 urban districts (linnaosad, singular linnaosa) of Tallinn have limited self-government, while other urban districts are formed for administrative purposes. Some rural districts (osavallad) have limited self-government, while other types of rural districts do not.

Municipalities range in population from Tallinn with 427,500 inhabitants to Ruhnu with 68.[1] Previously, as over two-thirds of the municipalities had a population of under 3,000, many of them found it advantageous to co-operate in providing services and carrying out administrative functions.

After the administrative reform was completed in October 2017, there are total of 79 municipalities, 15 of which are urban and 64 rural. 51 of the present municipalities were the result of mergers, 28 remain unchanged. After the reform small municipalities with under 5,000 inhabitants have been reduced from a number of 169 to 15. The number of councillors was reduced from 2,026 to 1,019. The municipalities are:


Name Capital Area (km2) Population Type County Flag Coat of


Alutaguse Iisaku 1,439.61 4,682 Rural   Ida-Viru County      
Anija Kehra 520.94 6,274 Rural   Harju County      
Antsla Antsla 411 4,372 Rural   Võru County      
Elva Elva 732 14,707 Rural   Tartu County      
Häädemeeste Häädemeeste 494 4,794 Rural   Pärnu County      
Haapsalu Haapsalu 272 12,883 Urban   Lääne County      
Haljala Haljala 183.02 4,297 Rural   Lääne-Viru County      
Harku Tabasalu 159.77 15,650 Rural   Harju County      
Hiiumaa Kärdla 1,023 9,381 Rural   Hiiu County      
Järva Järva-Jaani 1,223 8,837 Rural   Järva County      
Jõelähtme Jõelähtme 210.86 6,692 Rural   Harju County      
Jõgeva Jõgeva 458 13,262 Rural   Jõgeva County      
Jõhvi Jõhvi 124 11,699 Rural   Ida-Viru County      
Kadrina Kadrina 329.36 4,791 Rural   Lääne-Viru County      
Kambja Ülenurme 275 12,089 Rural   Tartu County      
Kanepi Kanepi 524.68 4,685 Rural   Põlva County      
Kastre Kastre 493 5,430 Rural   Tartu County      
Kehtna Kehtna 512 5,416 Rural   Rapla County      
Keila Keila 11.25 10,078 Urban   Harju County      
Kihnu Sääre 16.88 690 Rural   Pärnu County      
Kiili Kiili 100.4 5,891 Rural   Harju County      
Kohila Kohila 230.2 7,322 Rural   Rapla County      
Kohtla-Järve Kohtla-Järve 68.77 32,577 Urban   Ida-Viru County      
Kose Kose 532.85 7,211 Rural   Harju County      
Kuusalu Kiiu 707.97 6,421 Rural   Harju County      
Lääne-Harju Paldiski 645.71 12,661 Rural   Harju County      
Lääne-Nigula Taebla 1,449 7,005 Rural   Lääne County      
Lääneranna Lihula 1,352 5,190 Rural   Pärnu County      
Loksa Loksa 3.81 2,467 Urban   Harju County      
Lüganuse Lüganuse 599 11,699 Rural   Ida-Viru County      
Luunja Luunja 134 5,182 Rural   Tartu County      
Maardu Maardu 22.76 15,284 Urban   Harju County      
Märjamaa Märjamaa 1,164 7,374 Rural   Rapla County      
Muhu Liiva 208 1,919 Rural   Saare County      
Mulgi Abja-Paluoja 881 7,372 Rural   Viljandi County      
Mustvee Mustvee 615 5,204 Rural   Jõgeva County      
Narva Narva 84.54 53,424 Urban   Ida-Viru County      
Narva-Jõesuu Narva-Jõesuu 405 4,479 Urban   Ida-Viru County      
Nõo Nõo 170 4,314 Rural   Tartu County      
Otepää Otepää 520 6,412 Rural   Valga County      
Paide Paide 443 10,285 Urban   Järva County      
Pärnu Pärnu 858 50,639 Urban   Pärnu County      
Peipsiääre Kolkja 652 5,331 Rural   Tartu County      
Põhja-Pärnumaa Pärnu-Jaagupi and Vändra 1,013 8,046 Rural   Pärnu County      
Põhja-Sakala Suure-Jaani 1,153 7,872 Rural   Viljandi County      
Põltsamaa Põltsamaa 889.56 9,616 Rural   Jõgeva County      
Põlva Põlva 706 13,609 Rural   Põlva County      
Raasiku Aruküla 158.86 5,138 Rural   Harju County      
Rae Jüri 206.7 21,765 Rural   Harju County      
Rakvere (parish) Rakvere 295 5,619 Rural   Lääne-Viru County      
Rakvere (town) Rakvere 10.64 14,984 Urban   Lääne-Viru County      
Räpina Räpina 265.93 6,179 Rural   Põlva County      
Rapla Rapla 859 13,004 Rural   Rapla County      
Rõuge Rõuge 933 5,180 Rural   Võru County      
Ruhnu Ruhnu 11.9 140 Rural   Saare County      
Saarde Kilingi-Nõmme 706.9 4,455 Rural   Pärnu County      
Saaremaa Kuressaare 2,705 30,973 Rural   Saare County      
Saku Saku 171.13 10,722 Rural   Harju County      
Saue Laagri 628 23,790 Rural   Harju County      
Setomaa Värska 463.18 3,114 Rural   Võru County      
Sillamäe Sillamäe 10.54 12,230 Urban   Ida-Viru County      
Tallinn Tallinn 159.2 438,341 Urban   Harju County      
Tapa Tapa 480 10,611 Rural   Lääne-Viru County      
Tartu (parish) Kõrveküla 742 11,539 Rural   Tartu County      
Tartu (city) Tartu 154 96,974 Urban   Tartu County      
Toila Toila 266 4,603 Rural   Ida-Viru County      
Tori Sindi 611 11,946 Rural   Pärnu County      
Tõrva Tõrva 647 6,064 Rural   Valga County      
Türi Türi 1,008 10,695 Rural   Järva County      
Väike-Maarja Väike-Maarja 457.39 5,737 Rural   Lääne-Viru County      
Valga Valga 750 15,486 Rural   Valga County      
Viimsi Viimsi 72.84 21,151 Rural   Harju County      
Viljandi (parish) Viljandi 651 13,758 Rural   Viljandi County      
Viljandi (town) Viljandi 14.62 16,875 Urban   Viljandi County      
Vinni Pajusti 486.65 6,788 Rural   Lääne-Viru County      
Viru-Nigula Viru-Nigula 312 5,575 Rural   Lääne-Viru County      
Vormsi Hullo 92.93 397 Rural   Lääne County      
Võru (parish) Võru 952 10,699 Rural   Võru County      
Võru (town) Võru 13.24 11,533 Urban   Võru County      

Gallery of MapsEdit

Structure of local authoritiesEdit

In each municipality there is a local government as well as a council.

The council (volikogu) is a representative body elected by the residents of a municipality for a term of three years. The members of the council elect a chairman (volikogu esimees), who organises the council's work and represents the municipality.

The government (valitsus) is an executive body formed by the council. It is headed by a mayor (linnapea in towns, vallavanem in parishes), who is appointed for a four-year term. The mayor cannot be the chairman of the council. Other members of the government are chosen by the mayor with the approval of the council.

Former municipalitiesEdit

The list of municipalities that have merged or lost existence between 1995 and 2017.

Former municipalities (before 1990)Edit

  • Vaoküla Parish (existed 1939–1950)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Estonian Institute". Archived from the original on 2002-06-19. Retrieved 2002-06-19.

External linksEdit