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MINISTRY OF FINANCE, Minister of Public Administration


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The Place Names Board of Estonia was formed by the Government of the Republic on the 17th of June 1997, members were newly appointed on July 1, 2004. It is a consultative body working at the Ministry of Finances under the supervision of the Minister of Public Administration (since 1 September 2015). The Board is guided by the Place Names Act, adopted on 5 December, 2003 (succeeding an earlier Act of 1996) and entering into force on 1 July, 2004.

The Board, as prescribed by its statute:

The Board has 15 members, named by the Government. They represent various government institutions (Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Economy and Communications, Language Board, Inspection for Antiquities Preservation), mapping institutions (Estonian Map Centre, Regio Map Publishers) as well as scientific and cultural institutions (Institute of Estonian Language, University of Tartu) and local government associations.

The Board has undertaken the revision of the list of populated places. The Working Group on the Names of Populated Places completed the survey of proposals by local governments to enlarge the present official list of places dating from 1977. That year a reform took place that reduced the number of previous official names by half. Following wide-spread discontent with that decision, and the adoption of new regulations, it became possible in 1997 to start reversing many of the decisions of 1977. The new list was confirmed by the Government on 18 December 1997. A revised list was approved on December 16, 1998; it is in force since January 1, 1999. Altogether the reforms have added about 1200 names to the previous list. A new feature is the presence of some parallel names in Estonian and Swedish (populated places of the municipality of Noarootsi) and names in the Võru local language form (several municipalities of the county of Võrumaa).

Toponymic Guidelines for Map and Other Editors – Estonia


News on current activities of the Board.

Lists of names

Lists of officially approved place names.


Titles and/or short summary of available documents in Estonian. Some of the most important documents will be translated into English as well.


Useful reference to information on geographical names: committees, onomastic institutions, place names databases, etc. in Estonia and abroad.

UNGEGN Baltic Division

Review of Estonia's international cooperation within the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) and its Baltic Division

Please contact us at the following address:

Place Names Board of Estonia: Suur-Ameerika 1
10122 Tallinn, Estonia
Phone: (+372) 611 3037
E-mail: Timo Torm

E-mail messages may also be sent to the webmaster of the homepage (Peeter Päll).

The National Place Names Register is working at the Estonian Land Board since July 1, 2008. All inquiries should be addressed to:

National Place Names Register: Address Data Department
Estonian Land Board
Mustamäe tee 51
10602 Tallinn, Estonia
Phone: (+372-)56886011
E-mail: kohanimeregister@maaamet.ee

Homepage of the Place Names Board is located on the server of the
Institute of the Estonian Language

English version: 17 October 1997
Updated: 31 January 2023