Applying the Village Elder Model is one way to organize rural life. Village elder based organization of local life is strongly linked to the general performance of the culture and local government. The duty of a village elder is not to fulfil orders of the municipality government, but to function as a leader for the voluntary self-organization of the village community. In Estonia, there are 1171 village elders and 1363 rural settlements with with village elders (29 % of rural settlements), where altogether 122665 inhabitants are registered (27.9 % of rural settlement inhabitants). Therefore, rural settlements with village elders are spatially very unevenly located in Estonia.

For more information, see: http://www.stat.ee/277641