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What will the census data be used for?

The Population and Housing Census will provide a very detailed and valuable dataset. The statistics produced based on these data will help to make decisions that affect the whole society, and to prepare the development strategies and plans for the next decade. A part of the dataset will be prepared for international use, for comparing Estonia with other European Union countries. The statistics based on the census data will be published on the website of Statistics Estonia for everyone to read.

Below, there are a few examples of the potential use of census data.

Development of life in Estonia – time series

By comparing the 2011 data and the data of previous censuses, it is possible to follow the development of life in Estonia: the changes in people’s level of education, distribution of occupations, the composition of households and families, residential buildings and dwellings, and living conditions, etc.

Reference data for assessing and forecasting population developments

Based on the census data, it will be possible to calculate several important indicators of population development, for example, average number of live births per woman (total fertility rate), average life expectancy etc.

Analysis and forecasting of internal and external migration trends

For the purpose of planning the country’s social and economic development (incl. regional development), it is essential to analyse internal and external migration, to determine the developments and forecast future trends. Unfortunately, the current Population Register cannot be used for this, because the data recorded in that register are not sufficient. Based on the census data, we will be able to determine how many people have left Estonia and how many have migrated within Estonia and where.

Local governments and the census

The census data are collected on all of Estonia and detailed information will be available on the smallest local governments and even villages. The primary data on all rural municipalities will be freely available and it will be possible to compare the data on one rural municipality with data on other rural municipalities or with the average results of the county/Estonia.

Read more: Why are these specific questions asked during the Census?

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