The population of Estonia increased last year

news release no 7

According to Statistics Estonia, the preliminary estimate of the population of Estonia as at 1 January 2018 was 1,318,700, which is 3,070 persons more than at the same time a year ago.

The population decreased by 1,960 due to negative natural increase (the number of deaths exceeded the number of births) and increased by 5,030 due to positive net migration (more persons immigrated to Estonia than emigrated). In total, the population of Estonia increased by 0.2% in 2017. Net migration has been positive in Estonia for three years in a row.

More than 13,520 children were born in Estonia in 2017. The number of births decreased by nearly 400 compared to a year ago. Considering that the number of women in childbearing age is decreasing, it shows that the number of births per woman has not decreased considerably.

There were 15,480 deaths in 2017. The number of deaths has been relatively level in this decade, varying by +/-300. The share of older people increases in the population as life expectancy continues to increase.

10,470 persons immigrated to Estonia and 5,440 persons emigrated from Estonia in 2017. Migration statistics are most difficult to estimate based on preliminary data, as Statistics Estonia supplements migration figures with data from other registers, and later adds also unregistered migration according to the methodology of calculating population based on residency index. Reaching the final result is more complicated compared to other events, both technically and methodologically, and can significantly increase migration flows. Emigration increases mainly due to unregistered leaving of Estonian citizens. Immigration increases mainly due to their return migration, which is not recorded in the population register, as the prior leaving was not registered. Compared to immigration, emigration is less registered, and therefore, emigration increases presumably more than immigration in the revised population number – it can be assumed that net migration is somewhat smaller in the results published in May.

Population change, 2000–2017

The preliminary population published by Statistics Estonia is based on changes of residence in the population register in 2017 – persons whose residence was not Estonia at the previous year‑end but was so at this year-end are considered immigrants, and persons whose residence was Estonia at the previous year-end but not at this year-end are considered emigrants.

The initial population number is based on initial data on births, deaths and migration. A thorough review of the residency index is HERE.

Statistics Estonia will publish the revised population number with revised demographic events (migration, births and deaths) on 9 May.

For the statistical activity “Population”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Social Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity.

For further information:

Kaja Sõstra
Head of Social Statistics and Analysis Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel. +372 625 8409

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database.