History of Estonian statistics

On 1 March 1921, the State Statistical Central Bureau of the Republic of Estonia was established. Mr Albert Pullerits became the leader thereof.
This date can be considered the birthday of Estonian statistics.

Main events of Estonian statistics


  • In March, the Estonian team placed third after Croatia and France in the European Big Data Hackathon in Brussels, organised by the European Commission and the statistical office of the European Union, Eurostat.
  • In April, Mart Mägi became Director General of Statistics Estonia.
  • In April, Statistics Estonia in cooperation with Eurostat organised a European statistics users’ conference “Small Estonia, big Europe – what do statistics show?” in Tallinn.
  • From July to December, Statistics Estonia successfully chaired the Council Working Party on Statistics during the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
  • In September, Statistics Estonia was awarded a Family-Friendly Employer label.
  • In November, the new statistical database software .Stat was introduced.


  • On 25 April, an international conference “Official Statistics in a Changing World“ was held in the Estonia theatre to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the Estonian statistical system.
  • A joint initiative „Reporting 3.0“ of the Tax and Customs Board, Statistics Estonia and Eesti Pank (the central bank of Estonia) was launched; the purpose of the initiative is to reduce the data providing burden of enterprises.
  • The first trial census of the register-based population and housing census took place. The moment of census was 31.12.2015.
  • In May, Statistics Estonia published on its website a name statistics application, which proved hugely successful. On the day of its publication, a record number of visits per day to Statistics Estonia’s website was recorded – 155 000 visits.
  • On 12–13 August, Statistics Estonia participated in the Opinion Festival with a discussion “What is the use of statistics to us?“.


  • A new composition of the Statistical Council was given powers, with professor Tõnu Kollo as the Chairman.
  • The Peer Review team concluded that Statistics Estonia is highly compliant with the European Statistics Code of Practice.
  • The consultation and training company Marketing Institute awarded Statistics Estonia with the title of Marketing Hit for mediating a serious topic through the lens of humour.
  • Statistics Estonia was awarded the Green Office certificate and also the Green Office of the Year award.
  • Statistics Estonia started issuing a News Bulletin which presents topical issues from different fields.
  • Walter Radermacher, the Director General of Eurostat, visited Estonia.


  • Statistics Estonia published the population projection until 2040.
  • The statistics map application was launched. It is a tool for the presentation of geo-referenced statistics in the form of thematic maps. Users can view, use and search for thematic maps, download spatial data and data tables, and submit spatial queries.
  • Statistics Estonia published the revised time series of national accounts starting from 2000. The revisions were made due to the implementation of the new European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 2010).
  • A pilot of the register-based census was conducted at the end of the year, in order to test the production system and algorithms for the generation of selected census characteristics.


  • The last results of the 2011 Population and Housing Census were published.
  • On 1 November, Statistics Estonia’s new office building at Tatari 51 in Tallinn was officially opened.
  • The international conference “Demographic Processes in the Baltic Sea Region in the 21st Century” was held at the National Library of Estonia.
  • Statistics Estonia launched the free app “Estonian statistics” for smart devices, offering an overview of the latest statistics and the main indicators for Estonia.


  • The 2011 Population and Housing Census was carried out from 31 December 2011 to 31 March 2012. For the first time in history, Estonian residents had the possibility to enumerate themselves online. This option was used by 67% of people.
  • At the Esri International User Conference in San Diego, Statistics Estonia was presented with the Esri Special Achievement in GIS Award for the effective use of geographic information systems during the 2011 Population and Housing Census.
  • The cornerstone of Statistics Estonia’s new office building was laid in an official ceremony.
  • Mr Andres Oopkaup became the Director General of Statistics Estonia.


  • Statistics Estonia celebrated the 90th anniversary of statistics in Estonia. To mark the occasion, Statistics Estonia launched the Albert Pullerits young statistician’s grant and initiated the installation of a commemorative plaque on the former building of the State Statistical Central Bureau.
  • The 2011 Population and Housing Census began on 31 December. This was the eleventh census in Estonia’s history and the first paperless census: residents could complete the census questionnaires online and those who did not complete the census online were visited by an enumerator who entered the data on a laptop.
  • To celebrate the beginning of the population and housing census, Statistics Estonia published a book about censuses in Estonia, titled “Eesti rahvastik. Viis põlvkonda ja kümme loendust”.
  • The Statistical Council was re-established after an interval of more than 70 years. Its first chair is Ms Luule Sakkeus.


  • The Riigikogu passed the Official Statistics Act.
  • Agricultural Census was carried out.
  • Statistics Estonia joined the social networks Facebook and Twitter and opened its statistics blog.


  • In connection with Estonia’s application for accession to OECD, a respective assessment mission of OECD visited Statistics Estonia with the aim to assess the compliance of Estonian official statistics with the statistical requirements of OECD.
  • All Statistics Estonia’s publications were made available free of charge on the web site.


  • The strategy of Statistics Estonia for 2008–2011 was approved. Statistics Estonia’s main goal for this strategy period is to gain a reputation of, respect for and effective use of official statistics in the society, high-quality professional information service and partnership with respondents.
  • Statistics Estonia gave up paper-based submission of reports by enterprises.
  • To mark the 90th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, Statistics Estonia published a statistical collection “Aegamööda asi kaunis”.
  • The Director General of Statistics Estonia was elected as a member of the Partnership Group of the European Statistical System for a term of two years.


  • Statistics Estonia started to implement the EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) quality management system. For the first time, Statistics Estonia was awarded the certificate ”Edasipürgiv organisatsioon” by Eesti Kvaliteediühing (Estonian Association for Quality) and the equivalent EFQM certificate Committed to Excellence.


  • An electronic data transmission channel eSTAT was launched. For this step Statistics Estonia won the first place in the competition Best Innovation 2006 organised by the State Chancellery.
  • Independent EU experts assessed the compliance of the Estonian official statistical system with the European Statistics Code of Practice. The experts pointed out Estonia’s best legal background in the European Statistical System for using administrative data as well as Estonia’s equal treatment of all users when publishing data.
  • Statistics Estonia took a new visual identity into use.
  • Statistics Estonia’s network of interviewers started to use laptops for collecting data.


  • A contact centre of respondents was set up for enterprises.


  • Estonia joined the European Union and Statistics Estonia became a part of the European Statistical System.
  • Mr Priit Potisepp became the Director General of Statistics Estonia.


  • The progress report issued by the European Commission gave a positive assessment to Estonian statistics.
  • The first strategy of Statistics Estonia was approved (for 2003–2007). Statistics Estonia’s main goals in the strategy period were to provide the society with an overview of the situation and trends in the country, to use efficient and scientifically grounded methods for producing statistics, to bring production of statistics into compliance with international agreements and requirements, to reduce the burden of respondents and make use of up-to-date information technology possibilities.


  • The Eurostat mission assessed the activities of Statistics Estonia in bringing official statistics into compliance with the Europan Union requirements as positive.


  • The Statistical Database was made available for users via the web site.
  • Agricultural Census, the first one after the restoration of independence, was conducted in Estonia.


  • Population and Housing Census, the first one after the restoration of independence, was conducted.
  • The production of official statistics was centralised – regional statistical bureaus were closed.


  • The Statistical Yearbook was published on CD-ROM for the first time. CD-ROMs enabled to publish longer time series on a lot of subject areas compared to printed publications and made the presentation of regional statistics possible.


  • The web site of Statistics Estonia www.stat.ee was opened.
  • Estonia started accession negotiations with the European Union. In relation to that, Statistics Estonia for the first time attended a sitting of the subcommittee holding negotiations on the Association Agreement between the European Union and Estonia.
  • For the first time, Statistics Estonia participated in the meeting of the United Nations Statistical Commission.


  • The Riigikogu passed the Official Statistics Act.
  • Statistics Estonia started to publish the release calendar where publication dates of news releases and publications were announced in advance.


  • The organisation got its current name Statistics Estonia (previous name: Statistical Office of Estonia).
  • Financial key ratios were worked out in enterprise statistics and input-output tables in macroeconomics.
  • The first User Survey of Statistics was carried out.
  • An anniversary of Estonian statistics was celebrated for the first time (an open doors day, a book exhibition, a meeting at the National Library of Estonia and a festive evening at the Sakala Centre were the events organised to mark the 75th anniversary).


  • A joint declaration was signed by Eurostat (Statistical Office of the European Communities) and the statistical offices of the Baltic Republics. This step opened new opportunities for Statistics Estonia’s employees to participate in the Eurostat work meetings, seminars and courses and for creating relations with all EU Member States as well as Phare states.
  • The Household Income and Consumption Survey was carried out.


  • The structure of Statistics Estonia was reorganised. The former 17 local statistical offices were replaced by seven regional statistical bureaus.
  • A national network of interviewers was created. The first sample surveys of personal statistics – the Living Conditions Survey (in cooperation with the Norwegian Social Research Institute) and the Labour Force Survey were conducted.
  • Statistics Estonia started to issue news releases to inform the public of the newly published data and their availability.
  • The first catalogue of statistical publications was compiled and users of statistics were given a possibility to subscribe to publications.


  • Extensive reorganisation took place in Statistics Estonia, in the course of which a new structure was built up and the main functions of the agency were brought into accordance with the needs of the independent state and international requirements.
  • Statistical profile or a register of active economic entities was established and, instead of the census, Statistics Estonia started to use sample surveys.
  • A public statistics library was opened in Statistics Estonia for all interested persons.


  • The Director General of Statistics Estonia started to participate in the conferences of European Statisticians being at the same time himself a member of the CES (Conference of European Statisticians) Bureau.
  • A cooperation programme was started for developing the statistical system and bringing it into conformity with international requirements. This programme involved the European Union, EFTA (European Free Trade Association) and the Baltic Republics.
  • In the organisation of statistical reporting, the SNA (System of National Accounts) developed by the UN was taken as basis.
  • The Estonian Statistical Society was established.


  • Mr Rein Veetõusme was assigned to the post of Director General of the State Statistical Office of the Republic of Estonia.
  • The first issue of "Eesti statistika aastaraamat. Yearbook of Estonian Statistics” was published.


  • The Statistics Act of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic was passed.
  • The first international cooperation agreement was concluded (with Statistics Sweden) with a view to developing the Estonian statistical system and bringing statistics into compliance with international requirements.


  • Statistics Estonia was established as the statistical office of the Republic of Estonia.
  • A population and housing census was conducted (census moment: 12 January).
  • Einu Reitsnik was appointed the chairman of the Statistical Committee.


  • Significant restrictions were imposed on the publication of statistical data in public sources.


  • A population census was conducted (census moment: 15 January).


  • The first post-war population census was conducted (census moment: 15 January).


  • The registration of the entire population as at 1 December (essentially a census) was organised by the Estonian Statistics Administration.


  • The State Central Bureau of Statistics was abolished following the beginning of Soviet rule.


  • An agricultural census was conducted.


  • An economic census was conducted, covering industry, handicraft, trade and transport.


  • The second population census was conducted in Estonia (census moment: 1 March).


  • An agricultural census was conducted.


  • An agricultural census was conducted.


  • The parliament adopted the statutes of the State Central Bureau of Statistics.
  • The first population census of the Republic of Estonia was conducted (census moment: 28 December).


  • The Estonian State Central Bureau of Statistics was established on 1 March with Albert Pullerits as its director.