Frequently asked questions

  • Why is it necessary to submit data to Statistics Estonia? What are the collected data used for?

    Statistics reflecting the social situation and changes in the society are required for governance, for preparing development plans and for decision-making on the state level as well as in the enterprise sector. Statistics Estonia is mandated to collect data by the Official Statistics Act, to provide reliable and objective information about demographic, economic, environmental and social trends in Estonia.

    The surveys carried out by Statistics Estonia are described in the list of statistical actions approved annually by the Government of the Republic. The Order of the Government with the list of statistical actions for 2023–2027 is published in Riigi Teataja here (in Estonian).

    Based on the submitted data, Statistics Estonia produces and releases statistics that are used by ministries and other state agencies, research organisations, enterprises, international organisations as well as private individuals. For example, the collected data are used by state agencies to assess how the economy is doing, which in turn affects taxes and wages.

    Is it obligatory to submit data to Statistics Estonia?

    Pursuant to the Official Statistics Act (section 28), enterprises have the obligation to submit data, and it is the responsibility of the enterprise’s manager to ensure compliance. On Statistics Estonia’s website, enterprises can check which questionnaires (if any) they are required to fill in – see section Obligation to submit data. The collected data are used to produce statistics that are published in the statistical database. Selected data are also visualised in our applications, including the dashboards, earnings application and foreign trade application

    Legal basis for data collection

    The collection of data by Statistics Estonia is governed by the following:

    1. Official Statistics Act
    2. Order No 305 of the Government of the Republic of 21 December 2023, “List of statistical actions carried out by Statistics Estonia in 2024–2028”
    3. Administrative Procedure Act
    4. Substitutional Performance and Non-Compliance Levies Act
    5. Directives regarding the approval of samples, questionnaire variables and penalty rates (available in the document register of the Ministry of Finance)
    How does Statistics Estonia ensure data confidentiality?

    Confidentiality is an element of data security. Statistics Estonia always publishes data in an aggregated format, so that the respondent cannot be directly or indirectly identified. As a minimum, the data of at least three data subjects can be aggregated, whereas the share of a single respondent’s data cannot exceed 90% within the aggregated data. Therefore, some fields in database tables may sometimes be unavailable – there is a footnote explaining that specific figures cannot be published to prevent the identification of respondents.

    How do you choose the enterprises that must submit data?

    Informed decisions can only be made based on reliable data. Statistics Estonia conducts complete and sample surveys to collect data from enterprises. A complete survey means that all enterprises engaged in a given economic activity are surveyed, while a sample survey collects data only from enterprises included in the sample.

    The sampling criteria vary for each questionnaire. Some examples:

    • A survey by economic activity with complete coverage means that questionnaires must be completed by all enterprises or kind-of-activity units engaged in a given economic activity (e.g. rail transport, accommodation).
    • In the case of a cut-off threshold, data must be submitted by all enterprises that are above the threshold. For example, Intrastat reports must be submitted by economic entities whose turnover in trade with European Union countries exceeds the statistical threshold set for the reference year.
    • Sampling based on the number of employees means that we survey all large enterprises and a random sample of small enterprises. The specific threshold (number of employees) depends on the questionnaire. For example, in the financial statistics of enterprises survey, data must be submitted by all enterprises with 20 or more employees, and a random sample is drawn from smaller enterprises (with fewer than 20 employees). In the ICT survey, the threshold for the fully enumerated population is 50 employees.

    To ensure sufficient data quality and level of detail by economic activity and enterprise size class, Statistics Estonia uses a random sampling methodology that is consistent with the methodology used in other European Union countries. Enterprises are grouped by number of employees and by economic activity before sampling. A computer program chooses the required number of enterprises from each group for the sample, and these enterprises must then submit data.

    Statistics Estonia has a random sampling coordination system which ensures that a small enterprise is not required to fill in all applicable questionnaires at the same time. Each year, a share of enterprises are removed from the sample and are replaced by new enterprises. Still, it may happen that while the enterprise is removed from one sample, it is simultaneously included in the sample of another survey. If the sample of a survey represents about 10% of the enterprise population, each enterprise is included in this sample for an average of five years; if the sample represents 20% of the population, each enterprise is in the sample for ten years, and so on. The period of inclusion in the sample depends on the economic activity of the enterprise – if there are few enterprises engaged in a particular activity, the period of being part of the sample is longer. 

    Agricultural surveys are used to collect data on all agricultural holdings, meaning that both enterprises and private individuals are covered by the censuses or sample surveys. Different sampling criteria are used: for example, sampling may be based on economic size, type of farming, farming system (organic/traditional).

    In the “Carriage of goods by road” questionnaire, the statistical unit is a lorry used for freight transport. The data on the lorry included in the sample must be submitted once a year for the specific reference week. The sample survey covers lorries registered in the Estonian traffic register which have a load capacity of over 3,500 kg (categories N2 and N3) and are up to 25 years old.  

    How can we find out what kind of data the enterprise is required to submit to Statistics Estonia?

    To check whether the enterprise must submit any data, please go to Statistics Estonia’s website here.

    You can also contact Statistics Estonia’s customer support for information, by phone at +372 625 9300 or by email at klienditugi [at] stat.ee (klienditugi[at]stat[dot]ee). You need to provide the enterprise’s registry code when requesting information from the customer support.

    Where can we submit the data?

    Data can be submitted in eSTAT which is our electronic data submission environment. The questionnaires in eSTAT are partially prefilled. More information about joining eSTAT can be found in the eSTAT signing up instruction. “Reporting 3.0” allows the submission of wages and salaries and labour force data directly from the accounting software used by the enterprise – read more here.

    What happens if we do not submit the data?

    If a respondent fails to submit data collected for a statistical activity or submits false data, Statistics Estonia has the right, as a producer of official statistics, to issue a precept requiring the elimination of the violation.

    If the respondent fails to comply with the precept, Statistics Estonia may impose a penalty payment, in accordance with the Substitutional Performance and Non-Compliance Levies Act and the Law Enforcement Act. The non-compliance levy (penalty payment) is an amount specified in a warning, payable by the addressee if the addressee fails to perform the obligation imposed by a compliance notice within the term indicated in the warning. Payment of the levy does not release the respondent from the obligation to submit data.

    Which data, if any, must be submitted if the enterprise has no activities at the moment?

    If the enterprise is required to submit data but has not yet commenced activities, is not engaged in the economic activity specified in the questionnaire, or has suspended or terminated its activities, you should notify Statistics Estonia’s customer support by calling +372 625 9300 or sending an email at klienditugi [at] stat.ee (klienditugi[at]stat[dot]ee). Please provide the enterprise’s registry code when you make contact. If the enterprise has suspended or terminated its activities, please provide the date of suspension or termination. The enterprise will have to submit data for the period of activity before the suspension or termination. If the enterprise fails to submit the data, Statistics Estonia has the right to issue a warning and impose a penalty payment.

    If the enterprise has no activities, you can confirm an empty questionnaire in the eSTAT environment after selecting one of the predefined reasons. There is a video tutorial in Estonian available here.

    Does Statistics Estonia use data that the respondent has already provided to other state agencies, such as data submitted to Eesti Pank, the Tax and Customs Board or the Agricultural Registers and Information Board?

    One of Statistics Estonia’s main goals is to expand the use of register data, harmonise submission deadlines, and ensure data exchange between state agencies. However, the wider use of register data is hindered by the fact that the data available in databases and registers do not fully satisfy the needs of official statistics. For example, accounting reports do not provide the level of detail required by the users of business statistics. Also, there are differences between the definitions of accounting and statistical indicators, due to which it is not possible to produce internationally comparable business statistics based only on accounting data.

    Data can be submitted in the electronic data submission environment eSTAT, where questionnaires are partially prefilled with data already submitted to other state agencies.

    What does an enterprise gain by submitting data?

    The statistics produced by Statistics Estonia on the basis of the collected data are published in the statistical database, where enterprises can access and use the data for analysis and comparison and for making key business decisions.

    The data provided by every single enterprise shape the future of Estonia and Europe, since policymakers rely on these data when making any important decisions. Each enterprise’s data are necessary for:

    • calculating the gross domestic product (GDP) which is used for economic forecasts in Estonia and for international comparisons, thereby affecting Estonia’s competitiveness and credit rating as well as the amount of support received from the EU;
    • calculating the consumer price index and construction price index which inform transaction prices in contracts, salary projections and profit forecasting, and business plans;
    • tourism and enterprise statistics which are essential for planning support measures (e.g. for research and development), including during a crisis;
    • flash estimates that are crucial during a crisis in order to develop policies and support measures in emergency situations (e.g. Ukrainian refugees on the Estonian labour market, residents’ mobility during the coronavirus pandemic);
    • foreign trade statistics, including overviews of export and import volume by country. These statistics are used in the provision of export subsidies and support for entering foreign markets.

    Visualised statistics can be accessed quickly and conveniently through Statistics Estonia’s applications, such as the dashboards, foreign trade application, labour market application, and earnings application. Browse statistics by theme here.

    Entering data in the employment register

    Pursuant to the Regulation of the Government of the Republic, employers are required to enter each employee’s occupational title and workplace address into the employment register (TÖR) of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board

    The purpose of the register is to ensure more efficient collection of wages and labour force data, leading to more accurate statistics on the labour market and wages and salaries. The register is also required for conducting register-based population censuses.

    The occupational title and workplace address must be registered in TÖR for employees employed under a contract of employment. If a person is employed under a contract under the law of obligations, these additional data are not required in the register.

    In Estonia, you can choose from nearly 700,000 different occupational titles. The data on job title and workplace address are necessary for Statistics Estonia, Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Estonian Qualifications Authority, Labour Inspectorate, Ministry of Defence, local governments, and so on.

    The employment register is managed by the Tax and Customs Boards. If you need help with determining the workplace address or entering the register or have any other questions about the application, please contact the Tax and Customs Board’s customer support by phone at +372 880 0812 (business clients) or +372 880 0815 (e-services).

    If you need help with determining occupational titles, you can contact Statistics Estonia by phone at +372 625 9300 or by email atklassifikaatorid [at] stat.ee (klassifikaatorid[at]stat[dot]ee)

    General information about registering employment and entering the occupational title and workplace address

    Guidelines for entering the workplace address

    Statistics Estonia’s guidelines for selecting the occupational title in TÖR (in Estonian)

    Classification of Occupations

    API access to the contents of the Classification of Occupations (in Estonian)

     

     

    Is it possible to extend the data submission deadline?

    The statistics based on the data submitted to Statistics Estonia must be released on the predetermined release dates, which is why it is essential for data to be submitted by the due date.

    In exceptional cases, where an enterprise is unable to submit the data by the due date, Statistics Estonia must be duly notified – contact the customer support by phone at +372 625 9300 or by email at klienditugi [at] stat.ee (klienditugi[at]stat[dot]ee) and provide the registry code of your enterprise.

  • Miks on oluline uuringus osaleda?

    Uuringu valimisse sattunud inimene saab anda teavet Eesti elanike käekäigu kohta, aidates sellega Eesti elu paremaks muuta. Isiku-uuringutesse kaasatakse inimesi juhuvalikuga. Uuringud võivad olla erinevale vanuserühmale. Igaühe vastus on oluline, sest see esindab ühiskonna sarnaste isikute olukorda ja arvamust. Palume leida aega uuringu küsimustele vastata. Isiku-uuringute andmeid võib esitada veebis, telefonitsi või silmast silma küsitluse käigus.

    Kuidas andmeid esitada?

    Andmeid soovitame esitada endale sobival ajal elektrooniliselt andmeedastuskeskkonnas estat.stat.ee. Telefoniintervjuu aja saab kokku leppida küsitlejaga või anda soovist teada klienditoele. Kui küsimustele ei ole võimalik vastata veebis või telefoni teel, teeb küsitleja silmast silma intervjuu. Kogutud andmete põhjal valminud statistika avaldatakse statistika andmebaasis.

    Kuidas olla kindel, et tegemist on statistikaameti uuringuga?

    Intervjuu teeb erikoolitusega küsitleja. Kontrolli statistikaameti küsitleja nime statistikaameti kodulehelt. Uuringusse sattunud inimesel on alati õigus näha küsitleja töötõendit.

  • What is eSTAT and what is it for?

    eSTAT is an electronic data submission environment for the secure, fast, and convenient submission of data collected for the production of official statistics. eSTAT informs respondents of all the questionnaires they are asked to fill in as well as their deadlines. 

    When a questionnaire is submitted, information on its arrival and correct completion is immediately provided. In addition, eSTAT allows users to view the data provided in previous questionnaires submitted via the same channel. Submitting data through eSTAT reduces the time needed for data entry and initial verification, and the statistics resulting from the analysis can be made available to consumers more quickly.
    More information about joining eSTAT can be found in the eSTAT signing up instruction.

    How to sign up to eSTAT?

    Instruction manual. What is eSTAT and how to get started.

    In order to sign up to eSTAT, a person entitled to represent the enterprise/institution needs to submit an application for user rights. 

    The application can be submitted in eSTAT after authenticating the person using an ID-card, Mobile-ID, or Smart-ID. This is the fastest way to gain access to eSTAT.

    A digitally signed application form can also be e-mailed to klienditugi [at] stat.ee (klienditugi[at]stat[dot]ee).
    If desired, the application form may also be printed out and sent to Statistics Estonia by post (Tatari 51, 10134 Tallinn).

    On the basis of the application received, Statistics Estonia creates an executive manager/main user profile for the enterprise/institution, and this user will be able to add respondents for this enterprise/institution, i.e. designate persons to fill in questionnaires in eSTAT. If there are no restrictions set for respondents, they can fill in and view all the questionnaires submitted via eSTAT for their enterprise/institution.

    If a respondent does not have an Estonian personal identification code, a password must be requested for submitting data in eSTAT.

    How to log in to eSTAT?

    eSTAT can be accessed via Statistics Estonia's website https://www.stat.ee/en under the heading „Submit data“ or directly from eSTAT.

    To access eSTAT, user rights must first be obtained (see FAQ „How to sign up to eSTAT?“) and an ID-card, Smart-ID, or Mobile-ID is required to log in.

    eSTAT supports Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. We recommend using the latest versions of web browsers. When logging in, make sure the browser allows pop-up windows.

    Where and to whom to turn for help?

    In exceptional cases, where an enterprise is unable to submit the data by the due date, Statistics Estonia must be duly notified – contact the customer support by phone at +372 625 9300 or by email at klienditugi [at] stat.ee (klienditugi[at]stat[dot]ee) and provide the registry code of your enterprise.

On 23 February, the phone line of Statistics Estonia’s customer support is open until 12:00 pm. Happy anniversary of the Republic of Estonia!