Mobility analysis

How did the Estonian society respond to the measures implemented during the emergency situation? Did people stay more local? Statistics Estonia, in co-operation with mobile network operators, analysed, based on anonymous mobile phone data, the mobility of people before and during the emergency situation. The project lasted from 20 February to 17 May 2020.

The mobile operators compiled their data according to the agreed methodology, using anonymous data from mobile networks. A main location was identified for each mobile phone number. It was determined which mobile phone masts the number was connected to the longest in a 24-hour period. Both average and maximum distance from the main location was taken into account.

The results were generalised by local municipalities and, when possible, at a more detailed level (e.g., by urban regions in Tallinn and Tartu). Statistics Estonia reviewed the aggregate data received from the mobile operators and calculated the rate for staying local for the whole country, as well as other mobility indicators.

Read more here and here.

Interesting fact: 

In the two largest Estonian cities Tallinn and Tartu, the number of inhabitants decreased after the emergency situation was declared. Most smaller municipalities, on the other hand, gained people. This shows that many Tallinn and Tartu inhabitants decided to spend the time in their summer home or elsewhere outside the city. During the emergency situation, the population increased the most in Alutaguse, Antsla, Haljala, Hiiumaa, Kastre, Kuusalu, Lääne-Nigula, Lääneranna, Mustvee and Peipsiääre rural municipalities.

Commissioned by: 

crisis commission of the Government of the Republic

Data sources: 

mobile positioning data aggregated by Telia, Elisa and Tele2


Andres Kukke, Arko Kesküla, Tõnu Raitviir, Kaja Sõstra, Boris Lorenc, Maiki Ilves