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Museum attendance was over two times lower in 2020

Posted on 14. May 2021 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2020, there were 175 museums in Estonia with 227 museum sites. The number of museum visits was a little over 1.7 million, which is more than two times lower than in 2019.

Kaire Raasik, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that the number of museum sites is the biggest in Harju and Tartu counties, as the museums in the two counties combined have exactly one hundred museum sites. “The museums in Harju county had an attendance over 700,000, while the museums in Tartu county had slightly over 375,000 visits last year. This means that the remaining nearly 640,000 visits were distributed between all other counties,” said Raasik.

Museum attendance in Estonia, 2010–2020

Raasik explained that the fall in museum attendance was mainly caused by travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic that started last year. Museums were especially severely affected by the sudden drop in the number of foreign tourists visiting Estonia. “Compared to 2019, foreign tourists made four times fewer visits to museums. In 2019, every third museum visit was made by a foreign tourist, while last year only every fifth visit was made by a foreign tourist,” added Raasik.

Museum attendance per 1,000 inhabitants was a little over 1,300, with the highest attendance registered in Lääne (3,392) and Saare (2,853) counties and the lowest attendance in Rapla (221) and Viljandi counties (291).

The most common types of museum in Estonia were place museums (86) focusing on a particular place or area, thematic museums (61) focusing on a specific theme, and archaeology and history museums (44). Museums had 1,517 employees; there were 1,397 jobs in full-time equivalents. In 2020, there were 981 exhibitions in museums, which is 258 less than the year before.

For the statistical activity “Museum”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Culture, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia analyses the data necessary for this statistical activity. The classification of museums is based on the UNESCO classification.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.

See also the museums section on our website.


For further information:

Kadri Kütt
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181

Photo: Shutterstock

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