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People’s mobility resembles that of the emergency situation last year

Posted on 16. March 2021 15:08

Commissioned by the Government of Estonia, Statistics Estonia, together with Telia, Tele2 and Elisa, are conducting mobility analysis based on anonymous data of the mobile networks. The first results show that the mobility of people has decreased as a result of the stricter restrictions introduced on 11 March and resembles that of the emergency situation period of last year.

According to Andres Kukke, Deputy Director General of Statistics Estonia, the analysis confirms the impact of new restrictions on the movement of people. “New restrictions are in place since last Thursday and they have decreased mobility compared to the previous weeks. The anonymous aggregate data show that until 11 March, mobility was higher than during the emergency situation in 2020. Since the additional restrictions were introduced, mobility has fallen to the average level of last year’s emergency situation. Usually, people move around the most on Fridays. We compared the mobility of 12 March to the previous two Fridays and saw that, since the additional restrictions, mobility has decreased in all counties by 57 percentage points. Mobility is greatest in Harju and Tartu counties,” said Kukke.

The results of the mobility analysis are published at https://liikumisanalyys.stat.ee/. The mobility analysis will be prepared and transmitted to the government at least until the end of April.

The goal of the mobility analysis, prepared in co-operation between Statistics Estonia, mobile network operators and the Government Office, is to help the government evaluate the impact of adopted measures on the movement of people, assess change in the risk of infection and effectively plan communication in Estonian regions. The same methodology is used as in last spring.

Description of mobility analysis method

For the mobility analysis, mobile network operators use methodology developed in co-operation with Statistics Estonia, which ensures reliability and comparability.

Each network operator prepares a separate mobility analysis, using anonymous data from their own network as source data. They calculate the main location of each mobile phone number by determining the mobile phone masts that the number is connected to the longest in a 24-hour period. Both average and maximum distance from the main location are taken into account. It is not possible to identify or analyse movement patterns of individuals based on the anonymous data. The mobility analysis covers only Estonia and does not show in which countries Estonian residents have been.

The results are generalised at the level of municipalities and, when possible, at a more detailed level (e.g. by urban regions in Tallinn and Tartu). Statistics Estonia reviews the aggregate data received from the mobile operators and calculates the rate for staying local for the whole country, which is used to produce results, such as “87% of the mobile phones in XXX area remain local”. The enterprise Positium visualises the mobility analysis results on the Estonian map, available at https://liikumisanalyys.stat.ee/.


For further information:

Triin Küttim
Head of Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9316

Photo: Shutterstock