Over 4,600 persons emigrated from Estonia last year

Posted on 26 May 2010, 11:00

According to preliminary data of Statistics Estonia, in 2009, 4,647 persons emigrated from Estonia and 3,643 persons immigrated into Estonia. Since the restoration of independence emigration has exceeded immigration in Estonia.

In 2009, immigration stayed on the level of the previous year, but emigration increased by about 200 persons. Emigration increased first and foremost among men. The share of young people  aged in their twenties accounted for the largest share of emigrants and immigrants. The main countries of destination were Finland, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom and Germany. In addition to the above mentioned countries, people immigrated to Estonia also from Latvia and Ukraine.

Internal migration (change of the place of residence surpassing the county, city or rural municipality borders) increased by about a fifth in 2009 compared to the previous year and reached the level of 2007, when nearly 37,500 persons changed the place of residence over the county, city or rural municipality border. Migration increased the population number of Alajõe rural municipality to a record level — nearly 1.5 times during the year (44%). But as migration events are recorded by registering the new place of residence in the Population Register, the migration of Alajõe rural municipality was influenced by mass registration in connection with elections in 2009 and probably there was no real migration to the rural municipality in all cases.

Thus, in case of internal migration, the main centres of migration are the neighbouring rural municipalities of Tallinn and Tartu where people move from cities as well as from peripheral areas of counties. In 2009 the positive net migration was the biggest in Rae rural municipality (immigration exceeded emigration by 786 persons), the number of population grew there by about 7% due to migration. But Kareda and Saare rural municipality lost most population due to migration (about 4% each).

Migration is the change of the place of residence which in case of external migration surpasses the country borders, in case of internal migration — the county, city or rural municipality borders.  Net migration is the difference between the number of immigrants and emigrants during a year. The positive net migration shows the predominance of immigration, the negative net migration indicates the predominance of emigration.

After the end of population registration system during the Soviet era, the obligation to register the place of residence was abolished in Estonia at the beginning of the 1990s. Until 2005 there was no functioning new system and this was the reason why in this period the reliability of migration and place of residence data decreased. Since 2006 the quality of migration data has improved.

External migration, 2004–2009

Diagram: External migration, 2004–2009