The population of Estonia decreased last year

Posted on 16 January 2015, 10:00

According to the initial estimates of Statistics Estonia, the population number of Estonia as at 1 January 2015 was 1,312,300, which is 3,600 persons less than at the same time a year ago.

The population decreased by 1,900 due to negative natural increase (the number of deaths exceeded the number of births) and by 1,700 due to negative net migration (more persons emigrated from than immigrated to Estonia). In total, the population of Estonia decreased by 0.3% in 2014. In the last few years, the population decline has slowed down.

According to initial data, nearly 13,700 children were born in Estonia in 2014, which is a few hundred children more than in 2013. Considering that the number of women in childbearing age has decreased, there were more children born per woman in 2014 than the year before, according to preliminary estimates. There were 15,500 deaths in 2014. The number of deaths has remained at this level for five years in a row, varying by just +/-300.

In 2014, both immigration and emigration decreased. 2,900 persons immigrated to and 4,600 persons emigrated from Estonia in 2014. According to Statistics Estonia’s population projection, external migration will start to decrease in the next few years along with a fall in the number of persons most likely to migrate (20–39-year-olds). However, it is too early to say, based on the initial data, whether the indicators for 2014 mean a change in the current external migration trends.

Diagram: Population change, 2000–2014

Population statistics are based on the population number of the 2011 population census, which has been adjusted for under-coverage. This number is adjusted annually with the data on registered vital events – births, deaths and changes of residence (migration). Starting from the 2000 population census, under-coverage has been added to the enumerated persons in population statistics. The period between the two last censuses has also been adjusted taking into account unregistered migration.

The initial population number is based on initial data on births, deaths and migration. Statistics Estonia will publish the revised population number on 5 May 2015.