Emigration from Estonia decreased last year

Posted on 22 May 2015, 11:00

According to Statistics Estonia, 4,637 persons emigrated from Estonia and 3,904 persons immigrated to Estonia in 2014. The volume of emigration was 30% smaller than in the previous three years.

53% of the emigrants and 44% of the immigrants were females. In 2014, the net migration of males was positive – 14 more men came to live in Estonia than moved abroad from Estonia. The previous time that the net migration of males was positive was in 2009.

Diagram: External migration by sex, 2005–2014

In all age groups, the number of emigrants in 2014 was smaller than in the previous years. The majority of the people emigrating from Estonia are persons aged 20–34 and the people immigrating to Estonia are mainly aged 25–39. Compared with the previous years, there were more immigrants aged 30 and over. There were fewer 15–29-year-olds among immigrants than in 2013. Net migration was positive (there were more people taking up residence in Estonia than those leaving Estonia) in two age groups: among children aged 0–4 and persons aged over 60. Population loss was the greatest among 5–14-year-olds and 20–29-year-olds, while in other age groups characterised by active migration there has been a considerable decrease in the number of emigrants. Among persons aged 30–34, net migration is more or less in balance. The net migration of persons aged 35–59 was negative; however, the population of this age group decreased significantly less than in the previous years.

By country, migration is the most active between Estonia and Finland. 3,051 persons emigrated from Estonia to Finland and 1,290 persons immigrated to Estonia from Finland. Net migration was two times smaller than in 2013. Popular destination countries, in the case of which our net migration is negative, are also Germany and Sweden. Among countries with which our net migration was positive, the greatest number of immigrants came from Russia, Ukraine and the United States.

By citizenship, 65% of the immigrants were citizens of Estonia, 11% citizens of Russia, and 24% were citizens of other countries. Compared with the previous years, the share of Estonian citizens among immigrants has increased and the share of Russian citizens has decreased. The share of Estonian citizens among emigrants was 93%.

53% of the immigrants take up residence in Harju county; of them, over 80% move to Tallinn. Among other counties, the ones gaining the greatest number of inhabitants through immigration from abroad are Ida-Viru (10%), Tartu (10%) and Pärnu (6%) counties. People emigrating from Estonia mostly originate from Harju county (45% of the emigrants), but a significant number of emigrants also come from Tartu county (14%). Net migration is positive in Harju county and the city of Tallinn (with people moving to the county from abroad outnumbering those moving abroad from the county), but only by fewer than 100 people. Among counties, net migration is the most negative in Tartu county (–254). Emigrants outnumber immigrants also in Pärnu and Viljandi counties.

Diagram: External migration of Estonia by country, 2014

Statistics Estonia’s migration statistics are based on information about the place of residence available in the Population Register. Net migration is the difference between immigration and emigration during a year. Positive net migration shows that immigration exceeds emigration; negative net migration indicates that emigration exceeds immigration.