New statistical publication analyses social inequality in Estonian society

Posted on 11 January 2017, 10:00

Today, on 11 January, Statistics Estonia presents its new publication Social Trends, which examines the coping, quality of life and well-being of households.

The aim of the publication is to provide an analysis of social inequality in the society of Estonia. The analysis focuses on material inequality and stratification in the society, but attention is also paid to the distribution of educational, cultural and health resources and to the existence of social resources.

The presentation held at Statistics Estonia focuses on two topics.

Statistics Estonia’s analyst Tiiu-Liisa Rummo analysed the coping of households through both income-based and self-reported poverty indicators. “It turned out that the trends of financial and self-reported poverty indicators were rather similar in 2004–2015,” Rummo noted. “In half of the years, the material deprivation rate, which is based on people’s own assessments and reflects perceived poverty, was slightly higher than the relative poverty rate, which is based on financial indicators. Thus, besides financial indicators, it is important to take into account assessment-based or perceived indicators when analysing poverty indicators,” she said. “The analysis suggested that greater subsistence difficulties are experienced by women, older people, those who speak Russian at home, and pensioners,” Rummo explained.

Siim Krusell, Senior Analyst at the Estonian Qualifications Authority, analysed the labour market position of Estonians and non-Estonians before, during and after the economic crisis. Special attention was paid to the command of Estonian as something that presumably improves the labour market opportunities of non-Estonians. “On average, the labour market position of Estonians was better than that of non-Estonians,” Krusell noted. “However, compared to Estonians, non-Estonians with a good command of Estonian were in the same – if not in a slightly better – situation in terms of the unemployment rate and employment positions before and after the crisis,” he explained. Estonian employers consider professional skills as the main factor in recruitment, and ethnicity as such is not an issue. However, as many jobs require proficiency in the Estonian language, employers try to avoid potential risks. Consequently, assuming equivalent professional skills, the first places in the queue are given to those with better additional skills (incl. language proficiency),” Krusell summed up the topic.

The publication is presented to the media today, on 11 January, at 11:00 in the 5th floor conference room of Statistics Estonia (Tatari 51).