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Museum attendance continues to increase

Posted on 15. May 2020 11:00

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2019, Estonian museums were visited slightly more than 3.5 million times, which is 100,000 visits more than the year before.

In 2019, there were 180 museums with 244 museum sites in Estonia. Place museums introducing a village, town or rural municipality (96) accounted for the largest number of sites and there were also many thematic museums (66).

According to Maali Käbin, analyst at Statistics Estonia, the most popular museums were thematic museums with more than a million visits, followed by history museums with 830,910 visits. “Estonia continues as one of the European countries with high museum attendance. Last year, museum attendance per 1,000 inhabitants was more than 2,650. Attendance was highest in Saare and Tartu counties: an average of four and a half visits per local inhabitant,” said Käbin.

An estimated one-fifth of all museum visitors in Estonia were foreign tourists. There were slightly more of them in Tartu (30%) and Harju counties (29%) and the share was smallest in Järva and Rapla counties (4%).

Children up to the age of 9 visited museums 224,400 times in 2019, which is 27,000 visits more than the year before. Thematic museums were visited 74,547 times and natural history museums, which were also popular among children, 43,159 times. In 2019, museum visits of disabled persons were registered separately for the first time – the total number was 6,555.

A total of 1,569 persons were employed in museums, i.e. slightly fewer than in 2018. The number of full-time equivalent positions was 1,453. In 2019, museums published 158 scientific publications, one-third of which were published by history museums.

Last year, museums hosted nearly 1,200 exhibitions – 400 fewer than the year before. More than 590,000 people participated in educational programmes and more than 300,000 children and young people in museum lessons.

For the survey, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Culture, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia analyses the data necessary for conducting this statistical activity. The classification of museums is based on UNESCO classification.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database (Museums, All data for the period, 2019).