Population census: 9% more children in Estonia than during the previous census
There are 259,341 children aged 0–17 living in Estonia. This is 9.1% more than ten years ago. Children constitute 19.5% of the total population of Estonia. The share of children is the lowest in Hiiu and Ida-Viru counties and the highest in Harju and Tartu counties, as revealed by the census results published today.
There are 26,656 children aged under two, 71,779 children aged 2–6, 57,200 children aged 7–10 and 62,157 children aged 11–14 living in Estonia. Terje Trasberg, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that 11-year-old boys are the biggest group among children – there are 8,905 of them. “These boys were one year old during the previous census 10 years ago, when they were also the biggest group. The overall number of children is bigger than 10 years ago, but there are now fewer children aged under 4 in Estonia than in 2011. This reflects the low birth rates of recent years,” said Trasberg.
62% of children live in Tartu and Harju counties, with the remaining share living in other counties. Regionally, the share of children is the biggest in Tartu county where children account for over a fifth of the population (21.5%). The share of children is above the Estonian average (19.5%) also in Harju and Rapla counties. Their share is the lowest in Hiiu (15.5%) and Ida-Viru (16%) counties.
Among local governments, the share of children was noticeably higher in Rae (31.5%), Kiili (28.5%) and Kambja (27.5%) rural municipalities. “I should also mention Luunja rural municipality where the share of children aged under two was 3.2% of the population – this is the second-highest share in Estonia after Rae rural municipality (3.6%). The share of children was especially low on the small islands of Ruhnu and Vormsi, and also in Loksa city – under 13% of the population,” explained Trasberg.
The census results show a decrease in the share of women with one or two children, while there has been a rise in the number of women with three or four children. 12.5% of women have given birth to three children, and 3% of women have given birth to four children. The average number of children born to a woman has not changed significantly. According to the 2021 census, women in Estonia (aged 15 and over) have 1.55 children on average. The number of children per woman is the highest in Jõgeva county (1.88) and the lowest in Harju county (1.38).
“At the same time, the average number of children did fall among younger women, with the biggest decrease recorded among women aged 27–30, which reflects the fact that the current average age at the birth of the first child is considerably higher,” added Trasberg. The average age at the birth of the first child is the lowest among women in Valga county and the highest in Harju county. There has also been a rise in the number of women of reproductive age (15–49) who have not given birth at all – they currently represent 39.59% of women.
This overview is based on the data of the 2021 Population and Housing Census. Statistics Estonia will publish the census results gradually by topic, starting from today until the end of the year. More information and the release dates are available on the census website at census.ee.
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