Title of statistical activity: Population

Code of statistical activity: 30101

  1. Contact
  2. Metadata update
  3. Statistical presentation
  4. Unit of measure
  5. Reference period
  6. Institutional mandate
  7. Confidentiality
  8. Release policy
  9. Frequency of dissemination
  10. Accessibility and clarity
  11. Quality management
  12. Relevance
  13. Accuracy and reliability
  14. Timeliness and punctuality
  15. Coherence and comparability
  16. Cost and burden
  17. Data revision
  18. Statistical processing

1. Contact Individual or organisational contact points for the data or metadata, including information on how to reach the contact points.

1.1. Contact organisation The name of the organisation of the contact points for the data or metadata.

Statistics Estonia

1.2. Contact organisation unit An addressable subdivision of an organisation.

Population and Social Statistics Department

1.3. Contact name The name of the contact points for the data or metadata.

Alis Tammur

1.4. Contact person function The area of technical responsibility of the contact, such as "methodology", "database management" or "dissemination".

Leading Analyst

1.5. Contact mail address The postal address of the contact points for the data or metadata.

51 Tatari Str, 10134 Tallinn, Estonia

1.6. Contact email address E-mail address of the contact points for the data or metadata.


1.7. Contact phone number The telephone number of the contact points for the data or metadata.

+372 625 8481

2. Metadata update The date on which the metadata element was inserted or modified in the database.

2.1. Metadata last certified Date of the latest certification provided by the domain manager to confirm that the metadata posted are still up-to-date, even if the content has not been amended.


2.2. Metadata last update Date of last update of the content of the metadata.


3. Statistical presentation

3.1. Data description Main characteristics of the data set described in an easily understandable manner, referring to the data and indicators disseminated.

Geographic, demographic, socio-economic and ethno-cultural characteristics.

3.2. Classification system Arrangement or division of objects into groups based on characteristics which the objects have in common.

Classification of Estonian administrative units and settlements (EHAK)

International Standard Codes for the Representation of the Names of Countries (ISO 3166)

Classification of Ethnicities 2013

Codes for the Representation of Names of Languages (ISO 639-2)

International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 2011)

Country of Citizenship List (KOD)

3.3. Sector coverage Main economic or other sectors covered by the statistics.

Not applicable

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions Statistical characteristics of statistical observations.

Administrative unit – a unit based on administrative division, the name, type and boundaries of which are determined by law and other legislation, and in the territory of which state or local government administration is carried out. The administrative units of the territory of Estonia are counties, rural municipalities and cities.

Age – the age of the person concerned in full years at the time of the event, i.e. the age at last birthday.

City settlement region – a settlement where most inhabitants live in regions where population density is greater than 1,000 inhabitants per km2 and the population figure in a cluster of this density is greater than 5,000. Grid map data have been used for determining regions based on population density and figure.

Country of permanent residence – the country where a person has continuously lived for at least 12 months, or the country where the person intends to live for at least 12 months.

Ethnic nationality – the data are based on self-determination. The ethnic nationality of the mother is taken as a basis for determining the ethnic nationality of the child.

Mean annual population – half the sum number of the population at the beginning and at the end of the year.

Place of residence – the area or settlement in which the person resides according to his/her statement or according to the population register (depending on the methodology of the survey). Starting from 2015, only the place of residence recorded in the population register is used.

Rural settlement region – a settlement where population density is lower than 200 inhabitants per km2 or a region with higher population density where the population figure is under 5,000.

Settlement region – division of settlement units into city, town and rural settlement regions.

Settlement unit – rural municipalities and cities are divided into settlement units. Settlement units are settlements which are cities, villages, towns and small towns.

Town settlement region – a settlement where most inhabitants live in regions where population density is 200–1,000 inhabitants per km2 and the population figure in a cluster of this density is greater than 5,000, but it does not constitute a city settlement region. Grid map data have been used for determining regions based on population density and figure.

3.5. Statistical unit Entity for which information is sought and for which statistics are ultimately compiled.


3.6. Statistical population The total membership or population or "universe" of a defined class of people, objects or events.

Residents of Estonia, including Estonian citizens and foreigners who live in Estonia


An extended population and 16 administrative registers

3.7. Reference area The country or geographic area to which the measured statistical phenomenon relates.

A person's place of residence at the level of dwelling

3.8. Time coverage The length of time for which data are available.


3.9. Base period The period of time used as the base of an index number, or to which a constant series refers.

Not applicable

4. Unit of measure The unit in which the data values are measured.

Number of persons

5. Reference period The period of time or point in time to which the measured observation is intended to refer.

1 January

6. Institutional mandate

6.1. Legal acts and other agreements Legal acts or other formal or informal agreements that assign responsibility as well as the authority to an agency for the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistics.


Regulation (EU) No 1260/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 on European demographic statistics (Text with EEA relevance)

Regulation (EU) No 205/2014 of 4 March 2014 laying down uniformed conditions for the implementation of Regulation (EU) No 1260/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council on European demographic statistics, as regards breakdowns of data, deadlines and data revisions


Not available


Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)

World Health Organization (WHO)

United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD)

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

7. Confidentiality A property of data indicating the extent to which their unauthorised disclosure could be prejudicial or harmful to the interest of the source or other relevant parties.

7.1. Confidentiality - policy Legislative measures or other formal procedures which prevent unauthorised disclosure of data that identify a person or economic entity either directly or indirectly.

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 32, § 34, § 35, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment Rules applied for treating the data set to ensure statistical confidentiality and prevent unauthorised disclosure.

The treatment of confidential data is regulated by the Procedure for Protection of Data Collected and Processed by Statistics Estonia: https://www.stat.ee/66485.

8. Release policy Rules for disseminating statistical data to interested parties.

8.1. Release calendar The schedule of statistical release dates.

Notifications about the dissemination of statistics are published in the release calendar, which is available on the website. Every year on 1 October, the release times of the statistical database, news releases, main indicators by IMF SDDS and publications for the following year are announced in the release calendar (in the case of publications – the release month).

8.2. Release calendar access Access to the release calendar information.


8.3. User access The policy for release of the data to users, the scope of dissemination (e.g. to the public, to selected users), how users are informed that the data are being released, and whether the policy determines the dissemination of statistical data to all users.

All users have been granted equal access to official statistics: dissemination dates of official statistics are announced in advance and no user category (incl. Eurostat, state authorities and mass media) is provided access to official statistics before other users. Official statistics are first published in the statistical database. If there is also a news release, it is published simultaneously with data in the statistical database. Official statistics are available on the website at 8:00 a.m. on the date announced in the release calendar.

9. Frequency of dissemination The time interval at which the statistics are disseminated over a given time period.


10. Accessibility and clarity

10.1. News release Regular or ad-hoc press releases linked to the data.

The news release “Preliminary population” is published in January, the news release “Revised population” in May. The news releases can be viewed on the website at https://www.stat.ee/news-releases.

10.2. Publications Regular or ad-hoc publications in which the data are made available to the public.

Not published

10.3. Online database Information about on-line databases in which the disseminated data can be accessed.

Data are published in the statistical database at http://pub.stat.ee under the subject area “Population / Population indicators and composition / Population figure and composition” in the following tables:

RV021: Population by sex and age group, 1 January

RV0211: Mean annual population by sex and age group

RV0212: Population at the beginning of the year and mean annual population by sex and age

RV0213U: Components of change in population figure by county, administrative division as at 01.01.2018

RV0221U: Population by sex, age group and county, 1 January. Estonians. administrative division as at 01.01.2018

RV0222U: Population by sex, ethnic nationality and county, 1 January, administrative division as at 01.01.2018

RV022U: Population by sex, age group and county, 1 January. administrative division as at 01.01.2018

RV0231U: At least 15-year-old persons by education, sex, age group and county, 1 January, administrative division as at 01.01.2018

RV0232U: At least 15-year-old persons by education, sex and administrative unit or type of settlement region, 1 January, administrative division as at 01.01.2018

RV0240: Population by sex, age and place of residence after the 2017 administrative reform, 1 January

RV0282U: Population by sex, age group and place of residence after the 2017 administrative reform, 1 January

RV028U: Mean annual population. administrative division as at 01.01.2018

RV0291U: Population number, area and density. administrative division as at 01.01.2018

RV069U: Population by country of birth/citizenship, county, sex and age group, 1 January, administrative division as at 01.01.2018

RV071: Native and foreign-origin population by county after the 2017 administrative reform, sex and age, 1 January,

under the subject area “Population / Population indicators and composition / Main demographic indicators” in the following tables:

RV030: Births, deaths and natural increase

RV031: Births, deaths and natural increase. Estonians

RV032: Births, deaths and natural increase by sex and county

RV033: Fertility indicators

RV043: Infant mortality by sex

RV045: Life expectancy by sex and age

RV0451: Life expectancy by type of settlement / settlement region, sex and age group

RV0452: Life expectancy by county, sex and age group

RV0453: Life expectancy by nationality, sex and age group

RV0454: Life expectancy by education, sex and age group

RV046: Probability of dying and number of survivors by sex and age

RV047: Marriages and divorces

RV048: Total first marriage rate and mean age at first marriage by sex

and under the subject area “Multidomain statistics / Integration” in the following table:

RV071: Native and foreign-origin population by county after the 2017 administrative reform, sex and age, 1 January

10.4. Microdata access Information on whether micro-data are also disseminated.

The dissemination of data collected for the purpose of producing official statistics is guided by the requirements provided for in § 33, § 34, § 35, § 36, § 38 of the Official Statistics Act. Access to microdata and anonymisation of microdata are regulated by Statistics Estonia’s procedure for dissemination of confidential data for scientific purposes: https://www.stat.ee/dokumendid/51669.

10.5. Other References to the most important other data dissemination done.

Data serve as input for statistical activities 30201 “Vital events. Marriages”, 30202 “Vital events. Divorces”, 30203 “Vital events. Abortions”, 30204 “Vital events. Migration“, 30205 “Vital events. Deaths and causes of death”, 30206 “Vital events. Births”, 41001 “Social exclusion – Laeken indicators”, 50101 “Regional development” and 50201 “Sustainable development indicators”.

10.6. Documentation on methodology Descriptive text and references to methodological documents available.


10.7. Quality documentation Documentation on procedures applied for quality management and quality assessment.

Not available

11. Quality management Systems and frameworks in place within an organisation to manage the quality of statistical products and processes.

11.1. Quality assurance All systematic activities implemented that can be demonstrated to provide confidence that the processes will fulfil the requirements for the statistical output.

To assure the quality of processes and products, Statistics Estonia applies the EFQM Excellence Model, the European Statistics Code of Practice and the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (ESS QAF). Statistics Estonia is also guided by the requirements in § 7. “Principles and quality criteria of producing official statistics” of the Official Statistics Act.

11.2. Quality assessment Overall assessment of data quality, based on standard quality criteria.

Statistics Estonia performs all statistical activities according to an international model (Generic Statistical Business Process Model – GSBPM). According to the GSBPM, the final phase of statistical activities is overall evaluation using information gathered in each phase or sub-process; this information can take many forms, including feedback from users, process metadata, system metrics and suggestions from employees. This information is used to prepare the evaluation report which outlines all the quality problems related to the specific statistical activity and serves as input for improvement actions.

12. Relevance The degree to which statistical information meet current and potential needs of the users.

12.1. User needs Description of users and their respective needs with respect to the statistical data.

Ministry of Social Affairs

Ministry of Education and Research

Ministry of the Interior

Estonian Institute for Population Studies

University of Tartu

Users’ suggestions and information about taking these into account are available on the website of Statistics Estonia at https://www.stat.ee/statistikatood.

12.2. User satisfaction Measures to determine user satisfaction.

Since 1996, Statistics Estonia has conducted reputation and user satisfaction surveys.

All results are available on the website at https://www.stat.ee/user-surveys.

12.3. Completeness The extent to which all statistics that are needed are available.

In compliance with the rules (regulations)

13. Accuracy and reliability Accuracy: closeness of computations or estimates to the exact or true values that the statistics were intended to measure.
Reliability: closeness of the initial estimated value to the subsequent estimated value.

13.1. Overall accuracy Assessment of accuracy, linked to a certain data set or domain, which is summarising the various components.


13.2. Sampling error That part of the difference between a population value and an estimate thereof, derived from a random sample, which is due to the fact that only a subset of the population is enumerated.

Not applicable

13.3. Non-sampling error Error in survey estimates which cannot be attributed to sampling fluctuations.

Not applicable

14. Timeliness and punctuality

14.1. Timeliness Length of time between data availability and the event or phenomenon they describe.

The preliminary population figure is published at the latest 23 days after the end of the reference year (T + 23), the revised and mean annual population and some sections 130 days after the end of the reference year (T + 130). The revised population by all sections are published 250 days after the end of the reference year (T + 250).

14.2. Punctuality Time lag between the actual delivery of the data and the target date when it should have been delivered.

The data have been published at the time announced in the release calendar.

15. Coherence and comparability

15.1. Comparability - geographical The extent to which statistics are comparable between geographical areas.

Population data by counties have been published since 1990. The county borders have changed twice. The data indicate this in the years 1999–2000, when Lääne-Viru county increased and Järva county decreased. The change actually took place in 2005, but in the process of recalculations made between the censuses, it shifted to the census year – 2000. Another change was connected with the administrative reform of 2017, when the borders of most counties changed. Recalculations according to the new administrative division have been made to the population numbers as at 01.01.2015 (2015 data are calculated using index-based methodology, earlier data are based on REL 2011 and on event statistics). Municipal population figures have been published in current statistics since 2000. Changes in municipal borders in 2000–2011 were recalculated based on the borders at the time of the census because the interim period data were recalculated. Since 2012, the statistics of the merged municipalities are not comparable, because if the name of the municipality did not change, the data series of this municipality continued in the database. In order to deal with these changes, an overview of EHAK (Classification of Estonian administrative units and settlements) should be used. As of 2015, all data have been recalculated as of the new administrative reform of 2017. Another important event in terms of geographical comparability is the transition of methodology in 2015 from the place of residence indicated in the census to the use of population register based place of residence.

15.2. Comparability - over time The extent to which statistics are comparable or reconcilable over time.

Before 2012, population statistics was based on the population census, and births, deaths and changes of residence (migration) were added each year between the censuses. After the next census, the intermediate years’ data were recalculated according to reality. Since the 2000 population census, the population census data have been supplemented by under-coverage—the recalculations yielded the revised number of population on 1 January 2000, which was by 31,200 bigger than the number of persons enumerated. As this was only done after the 2011 census and the previous period (1989–1999) has not been recalculated, the data show a leap compared to 1999 and 2000. The population of 2012 is the population of the 2012 census, which has been supplemented by 30,760 persons due to the under-coverage. Starting from 01 January 2012, population statistics is based on persons: only the events (birth, death and change of residence) of Estonian permanent residents will be added to the population statistics at the beginning of the year. Starting from 01 January 2015, Statistics Estonia has conducted population analyses based on a new method, i.e. residency index. The transition indicated that according to the new methodology, there were 1599 more people living in Estonia at the time and the population therefore increased slightly. This was not due to the events of one year, but these persons had migrated to Estonia after the census.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain The extent to which statistics are reconcilable with those obtained through other data sources or statistical domains.

Information about all vital events is collected on the same basis, so a cross-sectoral analysis is possible.

15.4. Coherence - internal The extent to which statistics are consistent within a given data set.

Not applicable

16. Cost and burden Cost associated with the collection and production of a statistical product and burden on respondents.

Cost of statistical activity 24.5 thousand euros (data for 2018)

17. Data revision Any change in a value of a statistic released to the public.

17.1. Data revision - policy Policy aimed at ensuring the transparency of disseminated data, whereby preliminary data are compiled that are later revised.

The data revision policy and notification of corrections are described in the dissemination policy of Statistics Estonia at https://www.stat.ee/dissemination-policy.

17.2. Data revision - practice Information on the data revision practice.

The published data may be revised if the methodology is modified, errors are discovered, new or better data become available.

18. Statistical processing

18.1. Source data Characteristics and components of the raw statistical data used for compiling statistical aggregates.


Not used


Population register and 15 other Estonian administrative registers


Not used

18.2. Frequency of data collection Frequency with which the source data are collected.


18.3. Data collection Systematic process of gathering data for official statistics.

Administrative data are received via X-Road, an FTP-server and by e-mail.

18.4. Data validation Process of monitoring the results of data compilation and ensuring the quality of statistical results.

The data are compared with the data of previous periods.

18.5. Data compilation Operations performed on data to derive new information according to a given set of rules.

The population is formed at person level, applying a specific method (residence index) to data in various registers. The residence index is used to find the probability of living in Estonia for each person. The features necessary to identify each person are found by using the different registers in a specific priority order.

18.6. Adjustment The set of procedures employed to modify statistical data to enable it to conform to national or international standards or to address data quality differences when compiling specific data sets.

Not applied

19. Comments Supplementary descriptive text which can be attached to data or metadata.

Not available