Title of statistical activity: Vital events. Marriages

Code of statistical activity: 30201

  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.

Koit Meres

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


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 9146

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.

Number of marriages registered during a calendar year and distribution of marriages by demographic characteristics of newly married persons. The indicators are published in absolute and relative terms (as rates).

Newly married persons by type of settlement, place of residence and month of marriage, by sex, age group, ethnic nationality, educational level, socio-economic status, first married and remarried persons, former marital status, number of common under-age children.

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

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

National Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 2011)

Country of Citizenship List

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

Newly married persons and contracted marriages

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

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

Age-specific first marriage rate – the annual number of first marriages per 1,000 men or women of specific age. Measures the intensity of first marriages in age groups.

Crude marriage rate – the number of registered marriages per 1,000 of mean annual population.

Date of occurrence of vital event – the exact date when the event occurred, which does not depend on the date of registration of the event. Annual tabulations based on date of occurrence of the vital event include also the events occurred in December but are registered in January.

Date of registration of vital event – the date the vital event was registered at the registry offices.

Ethnic nationality – the data are based on self-determination.

Level of education – a person’s highest educational attainment.

Mean annual population – half of the sum 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 the Population Register. If it is not a crosstable with both a man’s and a woman's place of residence, the residence is calculated by the man's residence.

Rural settlements – small towns and villages.

Total first marriage rate – the probability of first marriage for a person if he/she passed through ages 15–49 conforming to the age-specific first marriage rates of a given year. It is calculated on the basis of the age-specific first marriage rates observed in a given year. The indicator can exceed the figure ‘1’ in the years of rapid increase in the number of marriages, although it is excluded that a person can contract more than one first marriage.

Urban settlements – cities, cities without municipal status and towns.

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.

Marriages contracted in Estonia and in the Estonian representations abroad, whereby at least one of the spouses is a permanent resident of Estonia


All persons who were newly married in the given year (based on the Population Register)

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

Estonia as a whole

Administrative units


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 newly married persons

Number of marriages

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



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)


Not available


Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)

United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD)

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.

Not published

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 under the subject area “Population / Vital events” and “Population / Population indicators and composition” in the statistical database at http://pub.stat.ee.

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 activity 50101 “Regional development”.

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

Marriages: Definitions and Methodology


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 the Interior

Estonian Institute for Population Studies

National Institute for Health Development

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.

Use of administrative data ensures complete coverage and timeliness data.

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.

Using administrative data ensures data accuracy. If necessary, the data are completed and cleaned in Statistics Estonia using other administrative registers (Population Register, Register of Education).

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.

In statistics, the marriages in which at least one of the spouses is a permanent resident of Estonia are counted. As the required registered residence data are received from residency index and the Population Register, the number of marriages counted in statistics depends on the data quality of residency index and the Population Register.

14. Timeliness and punctuality

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

Preliminary monthly data (recorded initial numbers of the events) are published 20 days after the end of the reference month (T + 20), the yearly aggregated data – 165 days after the end of the reference year (T + 165).

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.

The use of internationally common methodology allows for the comparison of data collected under the regulation.

The data on contracted marriages and persons getting married have been compiled using the same basic data and uniform data processing methodology. This will ensure comparability of data in the country by administrative units. The most detailed data are available for the municipalities.

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

The data are comparable throughout the time series. The length of the time series varies, but the data in the same database tables have been compiled on the basis of similar definitions. The length of the time series depends on the importance of sharing events in society on the basis of one or another indicator, but also on the availability of relevant data.

Based on the length of the time series, the data can be divided into four groups: 1) the most general data from 1922 onwards; 2) the distinction between first marriage and remarriage since 1950; 3) Addition of a large group of indicators (age, place of residence, common children) at the beginning of the 1990s; 4) The change in the place of residence indicator after the administrative reform (tables with index U) since 2017.

For the period 1994-2017, there are statistics available on previous cohabitation or pre-marital cohabitation.

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

The common methodology is used to process raw data of all vital events (statistical activities 30201 “Vital events. Marriages”, 30202 “Vital events. Divorces”, 30203 “Vital events. Abortion”, 30204 “Vital events. Migration”, 30205 “Vital events. Deaths and causes of death”, 30206 “Vital events. Births”), which will ensure comparability of the data. Data related to a person (e.g. place of residence, marital status, nationality, country of birth, citizenship, education) are calculated once and linked to the table of the respective event in the database.

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

Data related to a person (e.g. place of residence, marital status, nationality, country of birth, citizenship, education) are calculated once and linked to the table of the respective event in the database to ensure comparability of the data. Statistical indicators in the table form groups of characteristics that are comparable across tables. For example, first marriage or remarriage, whether there are common children or not.

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

Cost of statistical activity 15.4 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


Data on contracted marriages and newly married persons are received from the Population Register of the Ministry of the Interior.


Data from statistical activity 30101 “Population” are used (to calculate the rates).

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.

Data are collected by the vital statistics offices of county governments, Tallinn Vital Statistics Department and by ministers of religion registering the contraction of marriage. At the vital statistics offices of county governments and Tallinn Vital Statistics Department, the collected data are entered into the Population Register upon making a vital statistics entry. (As data sources, the information provided in the application for marriage and the submitted documents are used.) Ministers of religion registering the contraction of marriage forward their data to the vital statistics offices of county governments or Tallinn Vital Statistics Department. Foreign missions of Estonia transmit the data on the marriages contracted over the year to the Population Facts Department of the Ministry of the Interior in February of the following year at the latest.

On the 7th working day after the end of the reporting month, the Population Register transmits the data to Statistics Estonia.

Data from the Population Register are received via the X-Road.

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

The validation process includes comparison with the data of previous periods or other surveys and with administrative data sources.

The data of newly married persons (personal identification codes and names) and registered marriage certificate data are used upon data collection for data checking, cleaning and adjustment. If necessary, the accuracy of event's data is checked against the data in the Population Register and compared with data collected into the Statistical Database from previous events.

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

After data cleaning and validation and linking, an anonymized source file is compiled, which is used for producing annual statistics.

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