Title of statistical activity: Vital events. Migration

Code of statistical activity: 30204

  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.

78 Tiigi Str, 50410 Tartu, 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 and socio-economic 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 end of the observed period, i.e. the age on 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.

Emigration – the action by which a person deregisters his or her place of residence from an administrative unit, settlement unit or settlement region of the beginning of the year.

External migration – change of place of residence across the border of Estonia.

Immigration – the action by which a person registers his or her place of residence in an administrative unit, settlement unit or settlement region other than the one at the beginning of the year.

Internal migration – changes of residence from one administrative unit, settlement unit or settlement region to another within Estonia. A change of residence from one administrative or settlement unit to another within the same county is called intra-county migration, and a change of residence from one county to another is called inter-county migration.

Migration – change of place of residence from one unit to another. In migration, a distinction is made between moves from one country to another, one county to another, across borders of urban settlements within municipality and across borders of settlement regions. Net migration – difference in the number of immigration and emigration events.

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.

Estonian residents for whom a migration event has been recorded during the year.


Persons of statistical activity 30101 “Population” from two consecutive years and 30206 “Population Events. Births” who during a year have changed their place of residence across settlement borders.

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 settlement

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.

Migrants – number

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)

Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on Community statistics on migration and international protection and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 311/76 on the compilation of statistics on foreign workers

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

Commission Regulation (EU) No 351/2010 of 23 April 2010 implementing Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community statistics on migration and international protection as regards the definitions of the categories of the groups of country of birth, groups of country of previous usual residence, groups of country of next usual residence and groups of citizenship


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.

The news release “Revised population” is published in May. The news release 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 under the subjec area “Population / Vital events” 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 activities 50101 “Regional development”.

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 the Interior

Estonian Institute for Population Studies

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.

Migration data are considered underestimated, because people often do not register their new place of residence.

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.

Some sections of the data are published 130 days after the end of the reference year (T + 130). All data are published 150 days after the end of the reference year (T + 150).

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 migration data have been published since 2000. Data for 2000–2007 are based on the administrative division as at the end of 2007. Migration data were then published again, retrospectively. Since then, the migration data have been published annually, based on the administrative division at the end of the year. The years 2015–2016 were recalculated according to the new administrative division, and thus, since 2015, the regions have not changed in the calculation of migration. In addition, statistics on migration events across the borders of various divisions of municipalities and urban settlements have been calculated since 2015: changes in residence across the borders of Estonia, NUTS3 and counties, and of urban, small town or rural settlement region.

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

In 2000–2011, migration was defined as a change of residence in the population register. Since 2012, the origin of migration may also be the census place of residence from which the person moved to the registered place of residence. Since 2015, migration events are only permanent residents’ registered changes of residence. From 2015 onwards, international migration covers in addition to registered country-of-residence changes also unregistered migration — persons who due to a change in their signs of life probably no longer lived in Estonia, or were not Estonian residents before, but have apparently moved to Estonia.

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 19.6 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 persons who have registered a new place of residence and data on previous residences are received from the population register every month. Data on foreigners registered in the population register who have applied for or have been issued a residence permit are supplemented with residence and work permit data from the Register of Residence and Work Permits once a year. The Register of Residence and Work Permits also provides data on persons who have applied for a residence permit or asylum and aggregated data on changes in citizenship.


Data from statistical activity 30101 “Population”, 30206 “Vital events. Births” are 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.

Migration data are compiled using two consecutive years’ data from statistical activity 30101 “Population”. Data are added on migration of persons under the age of 1, collected with statistical activity 30206 “Population Events. Births”.

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