Title of statistical activity: Vital events. Deaths and causes of death

Code of statistical activity: 30205

  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 deaths registered during the calendar year, distribution of deceased persons by various demographic characteristics and medical causes of death. The indicators are published in absolute and relative terms (as rates).

Deaths by type of settlement, place of residence and month of death, by sex, age group, ethnic nationality, marital status, educational level, cause of death.

Perinatal deaths. Stillbirths. Infant deaths by sex, age, place of residence, time of birth, age of mother, marital status of mother, mother’s educational level.

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)

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

International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED 2011)

International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision (ICD-10)

Country of Citizenship List

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

Deceased persons, stillbirths

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 death rates (death rates by sex and age) – the number of deaths (specified by sex) in one age group during a year per 1,000 mean annual population in the same age group in the same year.

Cause of death – the underlying cause of death, which has been defined by the World Health Organisation as follows: a) all diseases, morbid conditions or injuries that either resulted in or contributed to death, or b) the circumstances of the accident or violence that produced any such injuries. Since 1997 the international classification ICD-10 is used while coding the causes of death. In 1994–1996 the ICD-9 full version was used and in 1989–1993 the ICD-9 truncated version.

Crude death rate – annual number of deaths 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 that occurred previousy, but registered in the accounting year .

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

Early neonatal deaths – the deaths of infants who died during the first week of their life (aged 0–6 days). See also: Late foetal deaths.

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.

Infant deaths – the deaths of up to one-year-old live-born children.

Infant mortality rate – infant (under one-year-old children) deaths per 1,000 live births in the same year.

Late foetal deaths – see stillbirth.

Late neonatal deaths – the deaths of infants who died after the first week but before 28 completed days of their life.

Level of education – person’s highest educational attainment.

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

Neonatal deaths – the deaths of infants during the first four weeks of their life.

Perinatal deaths – all foetuses and infants who died within the perinatal period (commences at 22 completed weeks and ends 0-6 days after birth).

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).

Rural settlements – small towns and villages.

Standardised death rate – the ratio which shows how high the mortality of the Estonian population would be with defined age-specific death rates if the age distribution of the Estonian population were the same as that of the European Standard Population (originally published in 1976). In calculations, the deaths of persons whose age was unknown have been included in the age group of at least 85-year-olds. Since 2014, the standardised death rate is calculated based on the new age distribution of the European Standard Population published in 2013.

Stillbirth – the intra-uterine death of a foetus weighing at least 500 grams at birth, which took place after the 22nd week of pregnancy. Until 1992 all births with extremely low birth weight (less than 1000 grams), gestational age less than 28 weeks and baby’s height less than 35 cm who die within the first week are considered stillbirths.

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

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.

Deaths registered in Estonia and in the Estonian representations abroad, whereby the deceased was a permanent resident of Estonia


All deaths in the reference 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 deaths

Number of stillborns

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.


Commission Regulation (EU) No 328/2011 of 5 April 2011 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1338/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community statistics on public health and health and safety at work, as regards statistics on causes of death

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

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 activities 30004 “Population projections”, 30101 “Population”, 50101 “Regional development” and 50201 “Sustainable development indicators”.

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

Deaths: 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 up-to-date 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 at Statistics Estonia using other administrative registers (population register, Estonian Education Information System).

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.

Deaths of permanent residents of Estonia are taken into account in statistics. For registered residence, the Statistical Population Register of Statistics Estonia is used, the number of deaths considered depends on the data quality of its statistical population database.

14. Timeliness and punctuality

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

Preliminary monthly data (initial numbers of recorded events) are published 20 days after the end of the reference month (T + 20), the annual 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 identification of causes of death is internationally regulated. The respective data is collected and compliance with the rules is monitored by the National Institute for Health Development, which is the authorised processor of the Estonian Causes of Death Registry.

The data on deaths 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 1923 onwards; 2) Stillbirths by sex and age group since 1970; 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.

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, different hierarchical levels of causes of death and standardised indicators of causes of death.

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

Cost of statistical activity 18.8 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 deceased persons (permanent residents of Estonia) are received from the population register of the Ministry of the Interior. After the end of the year, data on causes of death and perinatal deaths from the Estonian Causes of Death Registry are added to these data. The data on deaths and causes of death are collected by the National Institute for Health Development, which is the authorised processor of the Causes of Death Registry.


Data from statistical activity 30101 “Population” 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.

National Institute for Health Development, the authorised processor of the Estonian Causes of Death Registry, submits the data on medical causes of death.

The performer of the statistical activity is permitted to process personal data with the consent of the data subject specified in subsection 10 (1) of the Personal Data Protection Act. Processing personal data after the death of the data subject is permitted with the consent of the persons specified in subsection 13 (1) of the Personal Data Protection Act.)

Data from the population register are received via X-Road. Data from the Estonian Causes of Death Registry are received via e-mail.

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

The deceased person's data (personal ID and names), medical certificate data and registered death certificate data are used for collecting data, data checking, cleaning and adjustment. If necessary, the accuracy of data of death is checked against the population register data and compared with the data of previous events collected into the statistical database of population events.

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

After data cleaning, validation and linking, anonymized source files are compiled, which are 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