Gender pay gap has narrowed in a year

Posted on 22 April 2024, 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2023, the gross hourly earnings of female employees were 13.1% smaller than the earnings of male employees. The gender pay gap decreased by 4.6 percentage points year on year.

Last year, the average gross hourly earnings were 10.27 euros for women and 11.82 euros for men. The largest gap between men's and women's earnings was recorded in wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (25.5%), followed by information and communication (25.1%) and financial and insurance activities (24.9%).

There were four economic activities where women earned more than men: agriculture, forestry and fishing (gender pay gap -1.1%), professional, scientific and technical activities (-2.4%), transportation and storage (-5.6%), and other service activities (-18.4%). In agriculture, forestry and fishing, women’s average gross hourly earnings were 8.49 euros, while men’s average hourly earnings were 8.39 euros. In professional, scientific and technical activities, the average gross hourly earnings were 13.95 euros for women and 13.61 euros for men. Female employees in transportation and storage earned 9.96 euros per hour on average, compared to 9.43 euros earned by male employees in this activity. In other service activities, the average gross hourly earnings were 8.90 euros for women and 7.52 euros for men.

Gender pay gap by economic activity, 2022–2023

Liina Kuusik, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that the gender pay gap in Estonia has decreased by 11.7 percentage points since 2013. “In 2023, compared with 2022, the gender pay gap decreased the most in other service activities and increased the most in administrative and support service activities.”

Gender pay gap, 1994–2023

The gender pay gap is calculated as the difference between the average gross hourly earnings of male and female employees, divided by the average gross hourly earnings of male employees, and is expressed as a percentage. The average gross earnings, as used in the calculation of the gender pay gap, do not include irregular bonuses or premiums.

The statistics are based on the “Structure of Earnings” survey. The main representative of public interest for the statistical activity is the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity. Statistics Estonia has conducted the “Structure of Earnings” survey based on international methodology since 2005. The reference period in the survey is the month of October. Since 2010, the survey is conducted every four years. It is a comprehensive survey of earnings which provides significantly more detailed data than quarterly wage statistics. The survey provides data about the number of employees, structure and earnings by occupation, economic activity, age, sex, type of contract, full-time and part-time employment, and education. In the years between two “Structure of Earnings” surveys, only data on the number of male and female employees, the number of hours worked, and earnings are collected with the questionnaire “Gross hourly earnings of male and female employees in October”.

Statistics Estonia and Eurostat use different methodologies to calculate the gender pay gap. The gender pay gap published by Eurostat does not take into account the indicators of enterprises and institutions with fewer than 10 employees; it also excludes the earnings of employees in agriculture, forestry and fishing and in public administration and defence.


More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.

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For further information:

Heidi Kukk
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181
press [at] 

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