Parental benefit gender gap was the lowest ever (Corrected on 30.06.2022)

Posted on 29 June 2022, 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2021, the average monthly parental benefit was 1,205 euros for women and 1,463 euros for men. Last year, a total of 38,882 persons received parental benefit and a third of them were men.

The paragraphs marked in red were corrected in the news release.

Anet Müürsoo, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that, year on year, the number of men receiving parental benefit almost doubled and totalled 13,044. “From 1 July 2020, the paternity benefit is paid to fathers, and the recipients of the paternity benefit are included in the data for 2020 and 2021. This affects the number and share of fathers and the average amount of parental benefit in comparison with previous years, and it explains the sudden increase in the share of fathers among recipients of the parental benefit,” explained Müürsoo.

Fathers are entitled to a benefit of 30 calendar days which can be used up to 30 calendar days before the estimated date of birth of the child until the child attains three years of age. All fathers are entitled to the paternity benefit, including men without employment. Previously, non-working fathers were not paid the parental benefit.

Number of persons receiving parental benefit, 2017–2021

The difference in the average amount of parental benefit paid to male and female recipients has diminished over time: last year, the parental benefit gender gap was 17.6%, which is about 10 percentage points lower than in 2020. “The average amount of parental benefit decreased by 154 euros among male recipients and increased by 36 euros among female recipients. This is also the reason for the record-low level of the parental benefit gender gap,” explained Müürsoo.

Occupation-based sex segregation, which reflects the concentration of women and men in different occupations, shows that there would be an equal number of men and women in all occupations in Estonia, if 33.3% of men or women changed occupation. There would be an equal number of men and women in each economic activity, if 36.7% of men or women switched to a different economic activity

Last year, 9.3% of men and 6.6% women worked as managers. 19,898 enterprises with Estonian shareholders were registered in 2021, which is an all-time record. “56.9% of the new enterprises were founded by men and 31.6% by women. 4.9% of the enterprises were founded jointly by men and women. In the case of 6.5% of the enterprises, the sex of the founders could not be determined,” added Müürsoo.

981 men and 812 women registered as sole proprietors last year.

Statistics Estonia collects and analyses gender equality data for the Ministry of Social Affairs with the aim to identify changes in the society.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.


For further information:

Hanna-Liisa Ruul
Communications Partner
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9264

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