Migration decreases the current Estonian population by 16,000 persons

news release no 47

When we consider migration in current population as of 1 January 2008 we will get 16,000 people less. It is not one year emigration but eight years’ process where emigration has been bigger than immigration.

The number of population published by Statistics Estonia is based on the 2000 Population and Housing Census data and is complemented by the annual data on registered births and deaths. Since 2000 Statistics Estonia has not used immigration and emigration in the estimation of the population because 2000 Population Census showed that the quality of migration data is low. It was mainly caused by the voluntary registration of the place of residence from the beginning of the 1990s up to 2005. Since 2006 the quality of migration data has improved. Therefore, Statistics Estonia will publish the population number as of 1 January with migration for the years 2000–2008. Migration is a residence change which passes country borders on external migration and county, city and municipality borders on internal migration.

As of 1 January 2008 the population without migration was 1.341 million and with migration 1.325 million. By the cause of external and internal migration the population in several counties, cities and municipalities is considerably different from the present number of population. Major changes have been near the biggest cities (Tallinn, Tartu, Jõhvi, Narva, Pärnu) where people have migrated from the border of counties and cities. The biggest difference as of 1 January 2008 population numbers was in Viimsi rural municipality where the population with migration was twice as big as the population without migration.

Population with and without migration in different local municipalities, 1 January 2008


Population with and without migration by county, 1 January 2008*

County Population without migration Population with migration Difference
Whole Estonia 1 340 935 1 325 408 -15 527
Harju county 523 277 542 976 19 699
Hiiu county 10 118 9 564 -554
Ida-Viru county 170 719 162 395 -8 324
Jõgeva county 36 922 34 533 -2 389
Järva county 36 208 33 545 -2 663
Lääne county 27 552 25 739 -1 813
Lääne-Viru county 67 375 63 867 -3 508
Põlva county 31 175 29 961 -1 214
Pärnu county 88 563 87 508 -1 055
Rapla county 36 684 36 225 -459
Saare county 34 845 33 479 -1 366
Tartu county 149 283 144 458 -4 825
Valga county 34 265 32 628 -1 637
Viljandi county 55 877 52 201 -3 676
Võru county 38 072 36 329 -1 743

* Minus shows that migration decreases the current population number.

Statistics Estonia will continue publishing the population number with and without migration until the new population census. After the 2011 Population Census Statistics Estonia will switch to one unified population number. For the need to ensure consistent time series, Statistics Estonia will use until the 2011 Census in calculations of different indicators the population number without migration based on the currently applied s

In is most important in country level that we would know the information about population and processes that take place in the society. Therefore the census is necessary to compensate mistakes that have occurred and to continue with the uniform information.

An important goal of the 2011 Population Census is to map the actual situation with regard to population composition, social-economic position as well as to territorial location. The Population Census will be a milestone for the work where Estonia can continue with one population number from 1 January in 2012.

For further information:

Urve Kask
Head of Population and Social Statistics Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9220

More detailed data for the 2000–2008 population with migration have been published in the Statistical Database.