Population stands at 1.34 million

news release no 12

According to Statistics Estonia, by preliminary estimation the population in Estonia on 1 January 2010 was 1,340,000. Due to the decrease in the number of deaths the decline in population number slowed down last year.

In 2009, the population decreased by about 400 persons due to natural increase which is the smallest decrease since 1992. However, the number of live births decreased for the first time during the last eight years. 15,807 live births were registered in 2009, i.e. 221 birth less than in the previous year. There were 16,201 deaths, i.e. about 500 deaths less than in the previous year. 5,409 marriages were contracted and 3,193 marriages ended in divorce which is correspondingly 718 and 308 marriages less than a year before.

Births, deaths and natural increase, 1991–2009

Diagram: Births, deaths and natural increase, 1991–2009


In Estonia two population numbers are in use — based on the data of Statistics Estonia and of the Population Register. The number of population published by Statistics Estonia is based on the 2000 Population and Housing Census data and is complemented with the annual data on registered births and deaths. The Population Register is based on the registration of a person’s place of residence. Internationally the Census data are considered more accurate than the Register data because people may have different reasons for the alteration of their data. However, the quality of the data of Statistics Estonia is being deteriorated by the long time since the last Census and the fact that population number does not include migration data. Thus it is very important that the 2011 Population and Housing Census would be a success so that we could switch to one population number.

Natural increase is the difference between live births and deaths during the year. Positive natural increase shows the predominance of births and negative natural increase — the predominance of deaths. Since 1991 the natural increase of Estonia has been negative.

For further information:

Helerin Rannala
Leading Statistician
Population Statistics Service
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 8487

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database.