Estonia’s natural increase in 2010 was positive again after 20 years

news release no 52

According to the revised data of Statistics Estonia, in 2010 35 people more were born than died. The population of Estonia was 1,340,194 on 1 January 2011.

15,825 people were born and 15,790 people died in 2010. The number of births exceeded the number of deaths last 21 years ago in 1990.

In 2010, 62 children more were born than a year earlier but the number of births was still smaller by about 200 than the last decade’s record in 2008 when more than 16,000 children were born.

On the contrary the number of deaths has been rapidly decreasing during the last three years and in 2010 291 people less died than a year earlier. Thus the positive natural increase was mainly achieved due to the decrease in the number of deaths.

Births, deaths and natural increase, 1990–2010

Diagram: Births, deaths and natural increase, 1990–2010

617,757 males and 722,437 females lived in Estonia at the beginning of 2011. Population growth continued due to the natural increase in Harju and Tartu counties.

Population by county, 1 January 2011
County Population
Whole Estonia 1 340 194
Harju county 528 468
Hiiu county 10 000
Ida-Viru county 167 542
Jõgeva county 36 550
Järva county 35 963
Lääne county 27 283
Lääne-Viru county 66 861
Põlva county 30 778
Pärnu county 88 327
Rapla county 36 652
Saare county 34 577
Tartu county 150 535
Valga county 33 889
Viljandi county 55 275
Võru county 37 494

Natural increase is the difference between births and deaths during the year. Positive natural increase shows the predominance of births, and negative natural increase – the predominance of deaths. Only live births are taken into account as births in population registration.

The preliminary population and natural increase was published by Statistics Estonia on 21 January. The revised data differ from preliminary data because the data of deaths and births in January were based on the registration month. The revised data are based on the actual month of the event.

In Estonia two population numbers are in use – one based on the data of Statistics Estonia and the other based on the Population Register. The population number published by Statistics Estonia is based on the 2000 Population and Housing Census data which are supplemented with the annual data on registered births and deaths. The Population Register data are 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 alteration of data while registering their place of residence. At the same time, the quality of Statistics Estonia’s data is deteriorated by the long period of time since the last Census and by the fact that the population number does not include migration data. Thus, it is very important that the 2011 Population and Housing Census (PHC 2011) would be a success and we could switch to one population number after that.

PHC 2011 is going to take place from 31.12.2011 to 31.03.2012 and it will be conducted using a combined method: from 31.12.2011 to 31.01.2012 permanent residents can fill out the Census questionnaire over the Internet and those who do not use the e-Census option will be interviewed by the enumerator at home from 16.02 to 31.03.2012.

For further information:

Helerin Rannala
Leading Statistician
Population and Social Statistics Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 8487

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database (main demographic indicators and population figure and composition).