Immigration exceeded emigration for the second year in a row

news release no 48

According to the revised data of Statistics Estonia, 1,315,635 persons lived in Estonia on 1 January 2017, which is 309 persons less than at the same time a year earlier. The population figure decreased by 1,339 persons due to negative natural increase, but increased by 1,030 persons as a result of positive net migration.

In 2016, net migration was positive for the second year in a row – immigration exceeded emigration. 14,822 persons took up residence in Estonia and 13,792 persons left Estonia in 2016. As external migration is often left unregistered by the residents of Estonia, as of 2015, Statistics Estonia also takes into account unregistered migration in addition to registered migration and as a result, the migration flows since 2015 have been larger compared to previous years.

14,053 persons were born and 15,392 persons died in 2016. The number of births increased compared to the previous three years. The number of women in childbearing age (15–44-year-olds) has decreased in ten years by more than 36,000 women, but the number of women in active childbearing age (25–34-year-olds) has remained relatively stable and is beginning to decrease only now that the small generations of the 1990s are reaching that age. The fact that the number of births remains at the level of 2012 means that the number of children born per woman has increased. The number of deaths has been stable in the past seven years and has remained between 15,000 and 16,000.

Change in population figure, 2007–2016

When looking at demographic processes by sex, it appears that in a year, the number of men in the population has increased by 830 persons and the number of women has decreased by 1,139 persons. In 2016, almost 700 more boys were born than girls and as the share of women in the older age groups is bigger, there are more deaths among women than among men. Net migration was positive for both sexes (immigration exceeded migration), but the number of men grew by almost 600 more persons than the number of women due to net migration.

With regard to counties, it appears that in 2016, the population number increased in Harju and Tartu counties, but decreased in all other counties. The biggest decline was recorded for Ida-Viru county.

When preparing for the 2020/2021 Register-Based Population and Housing Census, Statistics Estonia analysed the quality of official databases (registers) and compiled the residency index for inhabitants based on that data. This index is taken as a basis for including persons in or excluding persons from the list of permanent residents. As the place of residence, the data in the Population Register is used.

Statistics Estonia publishes the detailed information on migration in 2016 on 23 May.

For the statistical activity „Population“, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Social Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity.

For further information:

Alis Tammur
Senior Analyst
Methodology and Analysis Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 8481

More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database.