Estonia’s GDP reaches €21 billion or €16,000 per capita

According to Statistics Estonia, the country’s GDP reached €21 billion in 2016 and GDP per capita was €16,035, which is €557 more than a year earlier.

Harju County contributed €13 billion to the GDP, or 64 per cent. €11 billion of the Harju County’s contribution came from the capital, Tallinn.

Harju County was followed by Tartu County and Ida-Viru County, the shares of which in Estonia’s GDP stood at 10% and 6%, respectively. Hiiu and Põlva counties had the smallest shares in 2016 – both contributed less than 1% to the country’s GDP.

Industry and construction in decline

70% of the gross value added of Estonia was created in the service sector in 2016. The influence of the cities of Tallinn and Tartu, in particular, resulted in Harju County and Tartu County having the largest share of services – 78% and 70%, respectively. The growth in the share of the sector was the fastest in Jõgeva, Põlva and Järva counties. Nevertheless, it cannot be said that the rest of Estonia is catching up with Harju and Tartu counties, as the majority of the development in the service sector is still taking place in the cities of Tallinn and Tartu, Statistics Estonia said.

Industry and construction accounted for 27% of the gross value added of Estonia in 2016. “As the share of the service sector has increased, the share of industry and construction in the value added has been declining for several years in most counties,” according to the statistics agency. “The decline has been the fastest in Ida-Viru County – while in 2014, industry and construction made up 58% of the total value added of the county, it contributed 50% in 2016.

GDP per capita €16,035

The agricultural sector accounted for 3% of the gross value added of Estonia in 2016. This sector had the largest share in Jõgeva County (16%). The rise of the service sector has reduced also the share of the agricultural sector in the value added of counties.

In 2016, the country’s GDP per capita was €16,035, which is €557 more than a year earlier. GDP per capita was the highest in Harju County – 145% of the Estonian average. Harju County was followed by Tartu and Pärnu counties, where GDP per capita amounted to, respectively, 94% and 67% of the Estonian average. The lowest GDP per capita was recorded in Põlva county – 41% of the Estonian average. In 2016, the gap between Harju and Tartu counties and the rest of the country kept widening.

Statistics Estonia publishes the yearly GDP data at the end of the following year; therefore, the 2017 GDP data will be available at the end of 2018.


Cover: Estonia is Europe’s largest exporter of wooden houses (image: KODA wooden house by Kodasema/photo by Tõnu Tunnel).

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor at Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain, the UK and all around the US, he now resides in Chicago, IL. He loves to write and besides working at Estonian World and doing some occasional blogging, he writes books and contributes to other outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at