Immigration helped increase the Estonian population

According to Statistics Estonia, 1,328,976 people lived in Estonia on 1 January 2020, which is 4,156 people more than at the same time a year earlier; in 2019, the population figure decreased by 1,302 people due to a negative natural change, but increased by 5,458 people as a result of positive net migration.

According to the statistics, 14,099 children were born in Estonia in 2019, which is a couple of hundred less than the year before.

According to Alis Tammur, a leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, the country has come to a demographic situation where the number of women of childbearing age decreases each year.

“The small decline in the number of births did not, however, have a significant impact on the total fertility rate. In 2019, it was 1.66, and in 2018, it was 1.67. For the second year in a row, considerably more families in Estonia are having third or successive children,” Tammur said. The total fertility rate increased sharply in 2018, when the government started to support families with three and more children.

Life expectancy and the number of children born per woman are increasing

The number of deaths has remained stable for over a decade, which in an ageing society signifies increased life expectancy, the statistics agency said.

“The difference in the number of deaths and births has been in the range of 1,300-1,900 for the past eight years. The stable natural change is the result of overall demographic development: life expectancy and the number of children born per woman are increasing,” Statistics Estonia asserted.

In 2019, Estonia’s net migration was positive for the fifth year in a row. The agency said 18,259 people took up residence in Estonia and 12,801 people left Estonia.

A consultation at the International House of Estonia in Tallinn. Photo by Tõnu Tunnel.

“Immigration was record high compared with the previous year, but there were also a few thousand more emigrants. Immigration went up a few years ago, but as a large share of immigration is short term, emigration has started to increase now as well.” Net migration was by 1,500 people lower than in 2018.

More people moved from Finland to Estonia than vice versa

The Estonian citizens accounted for the biggest share of both immigrants and emigrants, their net migration was positive for the third year in a row.

“The most movement still took place between Estonia and Finland. More people moved from Finland to Estonia than from Estonia to Finland also for the third year in a row,” Statistics Estonia noted.

“Citizens of Ukraine and Russia accounted for the largest number of immigrants. At the same time, the net migration of European Union citizens was negative for the first time in years.”

Statistics Estonia is a government agency with the main task to provide public institutions, business and research communities, international organisations and individuals with reliable and objective information on the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation and trends in Estonia.

Cover: The Tallinn-based professionals, a Frenchman Arnaud Castaignet, and an American, Kayla Lahti, enjoying a gathering in the city’s Old Town. Photo by Rasmus Jurkatam.

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