Population of Estonia is 1,311,870

Statistics Estonia revised the population figures for 2000–2013 based on the data of the 2011 census and various registers. According to the revised data, the estimated population number of Estonia as at 1 January 2014 was 1,311,870 by preliminary estimates.

The population of Estonia as at 1 January 2012 was 1,325,215. This is about 30,000 more than the number of persons enumerated during the 2011 Population and Housing Census (PHC 2011). Already in 2012, upon publishing the census results, Statistics Estonia reported that there was under-coverage in PHC 2011 and that about 2% of the persons subject to enumeration were not enumerated for various reasons. The exact share of non-enumerated persons is also clear now – it was 2.3% of the total population subject to enumeration. According to international views, an under-coverage of 2–3% is a good result.

The census data were also used to adjust the population number as at 1 January 2013. In addition to revised census data, Statistics Estonia revised the number of births and deaths and migration figures based on individuals. After revisions, the natural increase in 2012 was –1,362 and net migration was –3,686. Thus, the population of Estonia as at 1 January 2013 was 1,320,174.

The main reason why the revised net migration differs from the previously published figure (–6,629) is the retroactive registration of migration – a thorough review of the data revealed that, in 2012, there were a number of people who were registered as migrants but who had actually left Estonia before that year.

During the 2000 census, there were also a number of people who were not enumerated. Thus, the population of Estonia in  2000 was bigger than the initial estimate, at 1,401,250. The rate of under-coverage (2.2%) was known, but the population figure was not revised to reflect that, due to the lack of reliable registers back then.

As part of this revision process, Statistics Estonia used a model to estimate the number of persons who left Estonia between the two censuses without registering their emigration. This means that all population figures for the period 2000–2011 were adjusted.

Overall, all the general demographic trends previously established in Estonia still applied after the revisions, but it appeared that the actual population number is slightly higher than initially estimated and the sharp rise in emigration in 2012 was not supported by the revised data. In the future, net migration will probably move towards zero, as the age group of potential emigrants is decreasing. Also, there will be a slight, steady rise in return migration, which currently constitutes about 30% of emigration and the majority of immigration.

In 2013, vital events were as follows:

  • 13,831 births and 15,474 deaths (natural increase –1,643);
  • 4,085 persons immigrated to and 10,746 persons emigrated from Estonia (net migration –6,661).

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