The decrease in the population number has slowed down

According to the revised data of Statistics Estonia, 1,315,819 persons lived in Estonia on 1 January 2014. In 2013 the population declined by 4,355 persons (0.3%). Increased immigration has reduced the impact of emigration on population decline. However,
the falling number of births means that natural increase has a bigger role in population decline.

The population decreased by 2,614 persons due to external migration and by 1,741 persons due to negative natural increase.

Natural increase in 2013 was –1,740 (13,575 persons were born and 15,316 persons died).

Net migration was also negative at –2,614 (there were 4,110 immigrants and 6,724 emigrants).

Natural increase has a growing impact on processes related to population decline. The number of births has fallen rapidly in the last three years. In 2013, there were over 2,000 births less than in 2010. The number of deaths decreased over the last decade, resulting in higher life expectancy. However, in the last three years, the number of deaths has stabilised. This means that natural increase in Estonia is negative mainly due to the decreasing number of births.

In 2013, emigration remained at the same level as in the two previous years, but there was a slight increase in immigration. The increase in immigration was expected, as emigration started to grow rapidly 2–3 years ago – these processes follow each other with an interval of a few years. As a result, the decrease in the population number due to external migration was lower by 1,000 compared to 2012.

Harju county was the only county where population increased (by more than 4,100) – the increase occurred in Tallinn city, as without Tallinn there was still a slight decline in population in Harju county. The decline was the biggest in Ida-Viru and Järva counties – these counties lost more than 1.5% of the population due to negative natural increase and migration. The percentage of population loss was smaller in Saare, Hiiu, Tartu and Põlva counties. If we consider Tartu county without Tartu city, there was a slight increase in population in that county.

Natural increase and net migration, 2004–2013

Diagram: Natural increase and net migration, 2004–2013

The estimated population number is based on the 2011 Population and Housing Census and estimated under-coverage, and has been adjusted based on births, deaths and migration registered in the following years.

Source: Statistics Estonia

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