Life expectancy 73.9 years for males and 82.4 years for females

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2018, life expectancy at birth was 73.9 years for males and 82.4 years for females. Life expectancy has increased for both sexes, slightly more for males. Men are expected to live disability-free for 52.8 and women for 55.6 years. Just a year ago, disability-free life expectancy for males was two years longer and for females over three years longer.

Until now, the life expectancy and disability-free life expectancy of Estonian inhabitants have usually shown a growth trend. Based on the recently released indicators, it can be said that we live longer but not as healthily. Female life expectancy is on average eight and a half years longer than male life expectancy. Just ten years ago, life expectancy for males was four years shorter and for females two years shorter.

Alis Tammur, a leading analyst of the Population and Social Statistics Department of Statistics Estonia, said that life expectancy is likely to increase in the coming years as well. “In the future, we will live to an older age, even men. The fastest increases in life expectancy in 2018 occurred for non-Estonian men, those with higher education and those who live in cities, and for non‑Estonian women.”

According to 2017 data, the highest female life expectancy in Europe was in Spain (86.1) and the lowest in North Macedonia (77.9). Male life expectancy was highest in Switzerland (81.6) and lowest in Ukraine (68.3). Compared to the European Union average, the indicator for males in Estonia is lower by more than four years. Life expectancy for females in Estonia is about a year below the European Union average.

Life expectancy depends on many factors, the most important of these being the environment, accessibility of healthcare services, safety at work, living standard and health consciousness. The shorter male life expectancy is not surprising as men are more prone to risk-taking and have a greater share of physically demanding jobs or those posing more risk to health. Among men, there are also more of those who have unhealthy life styles such as higher alcohol consumption and smoking.

Disability-free life expectancy exhibited a decline trend last year: the indicator reached the level of ten years ago. Looking at different population groups, it appears that the decline is not evident for non-Estonian men and women. Their life expectancy increased the most and healthy life years only slightly. The greatest decrease in disability-free life years was in rural areas and for men and women of Estonian ethnicity.

In general, changes in trend can be considered more trustworthy if they have lasted for several years. In this case, the calculation of the indicator is based on the results of a sample survey, and therefore, a measurement error should be taken into account. At the same time, it does not explain the whole decrease. A change towards a declining health evaluation of people in Estonia is also supported by other data released in 2018. Health self-evaluation has decreased significantly in almost all age groups starting with people in their 20s. Also, the share of people increased who claimed that due to waiting lists they have not received healthcare.

Life expectancy at birth is defined as the mean number of years that a new-born child is expected to live if subjected throughout his life to the current mortality conditions. Disability-free life expectancy is defined as the mean number of years that a person is expected to live without limitations to everyday activities if subjected to current mortality and public health conditions. A component for calculating this indicator is the information collected with a survey on the extent to which a person has been restricted in activities that people normally do due to a health problem during at least the last six months. Only responses where a person said that he or she has not had any health-related limitations are taken into consideration.

Source: Statistics Estonia

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Estonians spend average 489 euros per month

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2019, a household member spent an average of 489 euros per month, which is 81 euros more than in 2016. The share of compulsory expenditure, i.e. unavoidable food and dwelling expenses in the household budget has decreased by 3% in three years.

Last year, expenditure on food and dwelling accounted for 36.8% of the household budget and was on average 180 euros per month per household member. Compared to 2016, compulsory expenditure increased by 18 euros per month per household member.

In 2019, a household member spent 104 euros per month on food and non-alcoholic beverages, which accounted for 21.2% of the total expenditure. The average expenditure on dwelling was 76 euros per month. Both expenditures increased by 9 euros compared to 2016. Expenditure on transport was on average 72 euros, leisure time 52 euros, housekeeping 36 euros and clothing and footwear 27 euros per month per household member. Expenditure on transport increased the most – by 22 euros compared to 2016.

Per member of an urban household, the average expenditure on dwelling was 19 euros higher than in rural areas (83 and 64 euros per month, respectively). Urban households also spent more on eating out and hotels – the average expenditure of a household member in urban areas was 5.9% and in rural areas 4.1% of the budget.

In rural areas, transport expenses accounted for 16.8% and in urban areas for 13.7% of the household budget, which is 77 euros per month per member of a rural household and 69 euros per month per member of an urban household. In rural areas, expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages per household member accounted for 22.8% and in urban areas for 20.4% of the budget.

By county, the largest expenditures of households were in Hiiu*, Harju and Viljandi counties (598, 553 and 515 euros per month per household member, respectively) and the smallest in Võru and Ida-Viru counties (325 and 327 euros per month per household member, respectively).

The estimates were calculated according to the data of the Household Budget Survey conducted in 2019. More than 4,500 households participated in the survey. A household is a group of people who live at the same address and share joint financial resources and whose members consider themselves to belong to the same household. In 2019, there were over 606,600 households in Estonia and the average size of a household was 2.2 persons.

Mortgage payments, real estate purchases, financial investments, expenses on major repairs or construction and other investments are not taken into account as household consumption expenditure.

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Source: Statistics Estonia

Statistics Estonia publishes weekly statistics on deaths

Statistics Estonia will start to publish each week the number of deaths of Estonian inhabitants in the previous week and the breakdown by sex and age group. The data are updated on Tuesdays for as long as it is necessary to assess the impact of the emergency situation.

Last week, 302 Estonian inhabitants died, including 167 females and 135 males. The most deaths (155) were those of over 80-year-olds, 90 persons died at the age of 65–79 and 57 persons were under 65 years old.

The published statistics on deaths are comparable by week starting from the beginning of 2017. Also, the ten‑year average number of deaths is shown for each week.

According to Alis Tammur, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, the weekly statistics allow to observe better, for example, the impact of the coronavirus disease on the number of deaths. “Besides the total number of deaths, it is important to observe whether there is a change in the number of deaths by age group and what kind of change it is,” added Tammur.

This year, the most deaths in one week occurred between 9–15 March when 335 Estonian inhabitants died. Generally, during the year, there are more deaths from December to March and on average less in June, July, August and September.

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Source: Statistics Estonia

Museum attendance increased last year

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2019, Estonian museums were visited slightly more than 3.5 million times, which is 100,000 visits more than the year before.

In 2019, there were 180 museums with 244 museum sites in Estonia. Place museums introducing a village, town or rural municipality (96) accounted for the largest number of sites and there were also many thematic museums (66).

According to Maali Käbin, analyst at Statistics Estonia, the most popular museums were thematic museums with more than a million visits, followed by history museums with 830,910 visits. “Estonia continues as one of the European countries with high museum attendance. Last year, museum attendance per 1,000 inhabitants was more than 2,650. Attendance was highest in Saare and Tartu counties: an average of four and a half visits per local inhabitant,” said Käbin.

An estimated one-fifth of all museum visitors in Estonia were foreign tourists. There were slightly more of them in Tartu (30%) and Harju counties (29%) and the share was smallest in Järva and Rapla counties (4%).

Children up to the age of 9 visited museums 224,400 times in 2019, which is 27,000 visits more than the year before. Thematic museums were visited 74,547 times and natural history museums, which were also popular among children, 43,159 times. In 2019, museum visits of disabled persons were registered separately for the first time – the total number was 6,555.

A total of 1,569 persons were employed in museums, i.e. slightly fewer than in 2018. The number of full-time equivalent positions was 1,453. In 2019, museums published 158 scientific publications, one-third of which were published by history museums.

Last year, museums hosted nearly 1,200 exhibitions – 400 fewer than the year before. More than 590,000 people participated in educational programmes and more than 300,000 children and young people in museum lessons.

Read more from Statistics Estonia

59,000 amateurs sang in choirs and danced in folk groups

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2019, there were 82,500 amateurs of folk culture in Estonia. 59,000 of them sang in choirs or danced in folk dance groups. The most folk culture amateurs per thousand inhabitants were in Võru county and the least in Ida-Viru county.

37,300 people participated in choirs and 21,700 practiced folk dancing. Amateur theatre, handicrafts, vocal music (bands, singing clubs), brass music, folklore and folk music were less popular.

Compared to ten years ago, the number of folk culture amateurs in Estonia has grown by 6,000 persons. In 2014, folk culture amateurs numbered 90,000, but after the Song and Dance Celebration of the same year the number decreased slightly. The decline was steeper after the 2017 Youth Song and Dance Celebration.

Per thousand persons, the highest number of folk culture amateurs was in Võru county, followed by Lääne, Põlva, Viljandi and Saare counties. The numbers were smallest in Ida-Viru county and Tallinn.

Profile of a folk culture amateur in 2019

  • 59% of folk culture amateurs were children or youth. Their share was largest in choirs, amateur theatre and folk dancing groups and smallest in handicraft clubs and folklore groups.
  • 70% of amateurs of folk culture were females. Their share was largest in handicraft clubs, vocal groups and singing clubs, and folklore groups, while it was smallest in brass orchestras and bands.
  • 94.5% of amateurs of folk culture participated in Estonian groups. In groups of other national origins, there were over 1,700 choir singers, 500 amateur actors and nearly 460 folk dancers.

Read more from Statistics Estonia website

Estonians stay in one location 20 hours per day

Statistics Estonia’s mobility analysis revealed that since the emergency situation and movement restrictions were implemented, people living in Estonia stay in their main location 20 hours per day on average. The distance covered in one day as well as the number of trips has decreased. The revised analysis shows that the share of people staying in their main location has increased by 16 percentage points, which means that an estimated 200,000 more people have stayed local.

According to Director General Mart Mägi, Statistics Estonia analysed by order of the crisis commission whether people have stayed more local after the declaration of the emergency situation. “The mobility analysis showed that Estonian people stay 20 hours per day on average in their main location, their distance covered in one day has decreased from 27.5 kilometres to 17.6 kilometres, and their number of trips in one day away from the main location has decreased from 1.8 to 1.5,” said Mägi.

“New movement restrictions in public places were set at the end of March. The mobility analysis revealed that compared to the first weeks of the emergency situation when movement decreased, the additional restrictions have not had a clear impact on mobility,” added Mägi.

For the mobility analysis, Statistics Estonia used aggregate tables of the movement analysis of mobile phone numbers, which were received from mobile operators. These were used as the basis for calculating the rate for staying local for the whole country. Real-time data of clients were not used in the analysis. These were anonymous aggregate data. It is not possible to identify or analyse movement patterns of individual people on the basis of the anonymous data.

Four weeks ago, an emergency situation was declared in Estonia – schools and cultural institutions were closed and restrictions were placed on ferry trips. In the following weeks, new restrictions on movement have been added, including the closing of shopping centres. During the emergency situation, the mobility analysis carried out in cooperation between Statistics Estonia, mobile operators, the Government Office, the Health Board, the Data Protection Inspectorate, ministries, the IT Centre of the Ministry of Finance and Positium provides the crisis commission overviews of people’s mobility and serves as input for decisions on how to gradually lift the restrictions. Mobility analyses and their transfer will be continued until the end of the emergency situation.

Read more from Statistics Estonia

The mobility analysis map is available here

Population higher by 3,540 persons

According to Statistics Estonia, the preliminary estimate of the population of Estonia as at 1 January 2020 was 1,328,360, which is 3,540 persons more than at the same time a year ago.

In 2019, there continued to be more deaths than births and natural increase remained negative (1,490). This was to be expected, as the number of older people in the population is high and the number of women in childbearing age is decreasing. The factor behind population growth in 2019 was positive net migration: 5,030 more people immigrated to Estonia than emigrated.

13,900 children were born in Estonia in 2019, which is more than 400 fewer children than the year before. The decrease in the number of births was to be expected, as the small generation born in the 1990s has reached active family formation age. It is likely that fertility continued to be affected by the increase in the third child allowance, as the number of births was higher than in 2017, although the number of women is smaller compared to 2017. The subsequent analysis will show whether the drop in 2019 was due to the decreasing number of first and second children or the number of third children also decreased compared to 2018.

There were 15,390 deaths in 2019. Despite the increase in the number of older people, the number of deaths has remained stable in the past decade due to increasing life expectancy.

External migration has contributed to population growth already for the past five years. 12,240 persons immigrated to Estonia and 7,210 persons emigrated from Estonia in 2019. Compared to the year before, net migration fell by 2,000 persons. Migration statistics are most difficult to estimate based on preliminary data, as Statistics Estonia later supplements migration figures with population register data and unregistered migration data. Reaching the final result is more complicated compared to other vital events, both technically and methodologically, and it can significantly increase migration flows. Emigration increases mainly due to unregistered leaving of Estonian and European Union citizens. Immigration increases mainly due to their return migration, which is not recorded in the population register, as the prior leaving was not registered.

The preliminary population number is based on the initial data on births, deaths and registered migration of the previous year.

Emigrants do not include persons who are not considered Estonian residents in the register in the current year as a result of amendments to the Population Register Act, as their place of residence at the last turn of the year was registered at municipal level.

Source: Statistics Estonia

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Every 4th Estonian at risk of poverty in 2018

According to Statistics Estonia, 21.7% of the Estonian population lived at risk of poverty and 2.4% lived in absolute poverty in 2018. Compared to 2017, the share of people at risk of poverty decreased by 0.2 percentage points and the share of those living in absolute poverty by 0.3 percentage points.

In 2018, a person was considered to be at risk of poverty, if his or her equivalised monthly disposable income was less than 569 euros, and in absolute poverty, if it was less than 215 euros.

The at-risk-of-poverty rate decreased for single person households, i.e. people living alone, as well as among single parents. The gap between the richest and poorest quintile of the population did not change year over year. By age groups, the gap is smallest among older persons (aged 65 and older), although in the last decade, it has widened slightly each year.

The at-risk-of-poverty rate anchored at a fixed moment in time, i.e. the share of people with an equivalised yearly disposable income lower than the at-risk-of-poverty threshold three years ago adjusted for inflation, increased from 11.0% in 2017 to 12.1% in 2018.

Social transfers, i.e. state benefits and pensions, helped to prevent falling into poverty. Without including these in income, 39.1% of the population would have been at risk of poverty and 22.7% in absolute poverty.

Compared to 2017, the at-risk-of-poverty rate remained at the same level (20.9%) among young people aged 16–24, but increased among children. Among children under 18, the at-risk-of-poverty rate was 17.1% in 2018, i.e. 1.9 percentage points more than in 2017. At the same time, the absolute poverty rate of children fell from 2.5% in 2017 to 1.6% in 2018. There has been a decrease in the share of older people living at risk of poverty – the rate among persons aged 65 and older fell from 46.4% in 2017 to 43.1% in 2018.

Of the Estonian population, 7.6% lived in deprivation in 2019. The deprivation rate was highest among older persons (aged 65 and older) at 10.4% and lowest among 18–24-year-olds at 5.3%.

Estonian poverty 2018

At-risk-of-poverty rate is the share of persons with equivalised yearly disposable income lower than the at-risk-of poverty threshold. The at-risk-of-poverty threshold is 60% of the median equivalised yearly disposable income of household members. Equivalised disposable income is the total household income, which is divided by the sum of equivalence scales of all household members.

The estimations are based on the Estonian Social Survey, organised by Statistics Estonia since 2004. 6,265 households participated in the survey in 2019. The survey collects data about yearly income, which is why the 2019 survey asked about the income in 2018. The yearly income is necessary for calculating the indicators of poverty and inequality. The social survey called EU-SILC is conducted by statistical organisations in all European Union countries on the basis of a harmonised methodology. For the statistical activity “Estonian Social Survey”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Social Affairs.




Deprivation rate is the share of persons who cannot afford at least 5 of the 13 items:

1) to pay rent or utility bills,

2) to keep home adequately warm,

3) to face unexpected expenses,

4) to eat meat, fish or a protein equivalent every second day,

5) a one-week holiday away from home,

6) a car,

7) to replace furniture when worn out or damaged,

8) to replace worn-out clothes with new ones,

9) to have at least two pairs of outdoor shoes in good condition that are necessary in our climate,

10) to spend a small amount of money each week on oneself,

11) to participate regularly in a leisure activity that costs money,

12) to get together with friends or family for a drink or meal at least once a month or

13) to have internet connection at home for personal use when needed.

In the Estonian Social Survey, items 8–13 are asked from persons aged 16 and over. Therefore, when calculating deprivation for these items for children, at least half of the household members (16 and over) should be deprived with regard to these items.

Source: Statistics Estonia
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Tallinn Old Town Days 30.05.-02.06.2019

Look for the program here


Great workshops –


Historical events, guided tours (check the languages available) –

2,500 museum visits per 1,000 inhabitants in Estonia

According to Statistics Estonia, there were 3.4 million museum visits in 2018. Compared to the record year 2017, the number of visits has decreased by 100 thousand.

In 2018, there were 190 museums with 249 visiting places in Estonia. Every third museum was a local lore museum, a quarter were special museums that were specialised in some narrower field.

Special museums were the most popular among visitors – with a total of more than 750 thousand visits last year. Many visits were also made to art museums, in total 650 thousand.

The biggest share of attendances in educational programmes can be also found in art museums and special museums. School-age visitors participated mostly in educational programmes of special museums and science and technology museums, whereas the adults preferred programmes offered by art museums.

Notwithstanding a slight decline in the number of visits, Estonia still holds one of the top places in Europe. In 2018, there were over 2,500 museum visits per 1,000 inhabitants in Estonia, which, according to the European Group of Museum Statistics (EGMUS), is one of the highest scores in Europe and in most of the other European countries it is significantly lower.

Read more from Statistics Estonia