The population of Estonia increased last year

According to Statistics Estonia, the preliminary estimate of the population of Estonia as at 1 January 2018 was 1,318,700, which is 3,070 persons more than at the same time a year ago.

The population decreased by 1,960 due to negative natural increase (the number of deaths exceeded the number of births) and increased by 5,030 due to positive net migration (more persons immigrated to Estonia than emigrated). In total, the population of Estonia increased by 0.2% in 2017. Net migration has been positive in Estonia for three years in a row.

More than 13,520 children were born in Estonia in 2017. The number of births decreased by nearly 400 compared to a year ago. Considering that the number of women in childbearing age is decreasing, it shows that the number of births per woman has not decreased considerably.

There were 15,480 deaths in 2017. The number of deaths has been relatively level in this decade, varying by +/-300. The share of older people increases in the population as life expectancy continues to increase.

10,470 persons immigrated to Estonia and 5,440 persons emigrated from Estonia in 2017. Migration statistics are most difficult to estimate based on preliminary data, as Statistics Estonia supplements migration figures with data from other registers, and later adds also unregistered migration according to the methodology of calculating population based on residency index. Reaching the final result is more complicated compared to other events, both technically and methodologically, and can significantly increase migration flows. Emigration increases mainly due to unregistered leaving of Estonian citizens. Immigration increases mainly due to their return migration, which is not recorded in the population register, as the prior leaving was not registered. Compared to immigration, emigration is less registered, and therefore, emigration increases presumably more than immigration in the revised population number – it can be assumed that net migration is somewhat smaller in the results published in May.Population change, 2000–2017

The preliminary population published by Statistics Estonia is based on changes of residence in the population register in 2017 – persons whose residence was not Estonia at the previous year‑end but was so at this year-end are considered immigrants, and persons whose residence was Estonia at the previous year-end but not at this year-end are considered emigrants.

The initial population number is based on initial data on births, deaths and migration. A thorough review of the residency index is HERE.

Statistics Estonia will publish the revised population number with revised demographic events (migration, births and deaths) on 9 May.

For the statistical activity “Population”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Social Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Most popular movie is “Class Reunion”

According to Statistics Estonia, the most popular film in Estonian cinemas in 2016 was the Estonian comedy “Class Reunion”. In the cinema attendance rankings since the restoration of independence, “Class Reunion” came second after James Cameron’s “Avatar”.

In the attendance rankings since the restoration of independence, “Class Reunion” had approximately 189,100 viewers, only 5,000 viewers short of the record set by James Cameron’s “Avatar”. Thus, it became the most viewed Estonian movie since the restoration of independence. “Class Reunion” also became the first film to gross over a million euros in the Estonian market – no Hollywood movie has reached this milestone.

Despite the success of “Class Reunion”, only 21 Estonian films were screened last year – the number was three times higher in 2015. In Estonian cinemas, 199 films from other European countries and 138 films from the United States were screened. In total, cinemagoers could choose from 377 films in 2016. Besides “Class Reunion”, “Ice Age: Collision Course” (approx. 133,200 viewers) and “The Secret Life of Pets” (approx. 121,600 viewers) also made it into the top three of viewer rankings.

In 2016, there was also a record number of cinema visits – a total of nearly 3.3 million visits were made to Estonian cinemas, which is 200,000 more than the year before. Although more than a third of the films screened in 2016 were produced in the USA, US films still had nearly twice as many viewers as films from other countries in total. While the average ticket price for Estonian and other European films was 5.1 euros, cinemagoers had to pay on average 40 cents more to see an American movie.

In 2016, a total of 27 full-length films were produced in Estonia – 13 feature films and 14 documentaries. There were also 19 short feature films, 74 short documentaries and 21 short animations produced. No full-length animations have been produced in Estonia in the last four years.

Films screened in Estonian cinemas by country of origin, 2005–2016

Full-length film – a movie with a duration of at least 60 minutes or a video of at least 52 minutes. Short film – a movie with a duration of up to 59 minutes or a film for television with a duration of up to 51 minutes.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Patarei fortress could house planned center investigating communist crimes

Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu (IRL) sees the Patarei Sea Fortress, a former prison in the Tallinn port area awaiting renovation, as a possible location for the center for the investigation of communist crimes the government is planning to create.

The renovation and maintenance of the massive building will be funded privately, as ERR’s radio news reported on Tuesday. Reinsalu believes that in addition to the center, it could house museums and exhibitions covering Estonia’s recent history.

State real estate agency Riigi Kinnisvara AS (RKAS) is planning to assign one wing of the complex to this purpose, while the rest of the available space would be put to commercial use. The current plan for the area includes the option of commercial as well as residential construction of buildings with up to five floors.

Read more from ERR News

The immigrants to Estonia mostly come from Finland (45 pct)

According to Statistics Estonia, 14,822 persons immigrated to and 13,792 persons emigrated from Estonia in 2016. Immigration exceeded emigration for the second year. Most of the migrants were Estonian citizens, but their net migration was negative.

The most active group of migrants are 20–39-year-olds. The age group that grows the most in the population due to migration is that of 15–39-year-olds. 60% of the migrants are men and 40% are women. The net migration of men is four times higher than that of women – 800 more men arrived in Estonia in 2016 than left the country, whereas the same number for women was 200.

Most of the migrants are Estonian citizens, but there are more of them among emigrants, causing the net migration of Estonian citizens to be negative by 2,000 persons in 2016. The migrants are Estonian citizens aged 20–59, therefore, the age group of migration is quite large. In net terms, Estonia mainly loses citizens who are in their twenties.

As a result of migration, the number of Ukrainian citizens grew the most in Estonia; 850 more Ukrainian citizens arrived in Estonia in 2016 than left Estonia. In net migration, they were followed by the citizens of the Russian Federation, Finland and Latvia.Immigration by citizenship, 2016

Emigration by citizenship, 2016

The immigrants to Estonia mostly come from Finland (45% of immigrants), Ukraine (11%) and Russia (11%).  88% of the immigrants come from Europe, mainly from the European Union. The main destination country for emigrants is still Finland (58%), followed by the United Kingdom (9%). 94% of the emigrants left to a European country. The immigrants arriving from countries outside Europe have previously lived in the USA, Australia and India. The more popular destinations for emigrants leaving Estonia to non-European countries are Australia and the USA.

The press conference which presents an overview of the 2016 migration trends takes place today, on 23 May at 11 in the 5th floor conference room of Statistics Estonia (Tatari 51).

As of 2015, Statistics Estonia calculates external migration based on the residency index: a person’s transition from (Estonian permanent) resident to non-resident is emigration and the opposite is immigration (unless it is a case of birth or death). As a result, migration flows have increased and this must be taken into account when comparing migration data of 2015 and later to that of previous years. As a result of the changes, Estonia’s external migration also reflects unregistered migration; however, the country of origin and destination of many immigrants and emigrants remains unknown.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Tallinn Old Town Days program May 31- June 4, 2017

This year’s Old Town Days’ leading principle is „Young Old Town.“

The year 2017 has been named The Year of Children’s and Youth Culture by the Estonian Ministry of Culture. Based on that conception we would like to put the focus on young, cheerful, forward-looking, innovative and fresh mind and will try to create the most exciting, interesting and entertaining program for the whole period of five days.

Slogans of each day:

31st of May – opening day
1st of June – If all the power in the world would be given in the hands of children…
2nd of June – Take some time to look around
3rd of June – What’s the colour of love
4th of June – At the end of one path another one begins…

„Versatility“ will be the keyword for the program of Tallinn Old Town Days. There will be different musicians performing folklore, jazz and pop music on several stages, many theatrical performances, handicraft and art fairs taking place, complete program of exhibitions, tours and art projects  from museums and lots of joyous people taking part of the festival.

The program is available at

3.5 million museum visits in 2016

Museums continue to be popular in Estonia. According to Statistics Estonia, there were 3.5 million museum visits in 2016, which is 6% more than the year before.

The share of foreign tourists visiting museums has remained at the same level in recent years. Foreign tourists accounted for 36% of all museum visits in 2016. The share of foreign tourists was the biggest in Harju county, reaching 49%. Estonian inhabitants made 2.2 million museum visits, which is approximately two visits per person.

As it is the Year of Children’s and Youth Culture, we took a closer look at younger age groups’ relationship to museums. Children under 9 years of age visited museums 277,000 times, which is 18% more than in 2015. The number of educational programs organised by museums has also been growing for years, and almost 450,000 young people under the age of 19 participated in these in 2016.

While in total special museums were visited the most, followed by art museums and archaeology and history museums with slightly smaller visitor numbers, the clear preference of museum visitors under 9 years of age was special museums, followed by natural history museums and science and technology museums.

According to the 2015 cultural participation survey, the presence of children in the household has a positive impact on museum visits. While 45% of all Estonian inhabitants had visited a museum at least once, among the households with at least one child up to 15 years of age, 55% had visited a museum, and among people living in households without children, 41% visited a museum in 2015.

There were 246 museums in Estonia in 2016 – one third belonged to the state, one third to local governments and one third were private museums. On average, museums were open 226 days a year. 1,988 people were employed in museums.

Last year, one of the biggest events in the museum field was certainly the opening of the new building of the Estonian National Museum. As the new exhibition building in Tartu was open to visitors only three months last year, the 2016 data do not yet show considerable growth in museum visits in Tartu county.

It has become a tradition that once a year as part of the European Night of Museums many museums are open longer than usual and free events are organised for a wider audience. This year, the Night of Museums will take place on Saturday, 20 May and fittingly for the Year of Children’s and Youth Culture this year’s theme is “Games in the Night”. See more at http://www.muuseumiöö.ee/en.Museum visits by type of museum, 2016

Source: Statistics Estonia

Immigration exceeded emigration for the second year in a row

According to the revised data of Statistics Estonia, 1,315,635 persons lived in Estonia on 1 January 2017, which is 309 persons less than at the same time a year earlier. The population figure decreased by 1,339 persons due to negative natural increase, but increased by 1,030 persons as a result of positive net migration.

In 2016, net migration was positive for the second year in a row – immigration exceeded emigration. 14,822 persons took up residence in Estonia and 13,792 persons left Estonia in 2016. As external migration is often left unregistered by the residents of Estonia, as of 2015, Statistics Estonia also takes into account unregistered migration in addition to registered migration and as a result, the migration flows since 2015 have been larger compared to previous years.

14,053 persons were born and 15,392 persons died in 2016. The number of births increased compared to the previous three years. The number of women in childbearing age (15–44-year-olds) has decreased in ten years by more than 36,000 women, but the number of women in active childbearing age (25–34-year-olds) has remained relatively stable and is beginning to decrease only now that the small generations of the 1990s are reaching that age. The fact that the number of births remains at the level of 2012 means that the number of children born per woman has increased. The number of deaths has been stable in the past seven years and has remained between 15,000 and 16,000.Change in population figure, 2007–2016

When looking at demographic processes by sex, it appears that in a year, the number of men in the population has increased by 830 persons and the number of women has decreased by 1,139 persons. In 2016, almost 700 more boys were born than girls and as the share of women in the older age groups is bigger, there are more deaths among women than among men. Net migration was positive for both sexes (immigration exceeded migration), but the number of men grew by almost 600 more persons than the number of women due to net migration.

With regard to counties, it appears that in 2016, the population number increased in Harju and Tartu counties, but decreased in all other counties. The biggest decline was recorded for Ida-Viru county.

Source: Statistics Estonia