Viability of the Estonian cultural space – an arrangement of social life based on Estonian traditions and the Estonian language. The culture is carried by people identifying themselves as Estonians and communicating in the Estonian language. The Estonian cultural space is characterised by Estonian tradition-based practices in behaviour, relationships and the organisation of life.

Annual print of books – the total annual print run of books (incl. children’s books and textbooks) expressed in millions of copies.

Cultural employment – the number of persons aged 15 and over who, during the reference week, worked at least one hour for pay, profit or family gain, or were not at work but had a job or business in the cultural sector or were engaged in any cultural occupation outside the cultural sector from which they were temporarily absent. This does not include persons engaged in cultural work in addition to their principal job.

Deaths due to external causes of morbidity and mortality – the number of deaths due to external causes of morbidity and mortality, expressed in absolute figures. The causes of death belong to the code range V01–Y89 of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).

Output of major cultural industries – the output of major cultural industries in chain-linked volume (reference year 2010): publishing (NACE 58), audiovisual and multimedia activities (NACE 59–60), advertising (NACE 73) and arts, entertainment and recreation (incl. Libraries and museums) (NACE 90–92). NACE 92 includes gambling and betting activities, which are not considered cultural activities.

Persons attending cultural institutions – persons who go to the theatre, cinema, library, or museums, or attend concerts.

Persons participating in cultural activities – persons aged 20–64 who have participated in at least one cultural activity in the last 12 months. Cultural activities include acting, writing (poetry, short stories, etc.), playing a musical instrument, taking photos or making films, fine art (painting, sculpture, web graphics, etc.), singing and dancing.

Persons speaking Estonian – inhabitants of Estonia who speak Estonian as their first domestic language.

Rate of natural increase – the difference between the crude birth rate and the crude death rate, which reflects the annual change in the population number per 1,000 inhabitants, excluding the effects of migration.

Total fertility rate – the average number of children that would be born alive to a woman during her lifetime if she passed through all her childbearing years conforming to the age-specific fertility rates of a given year.



Growth of welfare – the satisfaction of the material, social and cultural needs of individuals, accompanied by opportunities for individual self-realisation and realising one’s aspirations and goals. The growth of welfare is a precondition for realising other goals of sustainable development.

Alcohol-related deaths – selected deaths the causes of which are known from scientific literature to be related to alcohol consumption. It is not the estimate of alcohol-attributable mortality but deals with causes of death in the case of which a strong connection with alcohol has been found. The specific cause of each death case is not observed to see whether it was specifically alcohol consumption or not. Alcohol-related deaths include deaths caused by: cancer of the oesophagus and larynx; alcohol dependence syndrome; chronic liver disease and cirrhosis; all external causes.

Current account balance – a country’s income formation from external economic activity (exports and imports of goods and services; inflow and outflow of primary and secondary income).

Employment in high- and medium-high-technology manufacturing sectors – employment in high- and medium-high-technology manufacturing industries as a share of total employment. Since 2008, a new version of the NACE classification is in use; therefore, comparability with earlier data is not absolute.

Employment rate – the share of employed persons aged 20–64 in the same age group.

Exports of high-technology products – According to the OECD and Eurostat definition, high-technology products fall into the following groups: aerospace, computer-office machines, electronics-telecommunication, pharmacy, scientific instruments, electrical machinery, chemistry, non-electrical machinery and armament. High-tech exports include re-exports. Since 2007 a new version of the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) is in use; therefore, comparability with earlier data is not absolute.

Foreign direct investments in Estonia – a direct investment in Estonia’s balance of payments refers to an investment that involves a qualifying holding which amounts to at least 10% of the equity capital of the investment company. Based on international standards, lending and other investments between an enterprise and an investor with a qualifying holding are also reflected as direct investment (except for financial intermediaries, in the case of who only subordinated debt is recorded as direct investment).

General government consolidated debt – the general government consolidated debt (also referred to as the Maastricht debt) is defined as the general government gross debt at nominal value outstanding at the end of the period, consolidated between and within the sectors of general government. The general government debt is equal to the sum of liabilities of the general government sector at the end of the period in the following categories: currency and deposits (AF.2 in the ESA 2010 system); securities other than shares (AF.3); and loans (AF.4).

General government’s surplus/deficit – in national accounts, the balance of the general government’s consolidated budget is defined as the general government’s net lending/net borrowing – revenue and grants less expenditure and net lending. The excess of revenue over expenditure means surplus (net lending) and the excess of expenditure over revenue means deficit (net borrowing). The general government’s consolidated budget is the summary of revenues and expenditures of the general government sub-sectors, from which the intergovernmental transfers have been eliminated.

Graduates in mathematics, science and technology – persons having obtained a Bachelor’s, Master’s or doctoral degree in mathematics, science or technology.

Gross domestic product per capita – gross domestic product (GDP) per capita expressed in euros. Gross domestic product is the sum of the values added produced by residents of the gross national economy, plus net taxes on products.

Gross external debt of Estonia – the gross external debt of all institutional sectors of Estonia.

Healthy life years (disability-free life expectancy) – the number of remaining years that a person of a specific age is expected to live without any severe or moderate health problems if current patterns of mortality and disability continue to apply. The indicator expresses the average number of years at birth.

Life expectancy – the average number of years that a newborn is expected to live, provided that the rate of mortality of the given period remains unchanged.

Long-term illness or health problem – an illness or health problem which has lasted or is expected to last for at least six months. Chronic diseases are also considered as long-term illnesses. This also includes recurrent and seasonal health problems (allergy, hay-fever, etc.). The presence of a long-term illness or health problem is based on a person’s self-perceived health status.

Old-age dependency ratio – the ratio of retirement-age persons (aged 65 and over) to working-age persons (aged 15–64).

Organisations implementing environmental management systems – private and public organisations certified in accordance with the international standard of environmental management systems, ISO 14001:2004, and registered in accordance with the European Parliament and Council Regulation No. 1221/2009 Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).

Persons participating in lifelong learning – persons aged 25–64 who were covered by the Labour Force Survey and received education or training during the four weeks preceding the survey. All formal and non-formal forms of education and training are covered, excluding self-development activities and learning via the Internet.

Population with personal experience of corruption – persons who have had personal experience of corruption in the last 12 months. Corruption is the misuse of office for personal gain. Corruption in its wider meaning is the misuse of position-related trust.

Productivity – the input of a labour unit into the production of value added, measured as GDP per hour worked.

Research and development expenditures – research and development (R&D) is defined as creative work undertaken on a systematic basis to increase the stock of knowledge and to use this stock to devise new applications. Expenditure data include research expenditures on the national territory, regardless of the source of funds.

Tertiary education – higher education or equivalent education.

Top performers15-year-old students who have achieved Level 5 or 6 in OECD’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) test in mathematics, reading and science. PISA aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing 15-year-old students’ skills and knowledge and their implementation in real-life situations. Students are assessed by level of proficiency, with Levels 5 and 6 being the highest.

Unemployment rate – the share of unemployed persons in the labour force (in the total number of employed and unemployed persons aged 15–74). An unemployed person is a person who fulfils the following three conditions: he or she is without work, he or she is currently available for work if there should be work, and he or she is actively seeking work.



Coherent society – society is socially coherent when the benefits from the goals of the preservation of the Estonian cultural space and growth of welfare can be enjoyed by the majority of the population and all members of the society participate within their powers in the creation of these benefits.

At-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate – the share of persons at risk of poverty or living in social exclusion in the population. Persons who are at risk of poverty or live in social exclusion  are living in relative poverty and/or living in severe material deprivation and/or living in households with very low work intensity. Persons are at risk of poverty if their equalised disposable income is below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60% of the national median equalised disposable income (after social transfers). Material deprivation concerns financial means, the possession of durable goods as well as housing and living conditions. Persons in severe material deprivation have very limited resources and they cannot afford at least four out of the nine specified items. Persons in severe material deprivation cannot afford: to pay rent or utility bills; to keep their home adequately warm; to face unexpected expenses; to eat meat, fish or a protein equivalent every second day; a week’s holiday away from home; a car; a washing machine; a colour TV; a telephone. Persons living in households with very low work intensity are all persons aged 0–59 living in households where the adult household members have worked less than 20% of their total potential working time over the past year.

Criminal offences against property – theft, robbery, embezzlement, fraud, extortion, and unauthorised use of a thing.

Deaths due to assault – deaths due to assault expressed as a standardised death rate per 100,000 inhabitants. Assault refers to injuries caused by any means by another person with the intention to injure or kill.

Health insurance coverage – the share of population covered with health insurance. Health insurance is a system established by the Health Insurance Act for covering health care expenses. The system finances the disease prevention and treatment costs of insured persons (incl. medicinal products and medical devices) and pays the benefits stipulated in the Health Insurance Act, such as the benefit for temporary incapacity for work.

Income inequality – the ratio of the total equalised yearly disposable income received by 20% of the population with the highest income (the highest quintile) to the total equalised yearly disposable income received by 20% of the population with the lowest income (the lowest quintile).

Juvenile criminals – juvenile delinquents aged 14–17.

Long-term unemployment rate – the share of the long-term (over 12 months) unemployed in the labour force (the total number of employed and unemployed persons aged 15–74).

Rate of internet use – the share of persons aged 16–74 who had used the Internet within the last three months before the survey. It includes access to Internet at any location (at home, work or elsewhere) via any device, such as a desktop computer, laptop, netbook and tablet computer, but also a mobile phone or smart phone, game console, e-reader, etc.

Share of crime victims – 15–74-year-olds who have fallen victim to crime in the past 12 months.

Youth neither in employment nor in education – 15–24-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (NEET – not in education, employment, or training).



Ecological balance – the maintenance of ecological balance is a central precondition for sustainability. The maintenance of ecological balance contributes to global development, following the principle that requires a balance in matter cycles and energy flows at all level of the living environment.

Domestic resource productivity – the ratio of the gross domestic product (GDP) to domestic material consumption, expressed in euros per kilogram of material used. It is based on chain-linked GDP volumes with 2010 being the reference year.

Emission of acidifying pollutants the total anthropogenic emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and ammonia (NH3) expressed in acidifying equivalents. Acidifying equivalents are calculated using the acidifying potential for every acidifying pollutant.

Energy consumption of transport – the consumption of energy in all modes of transport (road and rail transport, inland navigation and aviation), excl. maritime bunkers and pipelines. The main transport fuels are oil products, electricity and small quantities of gases and biofuels.

Energy dependency ratio – the extent to which an economy relies upon imports in order to meet its energy needs. The indicator is calculated as net imports divided by the sum of gross inland energy consumption.

Energy intensity of the economy – the gross inland consumption of energy divided by the gross domestic product (i.e. kilograms of oil equivalent per 1,000 euros). The indicator measures the energy consumption of an economy and its overall energy efficiency.

Generation of waste – the total annual amount of waste generated.

Greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and fluorinated gases (hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride) emitted into the atmosphere as a result of human activities.

Managed semi-natural communities – semi-natural communities managed with the help of subsidies. Semi-natural communities are natural communities which have developed under long-term human impact and which are regularly mowed or grazed, e.g. wooded meadows, alvars, swampy meadows, waterside meadows, meadow-lands, flood-lands and wooded pastures.

Mining of construction minerals – the volume of construction minerals mined annually. Construction minerals include sand, clay, dolomite, limestone and gravel.

Mining of oil shale – the quantity of oil shale mined annually.

Pesticides – pesticides are used in agriculture to reduce the loss of crops caused by plant diseases, pests and weeds.

Pollution load of total nitrogen in discharged wastewater – the quantity of nitrogen discharged into aquatic ecosystems with wastewater per year.

Pollution load of total phosphorus in discharged wastewater – the quantity of phosphorus discharged into aquatic ecosystems with wastewater per year.

Population connected to public sewerage – the share of the population connected to public wastewater treatment systems with at least secondary treatment.

Protected natural objects – protected natural objects established for the protection of biodiversity. Protected natural objects are areas or individual objects protected according to the Nature Conservation Act where human activity is restricted and sometimes even forbidden (strict nature reserves). In Estonia, the protected natural objects are classified as protected areas (national parks, nature reserves and landscape protection areas), limited-conservation areas, species protection sites, individual protected natural objects and natural objects protected at the local government level.

Renewable energy in – hydropower, wind, solar and geothermal energy, wave and tidal energy, biomass, landfill gas, gas from wastewater treatment and biogas.

Surface water status – the share of surface water bodies in at least good overall status among all water bodies. The ecological status of surface water bodies is assessed using five quality classes (high, good, moderate, poor, bad) based on the physical-chemical, hydromorphological and biological (aquatic flora, benthic invertebrate and fish fauna) conditions of water. The chemical status is assessed using two quality classes (good, bad) depending on the levels of priority substances in the water body. The overall status assessment of a water body is given by aggregating the ecological and chemical status assessments according to the “one out, all out” principle.


The four goals of the sustainable development of Estonias are described in the Estonian National Strategy on Sustainable Development “Sustainable Estonia 21”.

The data sources for sustainable development indicators are divided into national and international data sources. National data sources are: Statistics Estonia, the National Heritage Board, Eesti Pank (central bank of Estonia), the Ministry of Justice, the Estonian Environmental Agency, the Ministry of the Environment, the Estonian Road Administration, the Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board, the National Institute for Health Development, and the Estonian Land Board. International databases include: the European Commission (Eurostat), the International Organisation for Standardization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Health Organization.


Säästva arengu näitajad. Indicators of sustainable development

Eesti Statistika Kvartalikiri. 2/2015. Quarterly Bulletin of Statistics Estonia

Estonian National Strategy on Sustainable Development ”Sustainable Estonia 21“


Eneli Niinepuu

Economic and Environmental Statistics Department

Tel +372 625 9308

Updated: 08.10.2018