DEFINITIONS

Age – the age of the person concerned in full years at the time of the event, i.e. the age at last birthday.

Country of permanent residence – the country where a person has continuously lived for at least 12 months, or the country where the person intends to live for at least 12 months.

Ethnic nationality – the data are based on self-determination. The ethnic nationality of the mother is taken as a basis for determining the ethnic nationality of the child.

Mean annual population – half the sum number of the population at the beginning and at the end of the year.

Migration – the change of the place of residence over a settlement border.

Place of residence – the area or settlement in which a person resides according to his/her statement or according to the Population Register (depending on the methodology of the survey).

Rural settlements – small towns and villages.

Urban settlements – cities, cities without municipal status, towns and towns with municipal status.

METHODOLOGY

Population

Population statistics are generally based on the population figure which has been determined in population censuses and revised in the intercensal period according to registered population changes – births, deaths, marriages, divorces and changes of residence (migration). The population figures of intercensal years are adjusted later. Starting from the Population and Housing Census of 2000, under-coverage has been added to the enumerated persons in population statistics – as a result of recalculations, the revised population figure of 1 January 2000 is 31,200 persons more, and for 2012 – 30,760 persons more than the number of persons enumerated. The period between the two last censuses had to also be adjusted, taking into account unregistered migration in order to distribute the population decline caused by emigration evenly between the years.

Following the analysis of registers, person-based adjustments were made to the results of the 2011 census, which also enables the production of person-based population statistics in the future. Compared to using aggregated data, this method provides the option of adding registered events to personal data according to the person’s place of residence at the time of the census (in the case of a birth, according to the mother’s place of residence). Each year, a new personalised database is created, with which the events of the next year will be associated. To some extent, population number could change because of the correction of personal identification codes and persons who lacked form personalised database. In the interest of accuracy, it must be emphasised that the analysis did not use personal identification codes but encrypted codes, which are intended for linking data and cannot be directly associated with a person.

From 2000 the results of the 2000 Population and Housing Census are used as the basis for the population estimation. The results of the 2000 Population and Housing Census show that the quality of the migration data is low and therefore the migration data were not used for the estimation of the population. Statistics Estonia has published in addition to the preliminary adjusted population number also the population number with migration since 22 April 2009. Statistics Estonia will continue publishing the population number with and without migration until the new, 2011 Population Census. After the 2011 Population Census Statistics Estonia will switch to one unified population number. For the need to ensure consistent time series, Statistics Estonia will use until the 2011 Census in calculations of different indicators the population number without migration based on the currently applied methodology.

The 2000 and 2011 Population Censuses covered:

- persons whose permanent place of residence was in the Republic of Estonia at the moment of the Census, except for diplomatic staff of foreign diplomatic missions and consular posts and their family members and persons in active service in a foreign army;
- persons whose permanent place of residence is in the Republic of Estonia but who were temporarily in a foreign state for a term of up to one year, or worked abroad for over 12 months but spent most of the days off with their household in Estonia;
- diplomatic staff of diplomatic missions and consular posts of the Republic of Estonia and their family members who were in a foreign state at the moment of the Census;
- pupils of general education schools who are in foreign states as exchange pupils but whose parents reside in Estonia;
- students and pupils attaining vocational education after secondary education who study in a foreign state for less than 12 months and return back to Estonia thereafter;
- foreign students and pupils attaining vocational education after secondary education who study in Estonia for more than 12 months.

In 2016, Statistics Estonia started carrying out its demographic analysis based on a new method, using the concept of a residency index. Instead of the place of residence recorded in the census, the place of residence recorded in the Population Register is now used.

Vital events: births and deaths

Statistics on births, deaths, marriages and divorces cover vital events of Estonian residents registered at vital statistics offices in Estonia, as well as the vital events of Estonian citizens registered at the foreign missions of the Republic of Estonia. Events registered in Estonia or at the foreign missions of the Republic of Estonia are excluded from statistics, if the place of residence of the person(s) is permanently abroad according to Statistics Estonia’s population data. The same principle is applied when determining changes of residence which count as migration events.

Births

Until 1993 the birth statistics were based on the birth records of all births registered at the vital statistics offices of counties and local governments. Starting from the beginning of 1994, the data are derived from statistical accounting records of birth registration, which are filled in together with compiling the birth certificate. The basis for yearly processing of the birth data is the birth date of the child. Birth must be registered within one month after childbirth. Births about which the vital statistics office was notified in February of the next year or later, were by way of an exception accounted in the statistical processing under the data of the registration year.

If the child has been registered in Estonia, then the child’s place of residence is always the same as the mother’s place of residence. If the mother’s place of residence is outside of Estonia or is unknown, but the father’s place of residence is in Estonia and is known, then the child’s place of residence will be the father’s place of residence. If the place of residence of both parents is unknown, then the child’s place of residence is the place of the registration of the birth. Since 1994 the statistical birth forms are also completed by the foreign representations of Estonia. Of live births that are registered abroad, only the births in the case of which the mother’s place of residence is in Estonia are included in the total number of Estonian births.

Deaths

Until 1993 statistics on deaths were based on death records of all deaths registered at the vital statistics offices of local governments, and starting from 1994 — on statistical accounting forms of registering deaths which from 1996 were renamed medical death certificates. Medical death certificates also serve as basis for preparing death records. The processing of the data on deaths is based on the date of the death. Deaths, which are registered later than in January of the year following the year of death, will be added to the data of the registration year in the course of statistical processing. The deaths of Estonian citizens whose place of residence is abroad and whose death is registered abroad are excluded. Also deaths of foreign citizens who died in Estonia but whose place of residence is outside Estonia, are excluded. In case the place of residence of a dead person is unknown, the place where the death was registered is used as the last place of residence of the person concerned.

Migration

Migration statistics are based on the data of the Population Register and the Citizenship and Migration Board (CMB). Each month, data on all those persons who registered a new place of residence are retrieved from the Population Register. Changes of residence are recorded as migration events and their data is supplemented with data from the CMB. Starting from the population figure of 2013, these events are, in terms of the previous place of residence, associated with the personalised database which has been supplemented with the data from the 2011 Population and Housing Census and the estimated under-coverage, and if it becomes apparent that the new and previous place of residence are situated in different settlement units, a migration event is recorded for the person.

Origin

The population of Estonia has been divided into native population and foreign-origin population as follows:

- Native population – persons permanently living in Estonia, at least one of the parents and at least one of the grandparents of whom were born in Estonia
- Foreign-origin population – persons permanently living in Estonia who do not belong to the native population.

Foreign-origin population, in turn, has been divided into the first, second and third generation as follows:

- First generation – persons permanently living in Estonia who and whose parents were born abroad;
- Second generation – persons permanently living in Estonia who were born in Estonia but whose parents were born abroad;
- Third generation persons – permanently living in Estonia of whose parents at least one was born in Estonia but whose grandparents were all born abroad.

In occasions where the information about the country of birth of the three generations (the person himself/herself, his/her parents and grandparents) was missing, the person was classified in some above-mentioned group mostly based on data of two generations.

CLASSIFICATIONS

Classification of Estonian administrative units and settlements (EHAK)

Until 1999, the administrative division, on which the population location and population events by territorial distribution was based, was almost the same as during the 1989 Census. The distribution of the population and vital events by urban and rural areas observed the administrative division. Urban areas included all cities and towns and rural areas included rural municipalities. This method ensured comparability of data with previous years.

Since 1996 some towns and cities have been joined with neighbouring rural municipalities. Therefore, it is not possible to present the time-series of the data concerning population location and population events by territorial distribution by the current administrative division. Instead of the distribution of population and population events by urban and rural areas, the distribution into urban and rural settlements is therefore presented. Urban settlements include cities, cities without municipal status and towns; rural settlements include small towns and villages.

EHAK is available on the web site of Statistics Estonia under the heading List of Classifications: www.stat.ee/metadata

Statistical Classification of Regional Units of Estonia (EPS)
based on Nomenclature of Territorial Units of Statistics (NUTS)

According to the NUTS level 3, Estonia is divided as follows:

EE001 Northern Estonia Harju County
EE004 Western Estonia Hiiu, Lääne, Pärnu and Saare Counties
EE006 Central Estonia Järva, Lääne-Viru and Rapla Counties
EE007 Northeastern Estonia Ida-Viru County
EE008 Southern Estonia Jõgeva, Põlva, Tartu, Valga, Viljandi and Võru Counties

MORE DATA

Rahvastik. Population. Yearbook

Eesti statistika aastaraamat. Statistical Yearbook of Estonia

Linnad ja vallad arvudes. Cities and Rural Municipalities in Figures

Maakonnad arvudes. Counties in Figures

Eesti piirkondlik statistika. Regional Statistics of Estonia

CONTACT PERSON

Koit Meres
Methodology and Analysis Department
Tel +372 625 9146
koit.meres@stat.ee

Alis Tammur
Methodology and Analysis Department
Tel +372 625 8481
alis.tammur@stat.ee

Updated: 23.05.2016