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

Age-specific fertility rate – annual number of live births per 1,000 women of specific age. Measures fertility in age groups.

Birth order – the biological live-birth order of children to the mother, not taking into account the fact whether the previous children are alive or not at the moment of registering the birth.

Children born from legal marriage – children whose father’s data on birth record are based on the marriage record.

Date of occurrence of vital event – the exact date when the event occurred, which does not depend on the date of registration of the event. Annual tabulations based on date of occurrence of the vital event include also the events that occurred in December but are registered in January.

Date of registration of vital event – the date when the vital event was registered at the registry offices.

Disabled – a person who is not working nor studying and who is getting disability pension and whose disability has been determined by the medical commission of experts.

Educational level – person’s highest educational attainment.

Employed – person who works for payment irrespective of employment’s form (wage earner, entrepreneur or a free-lancer, working without direct payment in a family enterprise or on his/her own farm). Also pensioners who are employed and women in pregnancy and parental leave are included.

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.

General fertility rate – annual number of live births per 1,000 women of reproductive age (aged 15–49).

Identification of father – the basis of father’s data in birth certificate. Father is not identified if the birth was registered by the application of mother and the data about father is missing in birth certificate. Father is identified if the birth was registered on the base of marriage certificate, co-application of parents, application of father or judgement about identification of paternity.

Live birth – delivery of live-born child, i.e. a child showing evidence of life irrespective of the duration of pregnancy.

Live birth from consensual union – live birth of a child to parents who are not legally married but who define their cohabitation as a consensual union. Live birth from consensual union does not coincide with births where father has been identified.

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

Number of deliveries – total number of deliveries, including stillbirths. Multiple births are taken into account as one delivery, irrespective of the number of children born.

Place of residence – the area or settlement in which the 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.

Stillbirth – the intra-uterine death of a foetus weighing at least 500 grams at birth, which took place after the 22nd week of pregnancy. Until 1992 all births with extremely low birth weight (less than 1000 grams), gestational age less than 28 weeks and baby’s height less than 35 cm who die within the first week are considered stillbirths.

Student/pupil – person who is acquiring general, vocational or professional education in formal educational system, i.e. in institutions of general education, vocational education or higher education.

Unemployed – a person a) who is without work (is not working and is not temporarily absent from work), b) who is currently available (within two weeks) for work if there should be any and c) who is actively seeking work.

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


Until 1993 the birth statistics were based on the birth records of all births registered at the registry 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 registry 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 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.

The birth tables include data only on live births.

When presenting the data of vital events statistics by level of education the next division has been used:

The highest educational institution or grade completed in the formal educational system determines the educational attainment of a person. Since 2002, distinction is made between the education completed in a general education school and the completed vocational or professional education. The published data is aggregated on the basis of the following division: higher education, secondary education, primary or basic education.

Primary and basic education – basic education, incomplete secondary education, vocational education with basic education, vocational education, primary education, no primary education.

Secondary education – general secondary education, professional secondary education or technical education after secondary education, vocational education with secondary education, vocational secondary education on the basis of secondary education, uncompleted higher education.

Higher education – academic (Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctor’s degree) and applied higher education (professional higher education, vocational higher education, diploma study) or any education equal to them.

Formulas used in calculations

Age-specific fertility rate for women

– number of childbirths for women at age [x; x+a);

– average number of women at age [x; x+a).


Classification of Estonian administrative units and settlements (EHAK)

Until 1999 the administrative division, on which the spatial distribution of the population was based, was almost the same as during the 1989 Census, except in Ida-Viru county. The distribution of the population and vital events by urban and rural areas observed the administrative division. The urban areas included all cities and towns and rural areas included rural municipalities.

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

List of classifications:

Statistical Classification of Regional Units of Estonia (EPS)

based on Nomenclature of Territorial Units of Statistics (NUTS)

According to NUTS level 3 Estonia is divided into 5 regions. These regions are the following:

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


Rahvastik. Population. Yearbook

Eesti statistika aastaraamat. Statistical Yearbook of Estonia

Eesti Statistika Kvartalikiri. Quarterly Bulletin of Statistics Estonia

Linnad ja vallad arvudes. Cities and Rural Municipalities of Estonia in Figures

Maakonnad arvudes. Counties in Figures

Eesti piirkondlik statistika. Regional Statistics of Estonia


Alis Tammur
Methodology and Analysis Department
Tel +372 625 8481

Updated: 16.08.2017