We know Estonia
16.5.2023 | Estonia

Births at record low, migration at record high

Text Mark Taylor
Photo Andrei Chertkov

Births at record low, migration at record high

 

According to population data released by Statistics Estonia, 1,365,884 people lived in Estonia as of January 1, 2023, which was 34,088 persons (2.6 per cent) more than at the same time a year ago. In 2022, there were 11,646 births and 17,315 deaths in Estonia. During 2022, 49,414 persons immigrated to Estonia and 9,657 persons emigrated from Estonia, therefore, immigration was five times higher than emigration.

“2022 was a remarkable year in terms of population statistics. The population of Estonia increased by 34,088 persons or, figuratively speaking, by the number of people living in Võru county. Such growth is extraordinary. For comparison, in the two previous years, the population increased by around 1,700 persons (0.1 per cent), said Anet Müürsoo, Head of the Population and Social Statistics Department at Statistics Estonia.

The population was boosted by immigration, which was most affected last year by Ukrainians arriving in Estonia. People with Ukrainian citizenship accounted for 67 per cent of immigrants, of whom 33,217 remained permanently in Estonia.

2022 was also an exceptional year because of the low number of births. Never before have fewer than 12,000 births been recorded in Estonian population statistics, which date back to 1919. Last year, however, only 11,646 children were born. The lowest birth rate in a century has probably been influenced by the coronavirus crisis, the war in Ukraine and the subsequent price rises and high cost of living, which in turn appear to have discouraged families from having children. The low birth rate was also affected by the fact that the nineties generation, which was smaller than previous generations, has entered childbearing age.

 

Fewer births and deaths

11,646 children were born in 2022. This is 12.3 per cent less than in 2021. On average, there have been around 14,000 births a year since Estonia regained its independence in 1991. In terms of numbers, fewer first, second, and third children were born.

There were 17,315 deaths in 2022. This is 1,272 fewer than in 2021, but it should be remembered that the number of deaths in 2021 was exceptionally high, in large part due to the pandemic. Over the last ten years, the number of deaths per year has hovered between 15,000 and 16,000.

 

Migration hit record high

Last year, 6,981 Estonian citizens arrived in the country and 5,352 left, arrivals outnumbering departures by 1,629. The highest number of citizens of other countries arriving in Estonia were those with Ukrainian citizenship (33,217), ten times more than a year ago. Immigration of Russian citizens is also on the rise, with 1,918 arrivals last year, compared to 1,860 in 2021, and 1,417 in 2020.

The highest number of emigrants from Estonia still depart for Finland. 2,481 people left for that country (incl. 2,068 Estonian citizens), which is the lowest figure since 2018, and therefore Estonia’s net migration to Finland was positive again for the first time in a couple of years. 2,744 people returned from Finland, 2,374 of them Estonian citizens.

“In total, 39,757 more people stayed in Estonia last year than left. Although 2022 was marked by an exceptionally high number of immigrants, it is also worth noting that the number of emigrants was the lowest in recent years,” said Müürsoo.

 

 

To learn more about this and similar topics
Births Deaths Emigration Estonian population Immigration Migration Population Statistics Statistics Estonia

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