We know Estonia
19.1.2024 | Estonia

Estonia’s population grew in 2023

Text Mark Taylor
Photo 66 north / Unsplash

Estonia’s population grew in 2023

 

According to preliminary data published by Statistics Estonia, on 1 January 2024, the population of Estonia was 1,366,491, which was 607 more than at the same time a year ago.

In 2023, there were 10,721 births and 15,832 deaths in Estonia. However, based on registered migration data, 20,209 people immigrated to Estonia, while 14,491 emigrated from the country.

“In 2023, there were 5,111 fewer births than deaths, while 5,718 more persons moved to Estonia than left for abroad. Therefore, the positive net migration outweighed the negative natural increase and helped to maintain a marginally positive population change,” explained Terje Trasberg, a leading analyst at Statistics Estonia.

 

Number of births at an all-time low

10,721 children were born in 2023, the lowest number of births since 1919, when statistics began to be published consistently. This is the first time the number of births has ever fallen below 11,000.

“There are several reasons behind the low birth rate. The current childbearers are largely from the small generations of the 1990s, but the decline is much steeper than the number of women exiting active childbearing age would explain,” noted Trasberg.

Even more significantly than by demographics, birth rates are also affected by the current situation in the country and the world at large. Heightened economic and political uncertainty and the general rise in the cost of living have led families to postpone having children. Unfortunately, the easing of the coronavirus crisis has not had a positive impact on the number of births. In 2022, the neighbouring countries Latvia and Finland reported the lowest number of births in a century as well, with a new negative record expected in 2023, according to preliminary data.

The pre-pandemic (2010–2019) annual average number of deaths stood at 15,545, and in both 2021 and 2022 the number of deaths notably exceeded this average. In 2023, the figure returned to the level seen before the pandemic, with 15,832 deaths according to preliminary data, which is still about 300 more than the average of the previous decade.

 

Preliminary migration figures significantly lower than in 2022

According to the data on registered migration (from the Population Register), 20,209 persons immigrated to Estonia and 14,491 persons emigrated from Estonia in 2023. This means that net migration was positive with arrivals outnumbering departures by 5,718 people. 11,529 or 57 per cent of all immigrants were of Ukrainian citizenship. Compared with a year earlier, the number of immigrants with Ukrainian citizenship decreased by 21,688. Although the number of Ukrainian citizens immigrating was three times lower than in 2022, it was still several times higher than before the start of the full-scale war (in 2020: 2,374, in 2021: 3,047. According to preliminary data, 6,515 Ukrainian citizens left Estonia in 2023.

“There were 4,451 Estonian citizens leaving and 2,865 returning to Estonia, but Estonians often do not register their migration and thus the share of Estonian citizens among registered migrants is small. In 2023, there were 747 immigrants with Russian citizenship,” added Trasberg.

 

To learn more about this and similar topics
Birth Rate Death Rate Emigration Estonia Population Estonia Population 2024 Immigration Statistics Estonia

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