According to Statistics Estonia, by preliminary data, the population number in Estonia was 1,316,500 on 1 January 2012. The decline in the estimated population in 2011 was influenced by the decrease in the number of births as well as by the increase of emigration.
14,713 live births were registered in 2011, i.e. 1,112 births less than in the previous year.
The number of births fell to the 5-year-ago level, when less than 15,000 children were born per year. 15,226 persons died in 2011, i.e. 564 less than in the previous year. Although the number of deaths has decreased constantly over the last four years, a large drop in the number of births in 2011 took the natural increase which had turned slightly positive in 2010 back to negative again. Natural increase is the difference between live births and deaths during the year. Positive natural increase shows the predominance of births and negative natural increase – the predominance of deaths. In 2011, the number of deaths exceeded that of births by 513 persons.
The estimated population declined also due to negative net migration. By preliminary data, in 2011, 3,922 persons more emigrated than immigrated which is the last decade’s biggest difference between immigrants and emigrants.
5,543 marriages were contracted and 3,108 marriages were divorced which is correspondingly 477 and 194 more than in 2010.
Statistics Estonia will publish the revised preliminary population number as of 1 January 2012 on 16 March 2012. The estimated population number is based on the 2000 Population and Housing Census data which are supplemented with the annual data on registered births, deaths and migration. It differs from the population number of the Population Register where the data are based on the registration of a person's place of residence. Internationally, the Census data are considered more accurate than the Register data, because people may have different reasons for alteration of data while registering their place of residence. At the same time the long period of time since the last Census deteriorates the data of Statistics Estonia.
Statistics Estonia will publish the preliminary population number of the 2011 Population and Housing Census (PHC 2011) at the end on May and the final number in December 2012. After that population accounts will be revised.
PHC 2011 is going to take place from 31.12.2011 to 31.03.2012 and it will be conducted using a combined method: from 31.12.2011 to 31.01.2012 permanent residents can fill out the Census questionnaire over the Internet and those who do not use the e-Census option will be interviewed by the enumerator at home from 16.02 to 31.03.2012.
This press release, complete with graphs, is here:
Estimated population decreased by 4,400 persons in 2011