Definitions

equinoctial

Demographics of Estonia

The name "Eesti," or Estonia, could be derived from the word "Aestii," the name given by the ancient Germanic people to the peoples living northeast of the Vistula River. The Roman historian Tacitus in 98 A.D. was the first to mention the "Aestii" people, and early Scandinavians called the land south of the Gulf of Finland Eistland, and the people eistr. Estonian and Finnish are very closely related, belonging to the same Finnic branch of the Finno-Ugric language family. Although closely related, the two languages are not really mutually intelligible, although educated native speakers can read the other language with a greater or lesser degree of understanding. Both Estonian and Finnish are distantly related to the Ugric Hungarian language.

Estonians have strong ties to the Nordic countries and Germany stemming from the strong cultural and religious influences gained over centuries during Danish, German and Swedish rule and settlement. This highly literate society places strong emphasis upon education, which is free and compulsory until age 16. The first known book in Estonian was printed in 1525.

Written with the Latin alphabet, Estonian is the language of the Estonian people and the official language of the country. One-third of the standard vocabulary is derived from adding suffixes to root words. The oldest known examples of written Estonian originate in 13th century chronicles. During the Soviet era, the Russian language was imposed in parallel to, and often instead of, Estonian in official use.

Between 1945 and 1989 the share of ethnic Estonians in the population resident within currently defined boundaries of Estonia dropped from 96% to 61%, caused primarily by the Soviet program promoting mass immigration of urban industrial workers from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, as well as by wartime emigration and Stalin's mass deportations and executions. In the decade following the reconstitution of independence, large scale emigration by ethnic Russians and the removal of the Russian military bases in 1994 caused the proportion of ethnic Estonians in Estonia to increase from 61% to 69% in 2006.

Modern Estonia is a fairly ethnically heterogeneous country, but this heterogeneity is not a feature of much of the country as the non-Estonian is concentrated in two of Estonia's counties. 13 of Estonia's 15 counties are over 80 percent ethnic Estonian, the most homogeneous being Hiiumaa, where Estonians account for 98.4% of the population. In the counties of Harju (including the capital city, Tallinn) and Ida-Viru, however, ethnic Estonians make up 60% and 20% of the population, respectively. Russians make up 25.6% of the total population, but account for 36% of the population in Harju county, and 70% of the population in Ida-Viru county.

Population

Age structure

  • 0-14 years: 15.2% (male 103,367 female 97,587)
  • 15-64 years: 67.6% (male 427,043; female 468,671)
  • 65 years and over: 17.2% (male 75,347; female 152,318) (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

  • -0.64% (2006 est.)

Births and deaths

Births Deaths Birth rate Death rate
1950 20,279 15,817 18.4 14.4
1951 20,730 15,354 18.6 13.7
1952 21,111 15,817 18.7 14.0
1953 20,146 14,420 17.7 12.7
1954 20,909 13,981 18.2 12.2
1955 20,786 13,638 17.9 11.8
1956 19,660 12,748 16.8 10.9
1957 19,509 13,026 16.5 11.0
1958 19,598 12,971 16.4 10.9
1959 19,938 13,130 16.5 10.9
1960 20,187 12,738 16.6 10.5
1961 20,230 13,036 16.5 10.6
1962 19,959 13,495 16.1 10.9
1963 19,275 13,251 15.3 10.5
1964 19,629 12,754 15.4 10.0
1965 18,909 13,520 14.6 10.5
1966 18,629 13,800 14.3 10.6
1967 18,671 13,699 14.2 10.4
1968 19,782 14,225 14.9 10.7
1969 20,781 15,150 15.5 11.3
1970 21,552 15,186 15.8 11.2
1971 22,118 15,038 16.1 10.9
1972 21,757 15,520 15.6 11.1
1973 21,239 15,573 15.1 11.1
1974 21,461 15,393 15.1 10.9
1975 21,360 16,572 14.9 11.6
1976 21,801 17,351 15.1 12.0
1977 21,977 17,094 15.2 11.8
1978 21,842 17,812 15.0 12.2
1979 21,879 18,062 14.9 12.3
1980 22,204 18,199 15.0 12.3
1981 22,937 18,349 15.4 12.3
1982 23,128 17,893 15.4 11.9
1983 24,155 18,190 16.0 12.1
1984 24,234 19,086 16.0 12.6
1985 23,630 19,343 15.5 12.7
1986 24,106 17,986 15.7 11.7
1987 25,086 18,279 16.2 11.8
1988 25,060 18,551 16.0 11.9
1989 24,318 18,536 15.5 11.8
1990 22,304 19,531 14.2 12.4
1991 19,413 19,715 12.4 12.6
1992 18,038 20,126 11.8 13.1
1993 15,253 21,286 10.2 14.2
1994 14,176 22,212 9.7 15.2
1995 13,509 20,828 9.4 14.5
1996 13,242 19,020 9.4 13.4
1997 12,577 18,572 9.0 13.3
1998 12,167 19,445 8.8 14.0
1999 12,425 18,447 9.0 13.4
2000 13,067 18,403 9.5 13.4
2001 12,632 18,516 9.3 13.6
2002 13,001 18,355 9.6 13.5
2003 13,036 18,152 9.6 13.4
2004 13,992 17,685 10.4 13.1
2005 14,350 17,316 10.7 12.9
2006 14,819 17,435 11.0 13.0
2007 15,741 17,548

Net migration rate

  • -3.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

  • at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
  • 15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.5 male(s)/female
  • total population: 0.84 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate

  • 7.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

  • total population: 72.04 years
  • male: 66.58 years
  • female: 77.83 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

  • 1.4 children born/woman (2006)

Nationality

  • noun: Estonian(s)
  • adjective: Estonian

Ethnic groups

Estonian 68.6%, Russian 25.6%, Ukrainian 2.1%, Belarusian 1.2%, Finn 0.8%, other 1.6% (2007)

The below table was taken from 2000 census.

Ethnic nationality total 1,370,052
Estonian 930,219
Russian 351,178
Ukrainian 29,012
Byelorussian 17,241
Finnish 11,837
Tatar 2,582
Latvian 2,330
Polish 2,193
Jewish 2,145
Lithuanian 2,116
German 1,870
Armenian 1,444
Azerbaijani 880
Moldavian 645
Mordvinian 562
Romany 542
Chuvash 495
Georgian 430
Karelian 430
Ingrian 358
Swedish 300
Mari 245
Udmurt 241
Bulgarian 204
Hungarian 172
Korean 169
Bashkir 152
Greek 150
Komi 138
US American 133
Uzbek 132
Kazakh 127
Lezgi 121
Ossetian 116
Romanian 77
Izhorian 62
English 55
Hindi 55
Chechen 48
Vepsian 43
Danish 38
Turkmen 36
Tajik 35
Gagauz 32
Avar 30
Dutch 28
Chinese 27
Italian 27
Dargwa 26
French 26
Kyrgyz 26
Turkish 24
Czech 21
Komi-Permyak 20
Arab 19
Norwegian 19
Canadian 18
Austrian 17
Kalmyk 17
Buryat 16
Spanish 16
Kurdish 15
Lakk 15
Yakut 15
Circassian 14
Kabardian 14
Persian 14
Abkhazian 13
Kumyk 10
Nogay 10
Karachay 9
Pakistani 9
Vietnamese 9
Votian 9
Ingush 8
Irish 8
Scottish 8
Serbian 8
Swiss 8
Peruvian 7
Uighur 7
Japanese 6
Karay 6
Khakass 6
Kongo 6
Talysh 6
Brazilian 5
Cuban 5
Livonian 5
Nenets 5
Anglo-Australian 4
Koryak 4
Mongolian 4
Saami 4
Slovak 4
Tati 4
Walloon 4
Yugoslav 4
Altai 3
Croatian 3
Indonesian 3
Khanty 3
Mexican 3
Nanai 3
Pashto 3
Rutul 3
Yoruba 3
Albanian 2
Amharic 2
Assyrian 2
Bengali 2
Ecuadorian 2
Guatemalan 2
Nepali 2
New Zealand 2
Shor 2
Sinhala 2
Tabasaran 2
Uruguayan 2
Abaza 1
Adyghian 1
Aztec 1
Berber 1
Bolivian 1
Breton 1
Chukchi 1
Even 1
Evenki 1
Gujarati 1
Hausa 1
Honduran 1
Ibo 1
Macedonian 1
Mansi 1
Montenegrin 1
Quechua 1
St. Vincent 1
Temne 1
Tuvinian 1
Ukwuani 1
Welsh 1
Zulu 1
Ethnic nationality unknown 7,919

Religion

According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005, 16% of Estonian citizens responded that "they believe there is a god", whereas 54% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 26% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force". This, according to the survey, would have made Estonians the most non-religious people in the then 25-member European Union. Historically, however, Estonia used to be a stronghold of Lutheranism due to its strong links to the Nordic countries.

Less than a third of the population define themselves as believers, of those the majority are Lutheran, whereas the Russian minority is Eastern Orthodox. Ancient equinoctial traditions are held in high regard. Today, about 32 % of the population are members of a church or religious group, thereof:

There are also a number of smaller Protestant, Jewish, and Buddhist groups.

Languages

Estonian (official), Russian, Ukrainian, Võro, English, Finnish, German, Livonian and others.

Literacy

  • age 7 and over can read and write
  • total population: 100% (1998 est.)

See also

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