The results of the 2021 Population and Housing Census have been published. The data collected during the census about the population of Estonia help to understand what life is like in Estonia today.
The population of Estonia as of 31.12.2021 (1,331,824 people) is about 3% larger than 10 years ago. 84% of people living in Estonia today also lived here during the previous census. 11% have been born in the meantime, and 5% have been added through immigration. It is immigration that has ensured population growth in recent years, even with a lower birth rate. Today, 211 nationalities are represented in Estonia and 243 different mother tongues are spoken here. Census data show that Estonia is an attractive country especially for highly educated foreigners. In general, in comparison with European countries, Estonia stands out for its highly educated population - 43% of all residents aged 25-64 have a higher education, which places Estonia in 7th place in Europe. Whereas Estonian women are actually in 3rd place.
More people of different nationalities live in Estonia than ever before, but the share of Estonians in the population has remained stable through three censuses (2000: 68.3%; 2011: 69.8%; 2021: 69.4%). 84% of the population knows Estonian: 67% of them as a mother tongue and 17% as a foreign language. The proportion of people who know Estonian has increased compared to previous censuses (2000: 80%; 2011: 82%), especially at the expense of people who speak Estonian as a foreign language (2000: 12%; 2011: 14%). An estimated 76% of the Estonian population knows some foreign language. If 10 years ago the most common foreign language in Estonia was Russian, today it is English. Some dialect is spoken by an estimated 17% of the population that speaks Estonian as their mother tongue. This is 2 percentage points more than in the previous census.
The average age of Estonian residents is 42, which is the highest indicator of the 11 censuses held in Estonia. For example, in the first census of Estonia in 1881, the average age of people was 27 years. 61% of the population are of working age, 20% are over 64, and 19% are minors. The proportion of people aged 65 and over has increased from 15% (in 2000) to 20% (2021).
Children are born at a later age, but the average number of children by the age of 45 is the same as 10 and 20 years ago - 1.9 children. Compared to 2011, the number of families has decreased, including the number of families with a married couple and a single parent, while the number of families with cohabiting couples has increased. They are getting married at a later age - if in 2000 at least half of the population was already married between the ages of 30 and 34, then in 2011 36% and in 2021 32% of the population of this age were married.
At the same time, the average Estonian family is larger than before - now the family has an average of 2.94 members instead of the previous 2.74. The largest families live in small urban areas around Tallinn Tallinn, the largest city and capital of Estonia (population 440 000). and Tartu City in the west of Estonia (pop. 91,000). . For example, in the municipality of Rae, there are an average of 3.07 members in a household.
33% of the entire Estonian population lives in Tallinn Tallinn, the largest city and capital of Estonia (population 440 000). , and as many as 43% of the employed have their workplaces in the capital. Both indicators are on the rise - if in 2000 29% of the population lived in Tallinn Tallinn, the largest city and capital of Estonia (population 440 000). , in 2011 30%, then in 2021 it will already be 33%. In 2011, 39% of the employed worked in Tallinn Tallinn, the largest city and capital of Estonia (population 440 000). , and in 2021 it will already be 43%. In addition, the census data show that half of the foreigners who moved to Estonia stay in Tallinn Tallinn, the largest city and capital of Estonia (population 440 000). .
Estonian residents are divided between 557,146 dwellings, i.e. we have approx. 2.4 inhabitants per dwelling. The average Estonian has 30 square meters of living space, and this number has not changed compared to 2011. Estonian residents live more and more in private houses (2000: 26.8%; 2011: 28.6%; 2021: 29.3%). 68% of households live in their own property, 18% of households rent housing. Living conditions (running water, toilets, etc.), which were already very good in 2011, have remained the same or improved by a percentage point.