Nearly 600,000 people responded to the Estonian e-census

Posted on 24. January 2022 12:07

The e-census part of the Estonian Population and Housing Census ended on Saturday, January 22. According to the preliminary data, 568,891 persons, i.e. 43% of the Estonian population, were enumerated.

The current census is conducted mainly on the basis of registers, but nearly half of the Estonian population contributed by voluntarily filling in an online questionnaire.

“I would like to thank everyone who found time to complete the short e-census questionnaire. Answering to the e-census was not mandatory for everyone, and considering this, it is especially nice that people responded to this call during such a difficult time. They made an important contribution to the success of this census,” said Urmet Lee, Director General of Statistics Estonia.

The most active respondents were people living in Tartu city and Harju county, where 49% of the population aged 15 and older completed the e-questionnaire. Preliminary data also show that 40–65-year-old women were the most active respondents, whereas young men were the most passive.

The Director General of Statistics Estonia noted that regardless of whether someone completed the e-census or not, all persons living in Estonia are enumerated. “The people who didn’t or couldn’t answer the questionnaire don’t have to worry, as we will enumerate all Estonian residents based on register data. Before the stage of filling in the e-census, there was a call to correct one’s data in the registers. In addition, work on improving registers has been going on for ten years, and therefore, our registers are of sufficient quality by now. Soon, it will be the right time to start discussing how to conduct censuses in the future, at any particular moment and, figuratively speaking, by push of a button,” added Lee.

The short online questionnaire, which was filled in for this census, gives researchers and decision-makers valuable information about the knowledge of languages and dialects, health and religious affiliations among the Estonian people. Filling in the questionnaire was voluntary, except for the random sample, which includes more than 61,000 persons from all municipalities across Estonia.

The population census will continue at a smaller scale from 1 to 28 February. All persons who belong in the mandatory random sample but who did not respond online will be contacted in February by census interviewers. “First we will reach out by phone. Considering the coronavirus situation, at-home interviews are our last option, and these will happen only if it has been agreed so,” explained Lee.

The Population and Housing Census is the only survey that gives a picture of the Estonian population and life at one moment in time. The combined method is used for this census: Statistics Estonia collects the necessary information mainly from around 30 national registers, and an additional questionnaire is used to ask for information on self-assessed characteristics that are not available in the registers. The census results will be published gradually starting from June until the end of 2022.

E-census response rate by county (as on 21 January 2022):

  • Harju county (excl. Tallinn) – 48.5%
  • Tartu city – 48.5%
  • Tartu county (excl. Tartu city) – 46.6%
  • Rapla county – 42.4%
  • Hiiu county – 39.9%
  • Lääne county – 39.8%
  • Saare county – 39.7%
  • Järva county – 39.6%
  • Lääne-Viru county – 38.8%
  • Viljandi county – 38.5%
  • Pärnu county – 37.8%
  • Põlva county – 36.3%
  • Jõgeva county – 35.6%
  • Võru county – 35.6%
  • Tallinn – 35.4%
  • Valga county – 31.3%
  • Ida-Viru county – 20.6%

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For further information:

Kadri Kütt
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181

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