Estonia Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Estonia Country Overview

Where is Estonia located? The state of Estonia is the northernmost of the Baltic States and is located in northern Europe. The time zone map, which divides the world vertically into world time zones, shows that Estonia is in a time zone called “Eastern European Time” (EET). In contrast to the Central European time zone, in which Germany, for example, is also located, the time is not one but 2 clocks ahead of the coordinated world time (UTC +2). In summer, however, as in the rest of Europe, there is a time difference of one hour to “Eastern European Summer Time” (EEST). Then the time difference is 3 hours to the official world time.

Estonia National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Estonia is 1,228,624, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 1,228,624
Population growth rate -0.65%
Birth rate 10.10 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall 73.82 years
Men 68.58 years
Women 79.40 years
Age structure
0-14 years 16.30%
15-64 years 63.50%
65 years and above 20.20%
Median age 42.10 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.84
Population density 27.17 residents per km²
Urbanization 69.40%
70% Estonians, 25% Russians, 2% Ukrainians, 1% Belarusians, 0.6% Finns – proportion of foreigners in 2015: 14.6% (mainly Russians)
Lutherans, Russian Orthodox, Estonian Orthodox, Baptists, Methodists, Seventh-Day Adventists, Catholics (Roman Catholic), Pentecostal, Word of Life, Jews
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.882
HDI ranking 30th out of 194

People in Estonia

1.3 million people live in Estonia. Around a third of them live in the capital Tallinn. The second largest city is Tartu with 92,000 residents. A total of 68 percent of Estonians live in a city.

Estonians make up 69 percent of the population in Estonia. The proportion of Russians in the country is very high, namely 25 percent, i.e. a quarter of all residents. It’s similar to Latvia. Smaller minorities are Ukrainians (2 percent), Belarusians (1.1 percent) and Finns (0.8 percent). There are also around 500 Estonian Swedes living on Estonia’s west coast. These are descendants of Swedes who settled here in the Middle Ages.

The Russians who moved there during the time of the Soviet Union did not receive a passport with independence in 1991 and were thus stateless. You can be naturalized, but you have to pass a language test in Estonian.

Few people in Estonia still belong to a church. 16 percent are Orthodox Christians, 10 percent are Protestants. More than 70 percent do not belong to any church or have not declared their religious affiliation.

Languages in Estonia

The official language in Estonia is Estonian. It is spoken by around 70 percent of the population. In addition, Russian is still widespread, because around a quarter of the population are Russian.

Estonian is closely related to Finnish. It belongs to the Finno-Ugric languages. This makes it one of only a few languages ​​in Europe that do not count among the Indo-European languages. However, there are many loanwords from German in Estonian, because Germans lived here for several centuries. These include, for example, müts (hat) or würts (spice). You can also guess what reisibüroo means. The many vowels are typical of Estonian. Then there are also words like Jäääär!

Written is Estonian (which we also write) in Latin characters. There are also a few additional letters that we do not know: š, ž, ü, ä, ö and õ. There is no z. Words are almost always stressed on the first syllable. An exception is aitäh – that means thank you.