Statistics Estonia's head analyst Siim Krusell said that the 2012 statistics yearbook, released last week, covers many figures of different importance, but population change is probably the most highlighted.
Krusell said on the Statistics Estonia blog today that population figures were something to be joyful about in 2009 and 2010, with births outstripping deaths in 2010 for the first time in 20 years. But that trend reversed in 2011, and worsened last year, as the difference between births and deaths grew by more than twofold to 1,500.
Migration also added to the population depression, as net migration losses increased from 800 in 2011 to 6,500 in 2012.
Krusell links the low birth rate with the fact that the dominant group of those leaving the nation were women aged between 15 and 29.
The only positive note is that more people have began to return, with 3,000 Estonian citizens moving back to Estonia last year, up by 1,000 compared to 2011.
Bucking EU trends
Economic figures paint a picture very different from European trends, as both unemployment and long-term unemployment numbers decreased, from 12 to 10 percent and by 20 percent, respectively.
The average monthly pretax salary grew by 6.3 percent to 900 euros, but due to high inflation, real wages increased by only 2.7 percent.