It isn't common to hear rosy projections about the Estonian population, but one scholar, Ene-Margit Tiit, has proposed that the high human development scores, an area where Estonia has shined, could buoy a resurgence.
Estonia is fairly close to a critical level where the birth rate begins to increase, she said. "The basis for the scenario is that countries where the index gets up to a certain high level - ours if 0.85 and the level is over 0.9 - the birth rate starts rising. It has happened in a whole bunch of countries. If you factor in our human development index, such an optimistic forecast isn't impossible, which says that by the end of the century, the Estonian population will start growing," she told ERR radio.
Current projections still call for a moderate decline, but this is far from a slide into extinction, Tiit said. It's predicted the population will drop [another 100,000 or so] to 1.2 million over the next 25 years," she said.