Harju County registered population increases by more than 55,000 in decade

New library in Viimsi, a fast-growing municipality on the edge of Tallinn.
New library in Viimsi, a fast-growing municipality on the edge of Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The population of Harju County remains on the rise. Over the past ten years, Estonia's most populous county has seen an increase of more than 55,000 registered residents, nearly 37,000 of whom were registered in Tallinn, and municipalities immediately surrounding the capital city have seen significant population increases as well.

As of the beginning of 2010, Tallinn's population stood at 407,112; it currently stands at 443,920. This increase is equal to two thirds of the population of Narva, which as of the beginning of this year stood at 55,905.

Municipalities to see strong population include Viimsi, Harku, Jõelähtme, Rae, Saku and Saue, which are fundamentally suburbs of the capital already.

In Viimsi Municipality, for example, the population increased from 16,242 as of January 1, 2010 to 20,728.

In Harku Municipality, the registered population grew from 11,761 in 2010 to 15,248, and in Rae Municipality, the population jumped from 12,152 to 20,135 in ten years' time.

The population of Jõelähtme Municipality nearly doubled in a decade from 6,547 to 11,761. Kiili Municipality's population, meanwhile, increased from 4,307 to 5,703.

Harju County's borders remained unchanged in the 2017 nationwide administrative reform, however Saue Municipality merged with Kernu and Nissi Municipalities and the town of Saue, and now has a population of 22,997.

Post-administrative reform numbers

The number of counties remained unchanged by the administrative reform at 15, however the exact borders and populations of most counties did change in the process.

Hiiu, Saare and Viljandi Counties retained their previous borders, and while Harju County likewise remained unchanged, the county has one less village. Lääne County in Western Estonia lost the most territory as a result of the reform. Due to these changes, it is not possible in all cases to draw direct comparisons regarding population changes by county.

Hiiu County saw its population shrink by more than 800 over the past decade, from 10,282 in 2010 to 9,454 today. Saare County likewise lost residents, with its population decreasing from 35,851 to 33,521. Viljandi County, whose borders and total territory also remained unchanged in the 2017 reform, has seen its population decrease by nearly 4,000, from 53,496 in 2010 to 46,161 today.

The biggest population decrease, however, has nonetheless been registered in Ida-Viru County in Northeastern Estonia, although the county's borders changed somewhat in the reform. In 2010, the county's total population stood at 166,350; as of January 1, 2020, it stood at 135,752. Thus, the county lost more than 30,000 residents over the past decade.

As of January 1, 2020, Estonia had a population of 1.37 million, up from 1.34 million in 2010.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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