The largest negative net migration of the past decade helped push Estonia's population down by another 7,915 people last year, according to preliminary figures released by Statistics Estonia today.
Based on registered births, deaths and migration figures for the year, the agency put the nation's population figure at 1,286,540 as of January 1. The recent Population and Housing Census, which used December 31, 2011 as its reference date, had come up with a result of 1,294,455.
A major factor in last year's decline was emigration, with 10,871 people moving out of the country, a full 4,657 more than the 2011 number. Meanwhile, 4,416 people immigrated to Estonia in 2012, putting the net migration loss at 6,455.
The remainder of last year's population drop was the result of Estonia's lingering negative birth rate - 14,054 live births and 15,514 deaths were registered in 2012.
The nation's population has been in steady decline since 1991.