Newly released analysis from the 2011 Population and Housing Census shows that 75.2 percent of the population is statistically "native," meaning that they, as well as at least one parent and one grandparent, were born in Estonia.
Of these natives, 90 percent are ethnic Estonians, 95 percent speak the Estonian language and 98 percent have Estonian citizenship, according to a release from Statistics Estonia. The average age of the native population is 39 years.
Ethnic Estonians, however, also account for 8 percent of the non-native population. The group includes descendants of ethnic Estonians who have lived abroad as well as people who have no Estonian roots but have adapted culturally and consider themselves Estonians.
The non-native population, in profile
First generation (born abroad, parents born abroad): This group is the largest of the "foreign origin" category, accounting for 12.7 percent of Estonia's population. Their average age is 60 years and most have been living in Estonia for decades. A full 69 percent of them are ethnic Russians, 5 percent are Estonians and 26 percent are members of other ethnic groups, mainly from the former Soviet republics. The group also includes people who have immigrated to Estonia in recent years. Among them, 34 percent can speak the Estonian language and 5 percent consider Estonian their mother tongue.
Second generation (born in Estonia, parents born abroad): Making up 7.6 percent of the overall population, this group is mainly middle-aged, with an average age of 41 years. Their ethnic breakdown is 76 percent Russian, 12 percent Estonian and 12 percent other ethnicities. They are far more likely to speak Estonian, with 58 percent having a command of the language and 10 percent considering it their mother tongue.
Third generation (born in Estonia, at least one parent born in Estonia, grandparents born abroad): The third generation of the foreign-origin population is the smallest, at 4 percent of the population. They are also the youngest – their average age is 25 years and 27 percent of them are under 15. Ethnically speaking, they are the most homogeneous at 82 percent Russian, 11 percent Estonian and 7 percent other. With regard to command of the Estonian language, they do not differ significantly from the second generation – 57 percent can speak Estonian, 8 percent consider Estonian their mother tongue.