A little under 7,800 live births were registered in Estonia to July 2020. The birth rate on this basis will continue the trend in recent years towards a fall, as well as a lag behind the death rate.
Population affairs minister Riina Solman (Isamaa) noted that while both the birthrate and, presumably due to earlier declining birthrates, the number of women reaching childbearing age, have been consistently falling in Estonia, this could be rectified.
"I believe … that there is much we can do through the right family policy, and there is no reason to give up yet," Solman said.
The total number of births to July 2020 stands at 7,777, Solman's department at the Ministry of the Interior says.
1,287 of these were born in July, slightly more baby boys (665) than baby girls (622) this time, and the largest number by month so far in the year, higher than for June (1,211) and considerably higher than in February (1,955).
Taking the mean monthly figure for the first seven months of the year would give a 2020 figure of a little over 13,300, which would be a few hundred babies fewer than in 2019.
Last saw a death rate – 15,386 – higher than the birth rate, 13,897, for the ninth consecutive year, a deficit of close to 1,500. The overall population in Estonia has slightly increased, once immigration from all sources (which includes returning Estonian citizens – ed.) is factored in.
The trend has also been for a rise in the lag in birth rates behind the death rate – in 2018, there were 14,367 live births in Estonia and 15,751 deaths, a deficit of 1,384.
Early indications suggest the coronavirus emergency situation declared in March to May, which required many to self-quarantine at home, and the pandemic as a whole, have not had a noticeable impact on births or, at this stage, pregnancies.
Breakdown of births, marriages, names and deaths in July
The most popular boys' names in July were Robin, Rasmus and Sebastian, and the most popular girls' names Alisa, Sofia and Eva, BNS reports.
- Births numbered 1,287 (July 2019: 1,391).
- This included 21 sets of twins.
- 467 births were recorded in July in Tallinn and a further 173 in Harju County. 186 were recorded in Tartu County, 92 in Pärnu County, 81 in Ida-Viru County and 55 in Lääne-Viru County. All the remaining counties recorded fewer than 50 births for July; on Hiiumaa just three births were delivered in July.
- 920 marriages took place in July (July 2019: 887). 102 of these were registered by clergy members and 91 by notaries alone.
- There were 274 divorces (July 2019: 222), 38 of these conducted by notaries.
- There were 1,256 deaths in Estonia in July. (July 2019: 1,327).
- 150 individuals – 104 women and 46 men - took a new name in July (July 2019: 192), of which 111 took a new surname, 32 a new first name, and seven people one of each.
(Source: Ministry of the Interior department of population affairs).
The interior ministry says that reproductive behavior is a long-term process not influenced by monthly fluctuations. Its population and family policy department comment on these statistics nonetheless, the ministry says.
A more recent trend has been reported of a rise in larger families even as the birth rate is lower overall, partly due to a favorable maternity benefits policy when compared with some other western nations.
Editor: Andrew Whyte