Survey: Estonians less likely to pick urban living than Baltic siblings

National flags of the three Baltic States, from left, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
National flags of the three Baltic States, from left, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Estonians are less likely to choose to live in an urban area than Latvians or Lithuanians, according to a recent survey which also found that purchasing property online was more attractive to respondents the northernmost Baltic State, than those in Latvia and Lithuania.

According to the survey, conducted by pollsters Norstat on behalf of Citadele Banka, a Latvian bank, Estonians were half as likely to consider moving to an urban neighbourhood as their Latvian and Lithuanian contemporaries, with 5 per answering that they would be prepared to do so, compared with 11 percent for both the other two Baltic States.

At the same time, 71 percent of Estonian respondents said they would purchase a property remotely, i.e. online, with the figure for Latvian respondents standing at 62 percent, and 47 percent of Lithuanians saying they would do the same.

Lithuanians, it appears, prefer small towns to their Baltic brethren, with 16 percent answering the survey saying they would potentially make the move to such a location, compared with 9 percent for Estonia, and 12 percent for Latvia.

Lithuania has larger population, more middle-sized cities, than Estonia, Latvia

The responses may also reflect the number of towns and cities in all three countries and the resulting selection on offer. Lithuania has the largest population of the three at 2.8 million, while Riga, Latvia's capital, is by some margin the largest city overall, having a metro population of around a million – almost on a par with Tallinn and Vilnius' populations combined.

Lithuania has five cities with more than 94,000 inhabitants, compared with two in Estonia: Tallinn and Tartu, and just the one, i.e. Riga, in Latvia.

Similarly, Lithuania has 16 towns and cities with 20,000 or more inhabitants, compared with 10 in Latvia and five (Tallinn, Tartu, Narva, Pärnu, Kohtla-Järve) in Estonia.

Of the three, Estonia is the only country whose population has risen, albeit slightly, in recent years, largely due to immigration (whose figures include returnee Estonians – ed.).

Estonia's population stands at around 1.3 million, compared with 1.9 million for Latvia. Both have a population density of around 29-30 people per square kilometer. Lithuania's population as noted is around 2.8 million, and is slightly more densely populated at around 43 people per square kilometer.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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