Telia analysis: People moving from cities to countryside

The city of Tartu
The city of Tartu Source: Simo Sepp/

After the lockdown period announced in Estonia on March 11, people have been moving from cities to the countryside, it appears from a recently published Telia mobility analysis.

Telia compared people's mobility in the previous week, that is the first full week of restrictions, and in the first week of March.

Holger Haljand, head of corporate customers at Telia Estonia, said last week people's movement between larger cities and the neighboring municipalities decreased significantly.

"This suggests that many people's usual routes to home and work or school have changed. At the same time, it can be seen that the movement between counties has been on an upward trend, meaning people, similarly to the emergency situation last year, have once again gone to their country and summer homes," Haljand said.

Last week movement between Harju County and Pärnu County increased by 28 percent compared to the first week of March, while the movement between Harju County and Lääne County increased by as much as 39 percent. In Estonia as a whole, the movement between counties increased by 6 percent last week compared to the first week of March.

A completely different picture emerged in the comparison of people's mobility activity between larger cities and the neighboring municipalities, where people moved 13 percent less last week than at the beginning of March. For example, journeys between Tallinn and Rae rural municipality decreased by 26 percent, traffic between Viimsi and Tallinn decreased by 23 percent and traffic between Tartu and Kambja rural municipality decreased by 28 percent.

All in all, journeys to Tallinn were down 17 percent, journeys to Tartu 9 percent and journeys to Pärnu 10 percent compared with the first week of March. In contrast, trips to Narva were up 4 percent than at the beginning of March.

Telia will publish new mobility analyzes every week until mid-April to help share information on the impact of restrictions on society.

Telia's mobility analysis uses the Telia Crowd Insights platform, which allows the analysis of general grouped movement patterns, as well as changes in movement habits, based on anonymous aggregate data from the mobile network. The location or movement patterns of any particular person are neither visible nor identifiable, as only anonymized and grouped aggregate data have been used and the compliance of the solution with the requirements of the personal data protection laws has been ensured.

The Telia Crowd Insights platform is also used in all Scandinavian countries where Telia Company operates.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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