Since 2009, the population of Ida-Virumaa has shrunk by nearly one-fifth, or about 2,000 people annually. However, in 2022, the population loss slowed in a number of municipalities, and in others, the number of residents increased.
Ida-Viru County had 131,775 residents on January 1, up from 131,699 a year earlier, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior cited by rus.err.ee.
The population increased by 318 in Jõhvi municipality, 61 in Narva-Jõesuu, 44 in Kohtla-Järve and 44 in Alutaguse municipality.
Nevertheless, the population in a number of municipalities within the county continues to decline: most notably in Narva, by 330 persons, in Toila by 17, in Lüganuse by 13 and in Sillamäe by seven.
The current population growth of Ida-Viru County contrasts the demographic trends of the previous decade, since all municipalities in the county, with the exception of Narva-Jõesuu, were still falling in population in 2021.
The population of Narva, e.g., declined by 1168 persons. Since 2009, the population of Ida-Viru County has dropped in total by 32,000 individuals, or about one-fifth.
The arrival of Ukrainian war refugees in Estonia explains last year's population growth: as of the end of November, there were 2,119 registered Ukrainian refugees in Ida-Viru County, of whom 692 came to Kohtla-Järva, 526 to Narva, and 467 to Jõhvi.
Maris Toomel, the mayor of the municipality of Jõhvi, has also noticed a rise in the number of residents as a result of the campaign inviting people to register as Jõhvi residents.
"We added 134 new residents during the campaign in December alone," Toomel said.
The mayor said that Jõhvi is currently developing rapidly, and the next big step must be to build new housing to make the city appealing to young families.
"Jõhvi is a great place to live. Geographically we are in a good location, we have very good conditions for bringing up children. We have two primary schools, a gymnasium, recreational clubs and excellent sports facilities," Toomel said.
She added that there is enough work in Jõhvi municipality and that specialists in various fields are needed. "I invite everyone to come and live in Ida-Viru County and Jõhvi," she said.
Editor: Kristina Kersa