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City of Tallinn registers nearly 2,400 marriages, 3,600 births in 2023

A couple's wedding day at the Tallinn Vital Statistics Office on Pärnu mnt.
A couple's wedding day at the Tallinn Vital Statistics Office on Pärnu mnt. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Last year, the City of Tallinn's Vital Statistics Department registered 2,384 marriages – with the oldest groom aged 87 and oldest bride aged 79 – as well as 3,609 births – a set of quadruplets among them.

Tallinn Vital Statistics Department director Kristi Kail noted that the capital city accounted for 46 percent of all marriages registered in Estonian vital statistics offices in 2023, according to a press release.

"Although we registered slightly fewer marriages last year than in 2022, there were more than in 2021," Kail noted.

July and August were the most popular months to get married, accounting for a combined more than 600 marriages – including 369 in August alone – registered in the Estonian capital.

The number of applications for name changes, meanwhile, has increased over the last four years, including up from 1,601 in 2022 to a total of 1,723 last year.

"The number of births has decreased due to the demographic situation, with fewer women of childbearing age," she acknowledged. "Despite this, we were delighted to welcome 3,609 newborns, including quadruplets and 48 sets of twins."

Newlyweds from Ukraine, Cameroon, Cuba

In 2023, Tallinn Vital Statistics Department itself conducted 2,384 marriages, with another 117 marriages officiated by clergy were entered into the population register.

Foreign citizens comprised an average of 19 percent of those married each month, totaling 924 people from 67 different countries throughout the year. The majority of foreign nationals marrying in Tallinn were from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the U.K. and Turkey; also represented were countries further away, including Vietnam, Brazil, Taiwan, Cameroon and Cuba.

Last year, 102 marriage ceremonies were held at locations chosen by the couple outside of the Vital Statistics Department.

Upon marriage, 1,667 women took their husband's surname, while 56 men took their wife's surname.

The department office further issued 570 certificates of no impediment to marriage for those marrying abroad last year. Popular countries for marriages abroad included Russia, Finland, Belarus, Georgia and Turkey, but also represented were destinations including Kenya, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Mauritius as well as India.

The Vital Statistics Department also ceremoniously celebrated three wedding anniversaries last year, including two golden anniversaries, marking 50 years of marriage, and one tin anniversary, marking ten years of marriage.

A total of 1,018 divorces were registered in the Estonian capital last year – nine fewer than in 2022.

Foreign nationals nearly one in five birth registrants

A total of 3,609 births were registered with Tallinn's Vital Statistics Department last year, including 1,852 boys and 1,757 girls. Of these, 1,929 children were born within a marriage, 1,565 were registered with paternity acknowledgment and 115 births were registered by single mothers.

Last year, foreign nationals comprised 18 percent of birth registrants, representing 80 countries, with the largest shares from Ukraine, Russia, Nigeria, India and Bangladesh.

The most popular baby names registered in the Estonian capital in 2023 were Sofia, Eva, Olivia, Emilia, Alisa, Mia, Amelia, Emily, Anna and Nicole for girls, and Mark, David, Miron, Daniel, Martin, Aaron, Daniil, Timur, Artur, Lev and Matvei for boys.

Also submitted to the city department last year were 1,723 name change applications – an increase of 122 on year. The majority of applicants sought to take ancestral surnames.

New names were granted 1,333 times by the Tallinn Vital Statistics Department and 256 times by the Ministry of the Interior. Tallinn granted 406 new given names and 807 new surnames, and 120 people received both a new given and new surname.

Gender data was changed 11 times – five times fewer than in 2022.

Last year, Tallinn Vital Statistics Department issued 6,830 registry extracts – 3,773 more than in 2022. These included the issuing of 7,935 certificates for past family events, and the generation of personal identification codes (isikukoodid) for 3,130 individuals.

2023 also saw a total of 40,061 Tallinn residence notifications submitted for entry into Estonia's population register. As of January 1, 2024, Tallinn's population officially totaled 461,371.

Compared with other Estonian counties and local governments, Tallinn Vital Statistics Department accounted for 46 percent of marriages and 52 percent of divorces registered, 33 percent of births, 71 percent of name change decisions and 64 percent of certificates for family events issued last year.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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