Migration flows of Estonians during the last century
Ene-Margit Tiit, University of Tartu
Mare Vähi, University of Tartu
Estonia was created 90 years ago as an ethnically quite homogeneous country: from its 1,1 million population about 88% were ethnic Estonians. At this time about 200 000 ethnic Estonians lived abroad, mainly in Russia, quite few in other European countries. During the last 90 years big changes have taken place in Estonian population. All of them are more or less typical for a big area of Eastern Europe. Four periods of migration can be defined for Estonia. The first period (1918—1940) beginning with remarkable immigration belongs to the newly formed Estonian Republic. The second period was characterized with large emigration. Estonia lost more than 20% of its population. The third period was the period of heaviest immigration. But this time the migration was restricted with Soviet Union only, the population increased for about 50%. The fourth period – time of independent Estonia – has been again period of emigration.