The estimated population of Estonia was 1,286,540 people as of 1 January 2013, reported Statistics Estonia.
This is 7,915 people fewer than at the end of 2011, mainly because of negative net migration, according to preliminary figures released by Statistics Estonia that has updated the population with data on registered births, deaths and migration.
A major factor in last year's decline was emigration, with 10,871 people moving out of the country, a full 4,657 more than the 2011 number. Meanwhile, 4,416 people immigrated to Estonia in 2012, putting the net migration loss at 6,455.
The remainder of last year's population drop was the result of Estonia's lingering negative birth rate - 14,054 live births and 15,514 deaths were registered in 2012.
The nation's population has been in steady decline since 1991.
In 2012, 10,871 persons emigrated from Estonia, which are 4,657 persons more than a year earlier. At the same time 4,416 persons immigrated to Estonia. Thus we have achieved the largest negative net migration over the past decade which means that 6,455 more people emigrated than immigrated. Net migration has been negative over the entire last decade and it was the lowest due to emigration during the period 2007–2009.
14,054 live births and 15,514 deaths were registered in 2012. Compared to the previous year, the number of births decreased by 624 and the number of deaths increased by 270. The decline in the number of births and the growth in the number of deaths have also influenced the natural increase, which was negative again – there were 1,460 more deaths than births. The natural increase has been negative since 1991, but started to decline since 2004. In 2010 the natural increase was positive by 34 births, but by now there has been a turn once again. In 2012, the negative natural increase achieved the highest level during the last five years.
Statistics Estonia will publish the revised preliminary population number as of 1 January 2013 in May 2013.