TALLINN - According to the data from the last census - 2000 Population Census - five big ethnic groups and over one hundred representatives of various ethnic nationalities live in Estonia, reports LETA. Ten population censuses have been conducted on the territory of Estonia, the first of which was carried out in 1881. During the five generations, Estonians have been the ethnic majority in Estonia.
During the first Population Census, Germans and Russians were the most numerous ethnic minorities, accounting for, correspondingly, 5 percent and 3 percent of the population (nearly 47,000 and 29,000). During the next Population Census in 1897, the share of Germans had decreased below 4 percent and the decline continued also during the next censuses. At the same time the share of Russians in the population increased and reached its peak during the 1989 Population Census, when Russians accounted for 30 percent of the population in Estonia.
During the 2000 Population Census, representatives of 142 ethnic nationalities were enumerated in Estonia. The five biggest ethnic groups (with more than 10,000 representatives) are Estonians, Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians and Finns. During the previous census, the 1989 Population Census, the different ethnic nationalities totaled 121. The changes in the ethnic composition of the population in the period between the two censuses may be first and foremost connected with the migration taking place during the previous 11 years and possible changes in self-determination.
A new overview about ethnic nationalities living in Estonia will be provided after the 2011 Population and Housing Census, which will begin at the end of the year. This year the Population Census will be conducted for the eleventh time in Estonia. Previous censuses were carried out in 1881, 1897, 1922, 1934, 1941, 1959, 1970, 1979, 1989 and 2000.
Ethnic nationality was registered already during the first Population Census. If one excludes the 1897 Census, which encompassed the whole of Russia, ethnic nationality has been asked in all Censuses conducted on the territory of Estonia during 130 years.
Nations Day will be celebrated on Sept. 24, with events taking place in Tallinn, Narva and Johvi.