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Kalev Katus and Luule Sakkeus (2001)

Demographic Development of the Foreign-Born Population in Estonia: Divergence or Convergence*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 26, 3-4/2001, p. 443-452, Opladen: Verlag Leske + Budrich, ISSN: 0340-2398

This article provides an insight into international migration and the composition of the foreign-born population in Estonia from 1845 to the present day. In parallel, the problems faced by migration research in Estonia until the nineties are demonstrated and the following solutions described, developed by the "Estonian Interuniversity Population Research Centre" (EKDK):

Since it was impossible until 1990 to carry out surveys of the foreign-origin population and national minorities in Estonia, the EKDK used thematic modules to differentiate between immigrant and native population. These thematic modules include a migration module expanded to include housing, a "parental home module" and the "National Minority Survey" (EPU).

  • The "extended migration module" provides a full account of migration career since completing primary education. It provides information on change of housing conditions and offers the possibility to distinguish directly between long-distance and short-distance moves. It also enables one to identify the key actor in a residential move.
  • The "parental home module" was developed to be applied in the event-history surveys to collect the information on primary socialisation.
  • A National Minority Survey was carried out because there had been no internationally-comparable data on the national minority population in Estonia for the last fifty years. It facilitates, amongst other things, a reconstruction to be carried out of time series of the main population indicators and provides information on mixed marriages, inter-generational and intra-generational changes in language, religious affiliation and ethnic self-identification. The methodology employed in the "National Minority Survey" builds on the life course approach.

* Original title: Demographische Entwicklung der im Ausland geborenen Bevölkerung Estlands: Divergenz oder Konvergenz (full text in German only)

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