Latest updates


Preliminary data of causes of death, February 2021

06 APRIL 2021

Preliminary death data for February 2021 from the Estonian Causes of Death Registry are now available in the Health Statistics and Health Research Database. January statistics have also been updated.



Occupational accidents 2020

18 MARCH 2021

In 2020, 3,622 occupational accidents were registered, of which 2,698 were mild, 915 severe and nine people lost their lives at work. Compared to previous years, the number of mild, severe and fatal occupational accidents decreased. The last year data of the Estonian Labor Inspectorate is now also published in the Health Statistics and Health Research Database.

There were fewer occupational accidents during the viral crisis. The 2020 spring’s state of emergency and the consequent restriction of economic activities, as well as the increased attention to the safety and health friendly working environment, had an impact on the reduction of the number of accidents at work.



93.6 percent of the Estonian population is insured

17 FEBRUARY 2021

In the Health Statistics and Health Research Database, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund data on health insurance as of Dec 31st, 2020 is published.

Statistics show that 93.6 per cent of the Estonian population has health insurance, including 91.9 per cent of men and 95.2 per cent of women. Compared to 2019, the coverage with the health insurance system remained at the same level.

The level of health insurance is the same as year before, even if we look only at the age group of 20–59 years, 88.1 percent. Children up to the age of 19 and retired people are generally automatically covered by health insurance.



In January, the coronavirus caused a tenth of deaths in Estonia

02 MARCH 2021

According to the preliminary data of the Estonian Causes of Death Register, 1,468 Estonian residents died in January 2021. The first reason was circulatory diseases (706 cases) and the second was malignant neoplasms (269 cases). In third place are respiratory diseases with 199 cases, of which 154 were caused by COVID-19. It accounts for 10 percent of all deaths in January.

See more in the Health Statistics and Health Research Database.

The incidence of COVID-19 is high throughout Estonia, which is also illustrated by the fact that 203 Estonians died in Estonia due to COVID-19 in 2020, this year in January 154. In order for the medical system to hold out and not endanger the lives and health of other people, all protective measures must be observed. Avoid contact, keep distance, work from distance if possible and wear a mask. Minimize your contacts with other people to reduce the risk of getting infected yourself and passing the infection on to the family.



Circulatory system diseases were the cause of half of the deaths

02 FEBRUARY 2021

According to the preliminary data of the Estonian Causes of Death Registry in National Institute for Health Development (NIHD), 15,643 people died in Estonia in 2020, of whom 7,406 were men and 8,237 were women.

As in previous years, the leading cause of death was diseases of the circulatory system (7,687), followed by malignant neoplasms (3,636) and injuries and poisoning (955). Diseases of digestive system (759) and respiratory system (710) followed.

COVID-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, caused the deaths of 201 people, 96 of whom were men and 105 women. The highest number of deaths due to COVID-19 was in the age group of 75 years and older (152). As there are more women than men in the older age groups, this explains the higher number of COVID-19 deaths among women. There were 19 deaths in the under-65 age group and 30 in the 65-74 age group. The highest number of COVID-19 deaths per month was in December (89).

NIHD participates in research projects analysing international mortality data. Mathematical analysis methods developed in the framework of Euro-MOMO can be used to estimate the change in mortality due to weather conditions (hot and cold waves) and seasonal outbreaks and that have been used to estimate both influenza and COVID-19-related excess mortality. According to Euro-MOMO data, mortality in Estonia at the end of 2020 was somewhat higher than expected, but the increase was not large compared to several Western European countries, such as Belgium, Great Britain, Portugal and Spain.

The data on the causes of death in 2020 are preliminary, they will be specified, and the final data of the previous year will be published by the Estonian Causes of Death Registry on 3 May 2021.

How the data on causes of death is collected and determined?

The notification of the cause of death is completed by a physician. The NIHD Estonian Causes of Death Registry requests data on causes of death electronically from the Health Information System every working day. The underlying cause of death is selected based on the information collected in the registry according to WHO guidelines. The underlying cause of death may change if the physician has additional information that becomes available later (e.g. histology, toxicology, microbiological tests, etc.). A new cause of death notification document is then sent to the Health Information System. In some cases, the registry also makes inquiries to physicians if the document does not contain sufficient information to select the underlying cause of death. After collecting the initial data, registry also compares them with other databases.

COVID-19 is chosen for the underlying cause of death if the physician who determined the cause of death reported it or the pneumonia caused by it as a fatal condition. The number of COVID-19 deaths in NIHD Estonian Causes of Death Registry is lower than the number of COVID-19 positive deaths from the Estonian Health Board, as the Board publishes the deaths data of people who had COVID-19 test positive before determining the underlying cause of death.

The total number of deaths, which also reflect the deaths of Estonians abroad, is published and analysed by Statistics Estonia. Different rates are used to estimate changes and differences in mortality, considering the sex and age composition of the population and the total population.

The absolute number of deaths is suitable for short-term statistics, but conclusions can only be drawn by comparing the rates.

Statistics in the database: Preliminary data of causes of death by sex and month