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Contemporary demographic developments in Estonia: In search of pathways towards a more sustainable society (2018 - 2022)

This is a study of contemporary demographic developments in Estonia with a focus on sub-replacement fertility and population ageing. The general objective of the project is to gain an improved understanding of the trends in and patterns of the respective processes in Estonia since the beginning of the 21st century, viewed against the backdrop of concurrent developments in other European countries. In order to provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the observed patterns, the project would pay systematic attention to the experience of sub-populations as shaped by the interplay of individual and contextual factors. The project would draw on newly constructed longitudinal datasets based on administrative registers and comparative surveys (SHARE, EU-SILC, GGS). Evidence obtained from the project would be expected to enhance the knowledge base for policies aimed at supporting societal sustainability.


Early demographic modernisation in Estonia: a micro-level study of nineteenth-century rural and urban settings (2017 – 2020)

The existing knowledge about demographic modernisation in Estonia is based on aggregate-level analyses. This project seeks to overcome these limitations. The objective is to investigate demographic modernisation in Estonia in the 19th century, in the context of a more comprehensive societal change (transfer to money rents, sales of farmland to peasants, deepening of the divides among social strata), employing newly developed longitudinal micro-data (Helme Parish 1834–95, Tartu 1850–1900). The connections between various developmental processes would be established from the analysis of social group differentials in demographic outcomes (survival, reproduction, nuptiality), by means of event history modelling. We hypothesise that the early decline in fertility in Estonia was driven by complementary mechanisms, which affected the higher and lower social strata in varying degrees. The project seeks to consolidate the work of younger researchers studying historical demography in Estonia.