The Institute's current research programme is focused on the demographic development during the period of societal transformation in Estonia since 1990, in the context of longer trends. The research projects and analyses encompass a wide range of topics, including fertility behaviour and intentions, partnership formation, intergenerational relations and the ageing of the population, mortality and health, demographic patterns among the population of foreign origin, and other issues. The research programme places the demographic development of the Estonian population in a comparative perspective, in the Baltic and European context. The Institute has invested considerable effort in the development of research databases: from 2005 to 2010, its major activities have included implementation of the Estonian GGS/FFSII survey, the computerisation of individual records of the archival population censuses (1959) and of a series of historical income surveys (1958-1984).

Researchers at the Institute have been successful in securing research funding and they publish regularly in peer-reviewed international journals. They participate in EU projects, and they represent Estonia in several international networks and expert groups. The Institute has initiated Estonia’s participation in several international population research programmes such as SHARE (www.share-project.org , video SHARE explained in 3 minutes) and FFS/GGS (Fertility and Family Surveys/Generations and Gender Surveys). Since 2010, the Institute has been a partner in the EDSD (European Doctoral School of Demography) . It has also developed partnerships with research institutions in population-related fields in Estonia (several Tartu University institutes, the National Institute for Health Development, the National Archive etc).