The share of ethnic Estonians in the country’s population has increased to 65 percent, up by 3.5 percent since the 1989 Soviet census, while the share of Russians has declined to 28 percent, down 2.5 percent since 1989. The trend is being attributed to a higher birth rate and lower emigration rate among Estonians as compared to Russians. In absolute terms, however, the number of ethnic Estonians has actually declined since 1989 by 13,000, and now stands at 950,000 of the country’s total population of 1,462,000. That total has declined by more than 100,000 since 1989. (BNS, September 2) The situation helps explain the reservations toward mass naturalization of the settler population on the part of one of Europe’s smallest nations. The data, just released by Estonia’s Statistics Department, were compiled in early 1997.
Lukashenka Bids for Russian Communist Support.