Estonian Human Development Report 2016/2017

Human Development Report 2016/2017 “Estonia in the Age of Migration” is readable online in both Estonian and English on
Main messages of the report are available also in Russian.

Follow the news related to the Human Development Report here.


Main messages of the Human Development Report 2016/2017

  1. Well-being and immigration are closely related to each other and, according to the human development index, human well-being in Estonia in the last 25 years is one of the fastest growing in Europe.
  2. Therefore, an image of Estonia as a country of emigration is now crumbling; there are more and more people who want to live in Estonia.
  3. Immigration cannot be a magic wand that will solve all the problems in Estonia.
  4. Estonia is pressing to adopt so-called a Cinderella-type migration policy, which is not viable. Cinderella did all the unpleasant work in the stepfamily, but she did not succeed in integrating into the family. If we look at the recent history of Estonia and to what is happening in other European cities, we can see how problematic a Cinderella-type immigration policy is.
  5. We have to consider immigration; however, the cornerstone of economic sustainability, in particular, is climbing up the value chain, which will also increase the tax revenue.
  6. The base of demographic sustainability is, primarily, a family policy, and there cannot be too much of this. A housing policy is one of the unused measures.
  7. Cultural and lingual sustainability can be assured if we take a broader view of the Estonian identity. In the migration era, the Estonian identity is no longer uniquely linked to the territory of Estonia. Today, Estonia is a multinational country, with its interconnected villages and towns both abroad and in Estonia.

Compilation process

At the end of 2015, the Estonian Cooperation Assembly dedicated the theme of the 2016/2017 Estonian Human Development Report to the global Estonian identity, along with its nature, extent and impact on the development of Estonia and its nationhood. Two drafts were submitted for the tender to fill the post of the editor-in-chief of the report, and the Council of Cooperation Assembly has chosen the draft submitted by Tiit Tammaru, professor of population and national geography, along with co-editors Raul Eamets and Kristina Kallas. Their submission dealt with the global Estonian identity through the impact of cultural migration, demographic processes and socio-economic developments.

In a press release, Tiit Tammaru, editor-in-chief of the report, explains the theme in more detail: “Challenges connected to migration are real all across Europe. In addition to the migration crisis, living, working or studying for a shorter or longer period is more and more prevalent in other countries. Along with the co-editors, I would like to contribute to the emotive debate over migration and changing Estonian identity, and help channel it into a calmer form. In the Human Development Report, we would like to explain the changes that are occurring to Estonian migration and discuss what kind of lingual and cultural effects it brings”.

The editors of the Human Development Report, which will be published in the spring of 2017 in Estonian and English, are Allan Puur, Rein Ahas, Anu Realo, Anna Verschik and Marek Tamm. The research institutions involved include the University of Tartu, Tallinn University, Institute of the Estonian Language and Tallinn University of Technology.

In August 2016, the Council of Cooperation Assembly approved Olari Koppel as a reviewer of the report; Koppel has a rich editing experience and is the head of the office of Chancellor of Justice.   He was chosen due to his previous work as an editor and head of the Cooperation Assembly, which proves his work experience in publishing previous human development reports and will assure the high quality and credibility of the Human Development Report 2016/2017.

By the end of 2016, the manuscript draft of the report was prepared and stringent editorial work of the articles is currently being carried out. According to the reviewer, the report, which will appear at the beginning of June 2017, will contain many original messages that provide a comprehensive overview of the difficulties and further opportunities for Estonia in relation to diversifying migration.

The Estonian Human Development Report is a report about the unique socio-economic development of Estonia, and it is published every two years. The report is drawn up by recognised researchers and can be used as a basis for decision making in politics, economy and other fields. Human Development Report have been published by the Estonian Cooperation Assembly since 2006.