Access to health care – persons who during the past 12 months were in a situation where they needed medical attention but for some reason did not receive it, are considered as having experienced problems with access to health care.

At-risk-of-poverty risk – 60% of equalised yearly median income of household members.

Disability free life expectancy – the average number of years an individual is expected to live free of disability if current patterns of mortality and disability continue to apply.

Equalised income – the total household income, which is divided by a sum of equivalence scales of all household members.

Household’s disposable income – a sum of income from wage labour, benefits and losses from self-employment, property income, social transfers, regular inter-household cash transfers received and receipts for tax adjustment of which inter-household cash transfers paid, taxes on wealth and repayments for tax adjustment have been subtracted.

Income quintile – for the calculation income quintiles household members are ranked by equalised income and allocated to five groups so that the lowest quintile contains one fifth of the persons with the lowest income, etc.

Rural settlements – include small towns and villages.

Urban settlements – include cities, cities without municipal status and towns.


Statistics are calculated on the basis of the Estonian Social Survey data. Social Survey is a sample survey designed to obtain comparative and reliable statistics on income distribution, living conditions and social exclusion at European level. All Member States and a few countries not belonging to the EU are involved in the survey. Statistics Estonia runs the survey since the year 2004; pilot surveys were organized in the period 2002–2003.

All households living permanently in Estonia are considered as the surveyed population. Persons living in institutional households (children’s homes, care homes, convents) are excluded. All published estimates have been calculated for the total population (or for the population of a respective region). The size of respective populations has been determined on the basis of the estimated total population provided by Statistics Estonia. Due to rounding and missing values, the column sums are not always equal with the total; the difference may be up to some last decimal places.

Sampling is carried through among the records of the Population Register, whereas the sampling frame consists of people 14 years old and older. The sampling of persons is carried out by geographically stratified systematic sampling procedure, i.e. independent sub-samples are drawn separately from the non-overlapping subpopulations called strata. Each person is included with his or her household and all members of this household aged 15 or more are interviewed.

Each household is to be interviewed four times, the rotation period is 12 months, whereas every year part of the sample is replaced. Thus, during the year the survey is cross-sectional which guarantees higher accuracy of estimates while using the given sample size. The interviews carried out with households in four consecutive years will allow getting more precise estimates of changes occurred over the years.

Sampling weights are inverses of inclusion probabilities. To compensate for the non-response and frame errors the weights are corrected using post-stratification. Additionally, the weights are calibrated on demographic data in order to assure the correspondence of certain estimates with other data sources. To ease the analysis, single missing values are imputed.

Statistics Estonia uses the internationally recommended Sullivan method to calculate disability free life expectancy. The input data for this method include the mean annual population by 5-year sex-age groups; the number of deaths; and the share of people in a healthy condition in these age groups. A healthy condition is defined as one without health-related limitations in daily activities. Population health data were taken from the annual Estonian Social Survey (ESS).


Statistical Classification of Regional Units of Estonia

The regional division used is based on the Statistical Classification of Regional Units of Estonia. The data are published by the following regions:

EE001 Northern Estonia Harju County
EE004 Western Estonia Hiiu, Lääne, Pärnu and Saare Counties
EE006 Central Estonia Järva, Lääne-Viru and Rapla Counties
EE007 Northeastern Estonia Ida-Viru County
EE008 Southern Estonia Jõgeva, Põlva, Tartu, Valga, Viljandi and Võru Counties


Sissetulek ja elamistingimused. Income and Living Conditions. Analytical publication
Eesti sotsiaaluuring. Metoodikakogumik.The Estonian Social Survey. Methodological Report
The concept and calculation of disability-free life expectancy. Quarterly bulletin of Statistics Estonia 1/2012.


Tatjana Portnova
Methodology and Analysis Department
Tel +372 625 8485

Updated: 01.11.2013