During the first decade of Estonia's independence from the Soviet Union, the small Baltic nation lost 200,000 people due to the low birth rate and mass emigration of people employed in Soviet companies. The steady decline has continued since the country joined the European Union in 2004.
However, the statistics service said the population reduction was less than in recent years, due to a slightly higher birth rate.
During the 1990s, live births registered in Estonia dropped from 19,300 per year to 13,000. Estonian authorities and the United Nations expect the country's depopulation trend to continue for the foreseeable future, raising serious issues for both the economy and society.
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News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.