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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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.