TRAMES 3, 1, 1997

Kalev Katus, Allan Puur, and Luule Sakkeus. Development of national minorities. Republic of Estonia up to 1944


Estonia in its history has several times lost its independence to various powers like Germans, Swedes or Russians. Being on the crossroad of trade routes, its cities having belonged to the Hanseatic League, has also initiated several immigration waves. The paper focuses on the formation and fate of five national minorities in Estonia until 1944. National minorities are compared from the viewpoint of their demographic development, concerning mainly their fertility, mortality and nuptiality patterns. The trends of the demographic processes are followed until 1944, while four out of five minorities present in the Republic of Estonia practically disappeared. Ironically, in several cases only survivors of those deported into Siberia and taken into Soviet Army returned to Estonia. Russian minority is the only one, although reduced to one fourth in its size, which has maintained its existence as a national minority until nowadays.

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Kalev Katus, Allan Puur, and Luule Sakkeus
Estonian Interuniversity Population Research Centre
P.O. Box 3012 EE0090 Tallinn, Estonia
Phone: +372 6409451
Fax: +372 6409453