Patheos Watermark

You are running a very outdated version of Internet Explorer. Patheos and most other websites will not display properly on this version. To better enjoy Patheos and your overall web experience, consider upgrading to the current version of Internet Explorer. Find more information HERE.

Population (2009 est.)1,299,371
Religious DemographicsEvangelical Lutheran 13.6%, Orthodox 12.8%, other Christian (including Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Pentacostal) 1.4%, unaffiliated 34.1%, other and unspecified 32%, none 6.1% (2000 census)
Ethnic GroupsEstonian 67.9%, Russian 25.6%, Ukrainian 2.1%, Belarusian 1.3%, Finn 0.9%, other 2.2% (2000 census)
LanguagesEstonian (official) 67.3%, Russian 29.7%, other 2.3%, unknown 0.7% (2000 census)

The country has an area of 17,666 square miles and a population of 1.34 million (including 68.7 percent ethnic Estonian, 25.6 percent Russian, 2 percent Ukrainian, 1.2 percent Belarusian, and 0.8 percent Finnish). Less than one-third of the population are members of Christian congregations. According to statistics provided by congregations, the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church has 165 congregations with an estimated 180,000 members. The Estonian Orthodox Church, subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate (EOCMP), has 30 congregations with approximately 200,000 members, and the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church (EAOC) has 64 congregations with an estimated 27,000 members. Groups that each constitute fewer than 5 percent of the population include Roman Catholics, Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Pentecostals, Old Believers, Methodists, and other religious groups. There is a Jewish community of approximately 2,500 members in Tallinn, a community center, day school, museum, and a synagogue. There are also small communities of Muslims, Buddhists, and other religious groups. Only 14 percent of persons polled answered positively to the question, "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" according to a Gallop poll released in February 2009.

The ethnic Estonian majority is mainly Lutheran, while most religious adherents among the Russian-speaking population, who mainly reside in the capital or the northeastern part of the country, are Orthodox.