The number of people in Estonia with ‘undetermined citizenship’ – held mainly by the country’s Russian-speaking residents that were not automatically given the Estonian passport after the collapse of the USSR – has fallen below 70,000.
According to the population register data quoted by Estonian public broadcaster ERR News, 69,993 stateless people lived in Estonia as of July 1 this year, constituting around 6 percent of the country’s 1.3 million people in total. The stateless population in Estonia includes mainly Russian-speaking residents who arrived to the country during the Soviet occupation and stayed there after the collapse of the USSR.In 1991, the government decided that the citizenship of the newly independent Estonia would be automatically extended only to those who were its citizens before the occupation in 1940, as well as their descendants.
At the beginning of the year, more than 71,000 people lived in Estonia with undetermined citizenship. In 2010, the non-citizen population in the Baltic country exceeded 99,000.
The latest data also showed that there were 133 people aged 18 or younger living in Estonia with undetermined citizenship, compared to 1,914 in 2010.