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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki



Youth Policy in Estonia

General Information

The youth field (youth policy and youth work) in Estonia is defined by many legal acts. According to the Youth Work Act a young person is a natural person between the ages of 7 and 26. The Youth Field Development Plan 2014-2020 outlines the strategic goals in the field of youth. See more in Chapters 1.1. and 1.3.

Level of Policy-Making for Youth Policy

The institution in charge of youth is the Ministry of Education and Research and to be exact, the Department of Youth and Talent Policy. The main goals of the department are connected with developing legislation, ensuring purposefulness and consistency, planning of resources, ensuring cohesiveness and holding a public dialogue with partners regarding the implementation of youth policy. Since 1st of August, the national agency responsible for the implementation of education and youth policy, is the Education and Youth Board. The institution was established on the basis of the services of Innove FoundationArchimedes FoundationInformation Technology Foundation for Education and Estonian Youth Work Centre.

According to the Local Government Organisation Act, the local governments have a key role in organizing the topics related to local life, including youth work. Most of the financing of youth work comes also from the budget and own income of the local municipalities. See more in Chapter 1.4.


Status of youth policy in the general policy-making

The youth policy in Estonia is well established and has been a special policy field almost since the adoption of the Youth Work Act in 1999. The term youth policy was first used in the Estonian Youth Work Concept, which was adopted in 2001..

Statistics of the target group (01.01.2020)

Age group of young peopleTotalYoung MenYoung Women
7-14 years119,45961,41158,048
15-19 years62,91732,21630,701
20-24 years63,05132,35730,694
25-26 years28,44414,76213,682


The total population of Estonia is 1 328 976 (data from 01.01.2020), the young people make up almost 21% of the whole population.

Ratio of young people in the total population on 1st January

Ratio of men and women in the youth population

Statistic references


Ratio (%) of young people in the total population (2017): Eurostat, yth_demo_020 [data extracted on 4/09/2018].

Absolute number of young people on 1 January for the age group 15-29 (2017): Eurostat, yth_demo_010 [data extracted on 4/09/2018].

Ratio (%) of men and women in the youth population (2017): Eurostat, yth_demo_020 [data extracted on 4/09/2018].

Young immigrants from non-EU countries (2016): Eurostat, yth_demo_070 [data extracted on 4/09/2018].