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EACEA National Policies Platform



Last update: 20 December 2023

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 Sector Development Plan 2021-2035 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 (before 2020 - Youth Affairs Department). 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 2020, 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 incorporated 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 (01.01.2022)

The age group of young people Total Young Men Young Women
7-14 years 119,366 61,058 58,308
15-19 years 66,578 34,083 32,495
20-24 years 62,027 32,060 29,967
25-26 years 26,702 13,808 12,894
TOTAL 274,673 141,009 133,664


The total population of Estonia is 1,331,796 (data from 01.01.2022), the young people make up 20,6% 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].