COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
Print this Page
EN DE FR  ||  About Us | Contact | Legal Notice Council of Europe LOGO  ERICarts LOGO
Print this Page
EN DE FR  Council of Europe LOGO  ERICarts LOGO

Estonia/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation  

8.2.1 Trends and figures

The introduction of political democracy, freedom of speech, market economy, and political independence during the revolutionary period from 1988 to 1991, profoundly changed the role of cultural life in society. From having been fulfilling political and compensatory functions, cultural life lost some of the appeal it had gained due to the specific circumstances of the Soviet regime. The change was reflected by statistics on the population's participation in cultural life. Most indicators show a sharp decline around 1992-1993, and after that, a stabilisation or slow revival. It should be noted however, that despite the overall decline, the average level of cultural participation in Estonia is still relatively high in international comparison. This is confirmed by the results of a survey commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and conducted in 2003 and 2006, and by similar results from time use surveys regularly conducted by the Statistical Office of Estonia, most recently in 2009-2010. According to the survey respondents, high prices of cultural services and the geographical distance along with problems in organising transportation are the main obstacles for more active participation in cultural life. Around 60% of respondents aged 20-64 years old had participated in amateur cultural activities during the previous 12 months (see Table 8 below). The most usual activities were crafts or construction (48%) and photography (43%). 9% sang and 5% played a musical instrument at least once a week. The findings also suggested that a steep decline in participation has taken place during the last ten years; this conclusion is, nevertheless, not supported by trends in participation data collected from cultural institutions (see Table 9 below). The problem may be, however, that some social groups have become increasingly marginalised both with respect to their participation in cultural activities, and to their consumption of culture products. According to results from other surveys, this particularly concerns elderly people outside the capital and provincial centres. There also seems to be great variance in consumption levels between different income groups. Large communities of non-Estonian people (mainly Russian speakers) have become more alienated from cultural life than ethnic Estonians, with the exception of some fields of culture (see also chapter 4.2.4).

A fragmentation of the population into active and non-active participants in cultural life seems to have taken place. Although this growing inequality of opportunities for participation in cultural life has been recognised by cultural policy decision-makers, they lack the instruments to counteract this trend, which is more a direct result of the overall development of society than a matter of cultural policy.

Table 8:     Participation in at least one cultural activity (except sports) during the last 12 months, percentages

 

At least once a week

Less than once a week

Never

Total in %
(in number of persons)

36.1
(430 500)

36.1
(430 600)

27.7
(330 500)

Males

29.8

38.7

31.5

Females

41.4

34.0

24.6

Estonians

38.2

35.8

26.0

Other ethnicities

31.6

36.9

31.5

Aged 10-17

55.5

28.1

16.4

Aged 18-24

44.4

37.3

18.3

Aged 25-44

37.9

40.2

21.8

Aged 45-64

31.2

38.7

30.1

Aged 65-74

30.5

33.6

35.9

Aged at least 75

23.5

22.5

53.9

Persons with below upper secondary education

35.2

29.0

35.7

Persons with upper secondary education

34.1

38.6

27.4

Persons with tertiary education

40.7

39.0

20.2

Employees within lower income quintile

36.1

34.4

29.5

Employees within second income quintile

34.6

33.8

31.7

Employees within third income quintile

33.5

33.7

32.7

Employees within fourth income quintile

36.6

38.9

24.5

Employees within higher income quintile

40.2

40.7

19.0

Full time employees

34.5

42.8

22.6

Part time employees

46.3

38.0

15.8

Unemployed

33.9

37.3

28.8

Retired

26.6

27.7

45.6

Students

54.1

30.5

15.4

Other inactive

48.0

30.3

21.7

White collar workers

42.6

42.0

15.4

Blue collar workers

28.7

42.3

29.1

Household members with one dependent child

40.0

38.4

21.6

Household members with two or more dependent children

44.7

35.0

20.3

Household members without dependent children

30.6

35.6

33.7

Source:     Statistics Estonia, Estonian Time Use Survey 2009-2010.

Table 9:     Participation in cultural life: selected indicators, selected years 1990-2011

Indicators

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

2011

2011 (per capita)

Registered users of public libraries
(in thousands)

417.3

357.5

449.5

439.7

391.2

389.8

0.30

Library loans (in millions)

8.9

13.6

14.0

11.7

12.1

12.3

9.50

Museum attendance (in thousands)

1 940

975.0

1 539

1 762

2 150

2 666

2.06

Theatre attendance (in thousands;
from 1996 including private theatres)

1 242

908.6

921.2

843.0

899.9

1 008.3

0.78

Cinema attendance (in millions)

10.9

1.0

1.1

1.1

2.1

2.4

1.85

Publishing of books and pamphlets
(in millions of copies)

18.9

7.9

5.9

6.0

5.5

4.4

3.40

Use of Internet , %*

-

-

23.2*

59.2*

70.8**

-

..

Sources:    Statistics Estonia; Peeter Vihalemm (ed.) (2004): Meediasüsteem ja meediakasutus Eestis 1965-2004.
*                 During the last 6 months, % of population aged 15-74.
**              During the last 12 months, % of population aged 10 or older.

As indicated by Table 10, the largest share of private households' cultural expenditure is spent on printed matter (books, newspapers, journals etc.).

Table 10:   Household monthly expenditure on culture, by domain, EUR and percentages, 2010

Items (field / domain)

Household expenditure on culture, in EUR

% share of total
household cultural
expenditure

Printed matter

86

37.3

Audio-visual and music

37

16.1

Performing arts

15

6.3

Visual arts

5

2.1

Cultural heritage

2

0.9

Other culture

86

37.3

TOTAL

230

100

Source:     Statistics Estonia, Estonian Household Budget Survey 2010.


Chapter published: 14-10-2014

Your Comments on this Chapter?