Cultural consumption and participation studies are carried out by the Estonian Institute of Economic Research and in some sectors also by Statistics Estonia. The latest study in the form of a survey was carried out by Estonian Statistics in 2017. The survey was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and its methodological basis is ESSnet Culture, the framework for harmonized European cultural statistics. A sample of 10 000 Estonian residents aged 15 or over who have been randomly selected were invited to participate in the cultural participation survey.
While the population aged 20-64 attending Estonian cultural institutions in 2009-2010 decreased compared to period before the economic crisis, in 2011 it started to increase again. In 2009-2010, museums became the most popular cultural institutions, with 59% of the population aged 20-64 attending, and in 2011 the performing arts took first place.
In 2017, 78.7% of the questioned population participated in cultural activities. Cinema was the most popular activity with 50,6% and the total number of visits was close to 3,5 million a year. Concerts follow with 49,6% and theatre visits with 41,2%. Considering the size of the population (1,315 million in January 1,2017) and the number of theatre visits (in 2017 total 1,163 million theatre visits), Estonia has topped Europe and the entire world for years. In 2017, libraries were visited by 37,5% and art galleries by 17,9% of those questioned in the survey.
In 2018, museums were visited under 3,4 million times.
Especially during the summer season, there are quite a number of summer tours and music festivals in Estonia, which attract many music and culture lovers. According to Statistics Estonia’s cultural participation survey, in 2017 every second Estonian attended a concert. One out of four concert attenders visited some folk music festival. The average visitor is a 48 years old women, and one in five attenders is retired.
According to the Estonian Statistics’ database, the total number of amateurs participating in permanent hobby groups was 83 205 at the end of 2018. In 2013, these amateurs were members of 2 772 institutions and organisations and they had 4 763 conductors, tutors and coaches (see chapter 6.4 for more information and data).
Table 4: Population and participation of cultural activities during 12 months period at least once (in % of the population), 2015 and 2017.
|2015 (%)||2017 (%)|
|Persons having participated in cultural activities (excl. sports events)||84,4||78,7|
|Art gallery visits||24,9||17,9|
|Cultural site visits||56,0||38,3|
|Literary event visits||7,5||5,2|
|Handicraft event visits||32,6||15,4|
|Participation in other cultural events||39,0||6,8|
Estonian Statistics, 2016 and 2018