Estonian Health Interview Survey


Active movement – an intense physical activity, as jogging, ball games, swimming and skating, also gardening.

Alcohol dose – equals with 10 grams of absolute alcohol. 1 alcohol dose equals with 1 bottle of light beer (0.5 l), glass of wine (100 g) or a shot of strong alcohol (30 g).

At least one limitation in performing usual activities – limitations of at least one self-care or housework activity.

Body mass index – the body mass index (BMI) was found by dividing the body weight (kg) by the height (m) square. Pregnant women were asked to record their pre-pregnant weight. To evaluate the BMI, a scale was used as the basis:

Depression – an emotional status which main characteristics are mood changes, decreased interest and zest for life and loss of energy. Based on the prevalence of depression symptoms (feeling of sadness, loss of interest, feeling of worthlessness, self-accusations, thoughts of suicide, feeling lonely, hopelessness, impossible to enjoy things) during the last four weeks respondents are distributed into groups with and without depression. See for additional information here about Emotional State Questionnaire EST-Q.

Economic activity/status – 'economically active' are all who participate in labour market or in military service, as well as working old-age pensioners. Unemployed, non-working pensioners, students, domestic and incapacitated pensioners are considered to be economically inactive.

Educational level – the highest level of education completed by the time of the survey. People with higher education have graduated higher educational institution and their average study period is 15–16 years. According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011 vocational education based on general secondary education is considered equal to the first level of vocational higher education and is presented under higher education. People with secondary education have graduated high school, gymnasium or some other educational institution that provides secondary education and their average study period is 10–14 years. A group with basic education or with lower educational level is formed by those persons who have not acquired the secondary education (including persons without primary education).

Emotional distress – the status when a person feels several negative disturbing emotions at the same time, especially tension, anxiety, mood decline, to which asthenia and sleeping disorders are often added. The individual’s emotional distress is assessed by the Emotional State Questionnaire EST-Q which is elaborated according to the diagnostic criteria of depression and anxiety disorders that are presented in the international classification of mental disorders.

Functional limitations – restrictions on bodily functions such as hearing, seeing, moving in daily activities.

Health insurance status – data of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund on the health insurance of the respondents as of the end of the year.

Household – the term refers to all individuals who live in the same dwelling and share to some extent the joint budget which is usually the food budget. The household can also have only one member. Persons who are temporarily away (due to their work, studies or military service) are considered as the household members in case they have retained economic relations with their household. In case the household member is temporarily (less than 4 months) in the nursing home, he also belongs to the household.

Injury or poisoning – trauma that has occurred either as a result of an accident or intentional action.

Limitation in daily activities – the existence and severity of long-term health restrictions (lasting more than 6 months). Difficulty with the activities that people do on a daily basis (work, study, housework, taking care of themselves, communicating or spending free time). Significantly limited people need the help of other people on a daily basis to cope. Limited, but not significantly people do not require assistance on a daily basis.

Nationality – depends on a person’s self-definition and is not unambiguously related to the person's mother tongue, but should be in accordance with at least one of his or her parents' nationality.

Person in need of constant assistance – a person who due to his or her state of health is unable to cope independently with daily activities such as shopping, cooking or taking care of oneself, and therefore needs assistance. Excluding the care of infants.

Residence/region – the statistical classification of Estonian territorial units NUTS 3 is used to define the region.

Regular smoking – daily (or practically daily) smoking for at least one consecutive year.

Relative poverty threshold – 60% of the national median equalized disposable income for household members. According to Statistics Estonia, the relative poverty threshold in 2006 was 222.35 Euros (3479 Estonian kroons) and in 2019 it was 611.4 Euros per month.

Self-assessed/self-perceived health – a person's own assessment of their state of health, e.g. the answer to the question "How is your health in general?".

Settlement type – a town settlement is an administrative unit which population density is more than 100 people per square kilometer. The administrative unit with a lower population density is considered to be a rural area.


The Estonian Health Interview Survey (ETeU), which is conducted regularly with a representative sample, provides knowledge about the health and coping of the Estonian adult population. Residents aged 15 and older are interviewed. The sample and organization of the survey are described in the overview of the methodology of the respective year.

The first Estonian Health Interview Survey was conducted in 1996/1997, subsequent surveys in 2006, 2014 and 2019. A new survey wave will follow in 2025.

The aim of ETeU is to assess the health status of the Estonian population, the factors influencing it, the restrictions caused by health, the need for assistance, the use of health care services and to compare the results with previous surveys. The data provide an opportunity to guide health policy on a evidence-based. The following topics are included:

  1. General data on the household and household members
  2. Health status
  3. Accidents and injuries
  4. Mental health
  5. Emotional feeling
  6. Physical and sensory functional limitations
  7. Taking care of yourself
  8. Housework
  9. Preventive actions
  10. Sexual behavior
  11. Studies and work
  12. Place of residence
  13. Childhood home
  14. Social support
  15. Use of outpatient care
  16. Use of hospital and day care
  17. Use of medicines
  18. Smoking, alcohol consumption
  19. Drug use
  20. Weight, growth and physical activity, eating habits
  21. Attitudes

Registry variables from administrative sources are linked to the database of the 2014 and 2019 survey questionnaire data. Information on the linked variables can be found in the survey methodology publication for the respective year.

ETeU questionnaires are published on the NIHD website:

Based on the results, the health of Estonians can be compared with other European countries, as the survey is part of the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS). ETeU2019 was the third wave of the EHIS.

Statistics Estonia conducted the ETeU2019 survey in accordance with the accuracy requirements of the European Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/255. In addition to the requirements of the Regulation, the survey was conducted on the basis of methodological guidance material developed for this purpose in co-operation between Eurostat and national representatives:

Information about the European Health Interview Survey and a description of the methodology are available on the Eurostat website.


Code ".." in datatables indicates non-disclosure – If the number of respondents in the respective group is less than 15, the result will not be published.


Ruuge M, Sokurova D. Eesti Terviseuuring 2019. Metoodika ülevaade. Tallinn: National Institute for Health Development; 2022. (.pdf) summary in English

Ruuge M, Matsi A, Oja L. Estonian Health Interview Survey 2014. Methodological Report. Tallinn: National Institute for Health Development; 2019. (.pdf)

Matsi A, Oja L. Eesti Terviseuuring 2006. Tabelid / Estonian Health Interview Survey 2006. Tables. Tallinn: National Institute for Health Development; 2009. (.pdf)

Oja L, Matsi A, Leinsalu M. Eesti Terviseuuring 2006. Metodoloogiaülevaade / Estonian Health Interview Survey 2006. Methodological Report. Tallinn: National Institute for Health Development; 2008. (.pdf)

Leinsalu M, Grintšak M, Noorkõiv R, Silver B. Eesti terviseuuring. Metodoloogiaülevaade / Estonian Health Interview Survey. Methodological Report. Tallinn: Institute of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, 1998. (.pdf)


Estonian Health Interview Survey 2006, 2014 and 2019 additional info and questionnaires (in Estonian)


Estonian Health Interview Survey 2014 and 2019

National Institute for Health Development

Mare Ruuge Mare.Ruuge[at]


Statistics Estonia

Karina Valma Karina.Valma[at]

Please contact with Statistics Estonia to apply use of Estonian Health Interview Survey 2014 and 2019 data for scientific purposes,
additional information:


Estonian Health Interview Survey 2006

National Institute for Health Development

Leila Oja Leila.Oja[at]


Updated: 16.05.2024