Estonian household income and expenditure surveys 1952-1989

Martin Klesment, Estonian Interuniversity Population Research Centre

The poster describes an on-going project of data creation for historical socio-economic studies. It is based on household income and expenditure surveys conducted in post-WWII Estonia. One of the main problems in assessing XX century Estonian development is inadequate information on population's economic activities and living standard during the Soviet period of 1945–1991. Statistics of this period did not work according to international standards and methods, thus most international comparisons are not feasible. As a result there are no reliable living standard estimates for the Soviet period. The data for such studies need to be collected. Household income and expenditure surveys were carried out annually and original survey sheets preserved, which retains the possibility to return to original data. Therefore the present project focuses on retrieving the data from original survey sheets and organizing it for analysis. The collected data are very detailed, divided into approximately 10 sub-categories, and consisted of several hundred variables for every month. Same families were studied for years, thus offering a unique income and consumption development trends. This income and expenditure data can provide probably the best available information on Estonian private consumption composition and its trend during the Soviet period. Also, income and expenditure data can be analysed together with variables from the same source that describe people’s living conditions, field of occupation, proportions of work hours in state and private production, and demographic characteristics such as age, marital status, residence in household etc. For demographic purposes it is important to note that these surveys distinguished immigrant population and most of above mentioned aspects of living standards can be followed and compared separately for immigrant and non-immigrant population. The poster introduces the project and its results to the present.

Presented in Poster Session 3