Estonia's health geography : West versus east - an ethnic approach

by Agnarson, Lars

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose with this essay is to explore the social changes in relation to changes in mortality for the two largest ethnic groups in Estonia; ethnic Estonians and the Russian minority. Since this is a geographical essay, my purpose is also to explore these changes in relation to the country’s internal geography. As these changes appear over time in space, the content is partly rooted in a time geographical point of view. It is also rooted in a regional geographical point of view, since I have been comparing the mentioned changes between different areas in Estonia (with considerations on developments abroad).Two different development lines can be seen as a consequence of the social changes taking place in the 1990s. While the ethnic Estonians situation has improved, the Russian minority’s situation has instead declined regarding to social existence and health. As a result the mortality has increased enormously for the Russian minority. The ethnic Estonians had also a mortality increase in practically all studied causes of death in all studied areas, but this increase wasn’t as high as for the Russian minority. Nevertheless, when comparing two different counties with each other as well as with the country as whole, the pattern seems to be more complicated. The Russians living in the western county of Läänemaa, have been affected more favourably by the social change than those living in the north-eastern county of Ida-Virumaa. Except for mortality by alcohol poisoning, the Russians living in Läänemaa had a much lower mortality increase than those living in Ida-Viruma and even compared with the country as whole.It seems as those Russians living in the western parts of Estonia have been affected more favourably than those living in the north-eastern parts. These structures are very much depending on the history, since most of the Russians living in the north-eastern area immigrated during the Soviet era, while the western parts had a much earlier immigration of Russians. Considering the time and place of the Russian immigration, one can divide the Russian minority in two groups; those in the west, and those in the east.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Södertörns högskola

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:medical geography health human time regional estonia social change mortality


Date of Publication:06/09/2005

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