e-⁠residents overtake the population of tartu

    E-⁠Residency recently welcomed our 94,892nd e-⁠resident - meaning there are now more e-⁠residents than the population of Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia

    Tartu Town Hall on a blue sky day with a few white clouds
    Tartu Town Hall

    E-⁠Residency Press Release, 31 August 2022

    "Today, the virtual community of Estonia’s e-residents spans the entire world – they come from 176 countries and in a way each of them is an envoy of Estonia. As at the end of August 2022, the number of e-Estonians exceeds the population of Tartu*, meaning that e-residents would make up Estonia's second largest city by population. As a unique diaspora, this sprawling community is akin to the international university town of Tartu" commented Lauri Haav, Managing Director of the Estonian e-⁠Residency programme.

    "Just as the people born in Tartu or those that pursued their higher education in this town, will always carry a piece of it in their hearts, so will e-residents always carry a piece of Estonia with them."

    Lauri Haav, e-Residency Managing Director

    Launched 8 years ago, the e-⁠Residency programme has generated over 100 million euros in tax revenue for Estonia, and has become one of the main calling cards for this small but innovative country. According to Haav, Estonia's open business environment, minimal bureaucracy, and public e-services are something that Estonians have grown accustomed to, but these things are still quite unique on the global scale.

    Going forward, and taking guidance from the programme’s new growth strategy, the e-Residency team plans to focus on encouraging more e-residents to start businesses and establish companies. "Our main goal is not reaching a certain target number of e-residents, instead we are interested in fostering companies that are successful, pay taxes, and provide jobs," explained Haav.

    "We are currently focused on running awareness campaigns in Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. In addition, a growing number of Ukrainians are also seeking out this opportunity. We work together with supervisory authorities to investigate the backgrounds and motives of new applicants.

    "We welcome honest and transparent entrepreneurship."

    Lauri Haav, e-Residency Managing Director

    Currently, approximately a third of e-⁠residents set up businesses in Estonia. In total, e-⁠residents have established more than 22,000 companies with a total turnover of more than 10 billion euros. Around 20% of all new companies and 28% of startups established annually are founded with the participation of e-⁠residents. What is more, e-⁠resident companies have created more than 3,600 jobs in Estonia.

    Thus far, the total direct economic impact of the e-⁠Residency programme for the Estonian state – in terms of tax revenue and state fees – is about 114 million euros. As a result of the successful implementation of the programme’s growth strategy, the total direct contribution to the national budget is expected to increase by another quarter of a billion euros by the end of 2025.

    Estonia also enjoys indirect gains from the programme, such as an enhanced global image and the growth of and investment into Estonian companies providing services to e-⁠residents. In 2021, the direct economic revenue generated by the e-⁠Residency programme amounted to 35.2 million euros. The e-⁠Residency programme has significantly contributed to Estonia’s global image as an innovative digital pioneer. The international media coverage generated throughout the programme’s history is estimated to be 385 million euros.

    *The publicly reported population of Tartu. This figure does not include the 1,464 Ukrainian refugees currently living in Tartu.

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