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  • Author or Editor: Toivo U Raun x
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Two population tables, which were to have accompanied my article in the pre- vious issue of Hungarian Studies (14/2 [2000], 275–284), were inadvertently omitted. They are published here as an appendix to that text. Tables 1 and 2 provide an overview of the evolution of the ethnic composition of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania since the interwar era. They indicate a notable divergence in demographic trends in Lithuania in comparison with the other two Baltic states. Despite suffering the same kinds of population losses in World War II and under Stalinism as the Estonians and Latvians, the Lithuanians displayed a strong demographic dynamism, based on higher birth rates, and maintained a re- markably stable share of the total population of their country. On the other hand, demographic growth in Estonia and Latvia had already slowed considerably by the interwar period, and the native population in those two countries was much less able to withstand the disasters of the 1940s. It is striking that in 1989 there were fewer Estonians in Estonia and Latvians in Latvia than in the 1930s. It is also noteworthy that the number of ethnic Russians in Latvia throughout the Soviet era was more than double the combined corresponding figure for Estonia and Lithua- nia, a phenomenon that reflected Riga™s attractiveness and size as the one true metropolis in the Baltic states.

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This article offers a comparative perspective on the impact of the rapid development of the Baltic cities of Riga and Tallinn (Ger. Reval) from the 1860s to the eve of the First World War in 1914. In many ways typical East-Central European cities, Riga and Tallinn had been dominated by a Baltic German elite for centuries until the middle of the nineteenth century. In the six-decade period until the collapse of the tsarist regime the population of the two cities mushroomed and their ethnic composition changed drastically, especially as Latvians and Estonians increasingly chose the urban option. Adapting to this growing multiethnic diversity provided a challenge for both cities in the last decades of the Russian Empire. Various forms of modernization, including industrialization, expanded trade, and new access to various options in the free professions, afforded the opportunity for upward social mobility. In the contest for hegemony between the Russian and German languages Latvian and Estonian found a niche for themselves, also buoyed by their rapidly growing numbers. Even some local political change transpired in the last years of the Russian Empire.

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