Finland experiences unprecedented birth rate collapse

EPA/LUIS TEJIDO

A Finnish mother looks after her baby as she attends the FIBA Basketball World Cup match Group C match between Finland and Ukraine at Bizkaia Arena (BEC) sports pavilion in Bilbao, Basque Country, northern Spain, 31 August 2014.

Finland experiences unprecedented birth rate collapse


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Finland’s birth rate is freefalling by 7% year on year, according to the national Statistics Finland office.

The sharp drop in the first quarter is the climax of a trend that has been going on for six years. The birth rate in Finland has slipped below the EU average and much below neighbouring countries such as Sweden and Norway.

Births in Finland fell below the 50,000 thresholds in 2016 to little over 48,000. That will be the worst birth rate since the Finnish famine of 1866–1868. The downward trend continues.

The downward trend continues in 2017.

The decline is attributed to deteriorating employment conditions, despite rises in employment. Moreover, the absence of suitable partners, the cost of living in urban centers, and political decisions have made parenthood more of a challenge. The result is a shock for Finnish demographics, although the population continues to grow, mainly due to longer life expectancy and immigration. The medium to long term concern is the change of ratio between the economically active population and dependents.

The medium to long term concern is the change of ratio between the economically active population and dependents, particularly pensions and health care.

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