Finland’s birth rate has declined at such a clip in recent months that researchers have even begun to question the accuracy of their data.
Mika Gissler, a research professor at the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), revealed to YLE on Thursday that the number of births decreased so rapidly at the beginning of the year that researchers at Statistics Finland wanted to compare their data to those of THL.
Statistics Finland’s preliminary data indicate that the number of births decreased by seven per cent year-on-year between January and May.
The decrease has indeed been exceptional, confirms Anna Rotkirch, a research professor at the Family Federation of Finland. “Over the past six years, our birth rate has slipped below the average in Europe. We’ve got a considerably lower birth rate than especially Sweden and Norway,” she commented to the public broadcasting company.
Statistics Finland in April reported that a total of 52,814 children were born in Finland in 2016. It has projected that if the current downward trend continues also in the second half of this year, the number of births will drop below the 50,000 mark for the first time since the famine years of 1866–1868.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi