Petteri Orpo (NCP), the Minister of Finance, has admitted to being alarmed by the sharp decline in the number of births in Finland in the 2000s.
“I am increasingly concerned about young men,” he wrote on Facebook on Monday. “The employment rate for 25–34-year-old men – men who are in the best age to start a family – has decreased in the 2000s at the same pace as the birth rate. This is a big problem at both the personal and societal level.”
Talouselämä on Friday drew attention to the parallels between the decline in the number of births and the employment rate for young men in Finland.
Helsingin Sanomat, meanwhile, pointed out that both numbers have fallen well short of demographic projections, which form the basis of political decision making and structural reforms including the pension reform and the social, health care and regional government reform.
Orpo suggested the problem may partly be attributable to differences in the academic performance of boys and girls.
“Boys struggle to do well in school, and too many are left with no post-primary qualifications. Girls fare better, and they consequently do not even meet one another. This is already evident in the birth statistics, as fewer children are born in Finland than ever before in the past 150 years,” he highlighted.
The Finnish government, he added, has already proposed measures to address the problem, such as the reform of early-childhood and vocational education. The reforms have been rejected as spending cuts by opposition parties.
Orpo also insisted that the government must nonetheless take action to help young men in Finland.
“Nothing good ever came of a lonely young man with nothing to do and no faith in the future. Neither for himself, nor for others. We cannot afford to blame them, but we must afford to help them,” he stated.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi