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Birth rate remains low at end of May

Published : 25 Jun 2020, 01:59

Updated : 25 Jun 2020, 10:04

  DF Report

File Photo Kela.

The total population of the country stood at 5,528,008 at the end of May, according to the Statistics Finland.

The number of births was 4,333 lower than the number of deaths.

The population, however, increased by 2,716 persons during the January-May period.

The reason for the increase was migration gain from abroad, since immigration exceeded emigration by 7,229 persons.

During the January-May period, 19,027 children were born, which is 609 higher than that in the corresponding period of 2019. The number of deaths was 23,360, which is 232 higher than one year before.

According to the preliminary statistics for May, 11,273 persons immigrated to Finland from abroad in January-May and 4,044 persons emigrated from Finland.

The number of immigrants was 875 lower and the number of emigrants 2,419 lower than that in the corresponding period of the previous year. In all, 3,270 of the immigrants and 2,638 of the emigrants were Finnish citizens.

According to the preliminary data, the number of inter-municipal migrations totalled 103,360 during January-May. Compared with the corresponding period in 2019, the increase was 4,606 migrations, according to the municipal division of 2020.

The news agency Xinhua adds: Finland’s Digital and Population Data Services Agency reported on Wednesday that 19,027 children were born in the country between January and May this year, 609 more than in the same period in 2019.

The figures indicate that the prolonged decline in Finland's birth rate is now over, Anna Rotkirch, a leading national population expert, said on Wednesday.

“We are now halfway into the year and birth rates have remained higher than a year ago,” Rotkirch noted. She was appointed this month by the government as an official investigator of the birth rate issue. Besides evaluating the causes of the decline, she is charged with drafting policy directives for correcting the situation.

Commenting on the latest figures in the Finnish language business daily Kauppalehti, Rotkirch noted that the number of women giving birth at around the age of 30 has been on the rise.

“This indicates that optimism is gradually returning,” she said, citing the pre-coronavirus economic upswing as one reason.

Rotkirch told the Kauppalehti that despite the recent increase in the birth rate, the preceding years’ negative trend means that the number of school starters in the 2020s will be lower than in the previous decades. This change will also affect the housing market.

Rotkirch also noted that this situation is not unique to Finland, as 15 other countries and regions in the world have a comparably low birth rate.

In 2019, the birth rate in Finland reached a record low since the famine years of the 1860s, with 45,600 children born in that year. The fertility rate (average number of children per woman) was 1.35, the lowest since records began.