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Published: 13 April 2012

Birth rate fell slightly

Corrected on 4 May 2012. The correction is indicated in red. Was previously more.

According to Statistics Finland's data on population changes, the birth rate fell slightly from the previous year, and at the same time ended its slight rising that had started in 2007. At the fertility rate prevailing in 2011, a woman would give birth to an average of 1.83 children during her reproductive period. Since 1969, the birth rate has been below the threshold on population's renewal, which is approximately 2.1 children per woman.

Total fertility rate 1900–2011

Total fertility rate 1900–2011

The number of births just failed to reach 60,000 and was 59,961 children. In 2011, 1,019 fewer children were born than in the year before. Examined by the age of mother, the number of women aged under 34 at confinement was clearly lower than one year earlier. For this reason, there were especially fewer first-time mothers but also fewer women having given birth to their second child than in the previous year. On the other hand, the number of third-time mothers was slightly higher than in the year before, which counterbalanced the fallen number of births.

On the average, the women who gave birth in 2011 were slightly older than one year earlier. The mean age of all women at confinement rose by two decimals and was 30.3 years. By contrast, the mean age at first confinement only rose by one decimal to 28.4 years. During the 2000s, the mean age at first confinement has risen by 0.8 years.

Measured with the total fertility rate, the birth rate was above the rate for the whole country in 13 regions in 2011. The Ostrobothnian regions had the highest relative numbers of births: 2.37 in Central Ostrobothnia, 2.33 in North Ostrobothnia and 2.17 in South Ostrobothnia. The birth rate exceeded the threshold on population's renewal in only these three regions. The lowest average birth rate of 1.65 was recorded in the region of Uusimaa.

Number of live births, total fertility rate and mother's mean age by live births in 2002–2011

Year 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Number of live births   55 555    56 630   57 758   57 745   58 840   58 729   59 530   60 430   60 980   59 961
Total fertility rate 1,72 1,76 1,80 1,80 1,84 1,83 1,85 1,86 1,87 1,83
Mother's mean age by all live births 29,9 30,0 30,0 30,0 30,0 30,0 30,1 30,1 30,1 30,3
Mother's mean age by first live birth  27,7 27,9 27,8 27,9 28,0 28,1 28,2 28,2 28,3 28,4

Source: Population and Cause of Death Statistics. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Timo Nikander (09) 1734 3250,

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 13.4.2012

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Births [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-2413. 2011. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 4.10.2023].
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