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Rebounding birth rate, increasing immigration raises Finland's population

An "exceptionally high" level of net migration added to the increase in the number of people living in Finland last year.

Births in Finland were up by more than seven percent last year. Image: Jarkko Riikonen / Yle

Finland's rising birth rate and net migration have resulted in the country's population growing by almost 16,000 people last year, according to preliminary data published by Statistics Finland on Thursday.

The number-crunching agency's figures revealed the population of Finland at the end of December was 5,549,599, with the increase driven by two main factors.

Firstly, 49,583 children were born in Finland last year, which is 3,120 more than in 2020. Overall however, deaths last year exceeded births by about 7,700.

The second factor was net migration, as about 22,300 more people moved to Finland than left during 2021. This figure is "exceptionally high", the agency noted. In total, some 34,445 people moved to Finland from abroad last year while 12,140 people emigrated from Finland.

Life expectancy increases for boys, reduces for girls

The data also revealed that Finland's death rate was at its highest level since 1944, and the number of deaths among women was the highest since 1919.

The overall death toll throughout 2021 was 57,343, which is 1,800 more deaths than the previous year.

The latest figures mean that the average life expectancy of newborn boys is now 79.2 years — an increase of 0.1 years — while the life expectancy of girls is 84.5 years, or a decrease of 0.2 years.

Finland's fertility rate — the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime — rose for the second year in a row. The figure was 1.46 last year, up from 1.37 in 2020.

However, despite the increase, the rate remains relatively low as it was the fourth lowest on statistical record.