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Finland’s birth rate continues drop - immigration behind slight population increase

The country's birth rate continued to decline in January, according to fresh figures from Finland's statistics office.

Tyhjä keinu, Laitilan vastaanottokeskus, SPR
File photo of empty swings hanging from tree. Image: Yrjö Hjelt / Yle

The population of Finland remained largely steady at about 5.5 million people, with an increase of nearly 400 people in January, according to new data from Statistics Finland.

The agency announced on Tuesday that the population of Finland increased by 370 people in January, but that the increase was due to immigration, not births.

The number of people who migrated to Finland was 1,300 more than the number of individuals who left the country.

Meanwhile there were more deaths than births in January, according to the agency.

Some 3,846 babies were born in January this year, some 217 less than in January 2018. Around 118 fewer people died last month - a total of 4,807 - compared to January 2018

Population problems

Many leaders within government and the private sector have said Finland's dwindling birth rate will cause problems if the situation continues.

Last December the Research Institute for the Finnish Economy (Etla) said the country’s falling birthrate will over time result in significant public deficit. The group said the situation will dent state coffers by billions of euros and put the country's economic growth in danger.

Earlier this month it was reported that the population of Eastern Finland has declined at a rapid pace and that the decrease is anticipated to continue over coming decades. Statistics Finland reported that during 2015 and 2018 the population in the eastern part of the country - including six regions from Kymenlaakso in the south to Kainuu in the north - fell by 20,000 people.

According to a recent report from MDI, a private consultancy firm specialising in regional development, over the next twenty years, only the capital city area, the southwest city of Turku, and the south-central hub of Tampere and its surroundings will see their populations grow.

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