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Survey: Finns concerned over low birth rate

A survey conducted by Taloustutkimus suggests that a majority of Finns are worried by the continuing downward trend of Finland's birth rate. The top suggested measure to help change the curve is improved part-time working conditions for parents.

Pieni Abbas irakilaisisänsä sylissä Kyyjärvellä.
More male than female respondents say they are concerned about the downward trend in Finland's birth rate, now in its fifth year. Image: Sanna Savela / Yle

Elisa Parts and Kimmo Wellenius have a young son. No siblings are currently in their plans, they say, because their careers won't allow it--and the fatigue they've experienced with their first born.

Both Parts and Wellenius applaud their employers for the flexibility they offer, but not everyone can say the same--and that's having a wider effect.

A fresh survey conducted by market research company Taloustutkimus shows that as many as 70 percent of respondents think Finns should be making more babies.

The country's birth rate has been declining for the past five years, and shows no signs of evening out.

Graphic
Last year, just over 55 thousand babies were born in Finland. The last time the birth rate was that low was nearly 150 years ago in 1868, during the peak of a widespread famine.

More than 80 percent of the poll's respondents said the best way to combat the downhill birth rate would be to improve and increase part-time work conditions to allow for more freedom and family time. Increased housing benefits and support for daycare are also mentioned as possible policy measures.

The main reason for the ongoing dip in childbearing is that Finns are putting off having their firstborn and large families are increasingly becoming a thing of the past.

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