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Fundamentalists, Immigrants Spur Higher Birth Rate

The number of births in Finland increased last year, reaching a 15-year high. The birth rate has been slowly rising in Finland over the past few years.

Vauva nauraa
Image: YLE

In 2008, nearly 60,000 children were born, which is an increase of 800 births over the previous year, reports Statistics Finland.

Statistics data revealed women are having 1.85 children on average—a figure last seen in 1994. In order for the population to renew itself in the long term, the total fertility rate should be approximately 2.1, according to the agency.

Figures also show that mothers are choosing to have children later in life. On average, the women who gave birth in 2008 were little older than in the previous year. The mean age of all women giving birth rose by one tenth to 30.1 years. The average age of first-time mothers was 28.2 years in 2008.

Finland's highest birth rate is among members of the Laestadian Lutheran religious sect in Ostrobothnia, western Finland, where one tenth of all the country's children are born. Immigrant families also tend to have higher birth rates -- at least until they fully integrate into Finnish society, reports YLE Radio News.

Sources: YLE

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