Updated: 26 Apr 2019
Next update: 24 Apr 2020

The total fertility rate refers to the estimated number of children the woman gives birth to, provided that the fertility rate of that year prevails during the whole reproductive period of that woman on condition that she will not die before the end of the said period. The total fertility rate is obtained by adding together fertility rates calculated for one year.

The general fertility rate indicates the number of liveborn children per 1,000 women of the mean population aged 15 to 49. The age-specific fertility rate indicates the number of live births per 1,000 women of the mean population in the age group in question.


Steep decline in the birth rate continued

According to Statistics Finland’s data on population changes, the birth rate fell for the eighth year in a row. At the fertility rate prevailing in 2018, a woman would give birth to an average of 1.41 children. The figure is now the lowest of all times. A total of 47,577 babies were born in 2018, which is 2,744 fewer than in the year before.

When the number of births is taken as a proportion to the number of women of childbearing age, the birth rate can be examined. The birth rate is commonly measured with the total fertility rate, which indicates how many children a women would give birth to during her life time if the birth rate remained the same as in the year on which the calculation is based.

In 2018, the total fertility rate measuring the birth rate was the lowest of all times, 1.41 children per woman. The birth rate fell clearly from the previous year, when the figure was 1.49. The birth rate has been falling throughout the 2010s and the decline has become steeper after 2015. Before 2017 and 2018, the birth rate was at its lowest in 1973, when the total fertility rate was 1.50 per woman. Since 1969, the birth rate has been below the population regeneration rate, which is 2.1 children per woman.