Updated: 11.4.2017 - Next update: 27.4.2018

Fall in the number of births even steeper

According to Statistics Finland's data on population changes, 52,814 children were born in 2016. The number of births has now decreased for the sixth year in succession. The number of births was 2,658 children, i.e. 4.8 per cent fewer than in 2015. This yearly decrease is the highest since the beginning of the 1970s, when measured in relative terms.

When the number of births is proportioned to women in childbearing age, fertility can be examined. The total fertility rate is commonly used in measuring fertility. It indicates how many children a woman would give birth to calculatorily during her life time if age group-specific fertility rates remained the same as in the year on which the calculation is based.

In addition to the decreasing number of births, the total fertility rate also continued to go down in 2016. At the birth rate prevailing in 2016, a woman would give birth to an average of 1.57 children. The 2015 total fertility rate was 1.65 children per woman. The rate was last lower than 1.57 in 1973, when it was 1.50, an all-time low. Since 1969, the total fertility rate has been below the replacement level, which is 2.1 children per woman.

Compared to the year before, the total fertility rate went down for women under 38, most clearly for those aged 30. In 2016, women who gave birth to their first child were, on average, 29.1 years of age. The average age rose by 0.3 years from the year before and in ten years it has risen by 1.0 years. Correspondingly, the average age of all women that gave birth went up by two decimals from the year before, to 30.8, but over the past ten years it has risen by eight decimals.

Statistical release

Statistics Finland / Births

Description of indicator

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.