Updated: 23 Apr 2021
Next update: 3 Dec 2021

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.


Decrease in birth rate stopped in 2020

According to Statistics Finland’s data on population changes, the decrease in the birth rate, which has continued for nine years, halted in 2020. At the birth rate prevailing in 2020, a woman would give birth to an average of 1.37 children, according to the 2019 birth rate 1.35 children. Altogether 344 more first-born children and 441 more second-born children were born than in 2019. Altogether 46,463 children were born, which is 850 children more than in the previous year. In 2019, the number of births still decreased by 1,964 children from 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 woman 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 the past decade, the birth rate decreased significantly. The total fertility rate fell from 1.87 children in 2010 to 1.35 children per woman in 2019, which was the lowest ever birth rate in Finland. In 2020, the birth rate rose slightly from this, to 1.37 children per woman.

Examined by age group, the birth rate rose slightly in the 25 to 39 age groups in 2020. The age group-specific fertility rate increased most among women aged 30 to 34. For them, the fertility rate was 95 children per one thousand women in 2020, while in the previous year it was 92 children. The fertility rate also increased slightly in the 25 to 29 age group and in the 35 to 40 age group. In other age groups, the fertility rate in 2020 remained almost unchanged (those aged 40 to 44 and 45 to 49) or decreased slightly from the year before (those aged 20 to 24 and those aged 20 or under).