Family types 

Updated: 26.5.2017 - Next update: 25.5.2018

Number of families grows more slowly than earlier

According to Statistics Finland's data, there were 1,476,000 families in Finland at the end of 2016. Although the number of families has been growing all the time, the annual growth in the number has diminished considerably since 2013. From 2004 to 2013, the number of families grew by an average of 5,500 families per year. In 2016, the number of families went up by just 200.

Sixty-four per cent of all families were families of married couples. The number of families with a married couple and children has fallen by 6,200 from the previous year and that of cohabiting couples without any common children by 200. The numbers of other family types have, however, grown that much that the number of all families grew slightly.

Twenty-three per cent were still families of cohabiting couples and 12 per cent were one-parent families as in the previous year. There were 2,700 families of registered same-sex couples. People living alone numbered 1,131,000, in the previous year 19,100 fewer.

The average size of a family was 2.8. As late as in 1990, the average size of a family was three persons. Seventy-four per cent of the population, or 4,073,000 persons, belonged to a family, which is 8,000 fewer than in the year before. The share of persons who belong to a family has been falling steadily. As late as in 1990, their share of the population was still 82 per cent.

Statistical release

Statistics Finland / Families

Description of indicator

A family consists of a married or cohabiting couple or persons in a registered partnership and their children living together; or either of the parents and his or her children living together; or a married or cohabiting couple and persons in a registered partnership without children.

Families are classified into families without children, married or cohabiting couples living with children, and single-parent families. Cohabiting couples are deduced from living together.

Families are formed at the turn of the year from persons living in the same dwelling according to the population information system of the Population Register Centre.