Family types

Updated: 22 May 2020
Next update: 28 May 2021

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 Digital and Population Data Services Agency (The Finnish Digital Agency).

   

Number of families with small children has fallen by almost one fifth in the 2010s

According to Statistics Finland, the number of families with children aged under three decreased by 5,565 families in 2019 from the previous year. Compared with 2010, the number of these families has fallen by 18 per cent. Of all family types, the number of families formed by a married couple and children aged under three decreased most, by as much as 26 per cent. The decrease in the number of families with small children is in line with the decline in the birth rate.

There were 1,467,368 families in Finland at the end of 2019. The number of families continued to decrease in 2019 and declined by 1,313 families.

Examined by family type, 64 per cent of all families were families of married couples. The number of families formed by opposite-sex married couples and children decreased by 8,117 families from the previous year. The number of families formed by cohabiting couples and children, in turn, decreased by 304 families from the previous year. By contrast, the number of cohabiting families without children increased by 4,091. Same-sex cohabiting couples are not formed in family statistics, but only cohabiting couples of opposite sexes are taken into consideration here. The number of opposite-sex married couples without children grew by 1,606 families. The number of one-parent families also grew by 593 families. Unlike in previous years, the number of families consisting of a mother and children no longer grew but diminished by 129 families. In contrast, the number of families consisting of a father and children grew by 722.

The number of same-sex married couples increased by 338, while the number of registered couples decreased by 128. The development is a natural continuum of the amendment to the Marriage Act that entered into force at the beginning of March 2017, as a result of which part of registered partners have changed their partnership into marriage and new registered partnerships can no longer be formed. There were 1,154 families formed by couples in registered partnerships and 2,318 families of same-sex married couples. Of them, 62 per cent were families of female couples. Twenty-four per cent of families were families of cohabiting couples and 13 per cent were one-parent families, which is the same as in the previous year. In 2019, there were 1,221,456 persons living alone, or 30,159 more than in the previous year.

Statistical release