Unlike in many countries, the birth rate in Finland has not collapsed during the corona year. In the case of children born during a pandemic, it would seem that the decline in first-time mothers would also have reversed.
Seinäjoki Katri Kauppinen, 30, says he experienced a good year in the Corona year to try a child.
“My husband and I talked long ago before we got engaged that we wanted kids, but I wanted to get married first.”
However, due to the coronavirus situation, the couple had to make a decision in the spring of 2020 to postpone their summer wedding for a year.
The postponement of having a child made me mentally sore. So Kauppinen discussed with her husband whether now would be a good time to have a child.
“We were lucky when I got pregnant from the first round. Now our days are full of everyday life with our baby boy born in February. ”
Nor did the desire to marry before the birth of a child need to be flexible, as the couple was married in August 2020 in the backyard of their townhouse. They spent the holiday with gas and bestman.
“Yes you can say that the baby boom in Finland is strong, ”says the research professor Mika Gissler From the Department of Health and Welfare (THL).
As early as December 2020, it could be seen that the number of counseling visits during pregnancy was increasing.
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“But still, the number of children born in February surprised me. Last year was also a leap year, and yet there were 6.7 percent more children than in February last year, ”says Gissler.
“After all, the children in February are children made the previous summer. In the summer of 2020, the corona situation was good after the spring. It was known then that new Corona waves would come, but it was not known how bad. ”
Corona epidemic During this period, most babies were born to 30-32 year olds. The increase in the number of births was greatest among those aged 29–31.
No information has yet been published on whether they are first-time mothers.
“It would be essential to have quick information about changes in child numbers so that we can better understand changes in birth rates. In Finland, the birth rate has decreased, especially due to the postponement of the birth of the first child, ”says the director and research professor of the Population Research Institute of the Population Association. Anna Rotkirch.
Statistics from 2020 show that the reversal of the birth rate to growth was initially due to the birth of children after the firstborn.
According to Rotkirch, it is possible that during the pandemic, the millennials have brought forward big decisions and thus the number of people having their first child this year would have increased. This is also indicated by Rotkirch’s calculations, which have been published on the blog on the Population Union website.
Exception caused many to stop everyday life: if work moved home, hobbies ran out like a wall, and Traveling became more difficult, people may have had more time to think about the future. After a surprising social shock, children have also wanted to bring hope for the future.
“When the pandemic came to Finland, I said that this could affect people’s world of values and thus the desire to bring forward the child’s attempts. Namely, our family barometers tell us from year to year that the biggest single reason for postponing having a child is other things that are interesting in life, ”says Anna Rotkirch.
In addition, the decision can be influenced by the economic situation, social well-being and health, as well as trust. In Finland, trust in the state leadership and health care has proved even in international comparisons.
According to Rotkirch, these may be the reasons why the birth rate in Finland did not start to decrease, as in Italy and the United States, among others.
“The number of working mothers in many countries has plummeted. My feeling is that the situation in Finland has not gone at least as bad as elsewhere. And, of course, in Finland, even the unemployed receive child benefit and parental benefits. ”
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Although The pandemic contributed to the child’s attempts, Katri Kauppinen does not feel that its impact was terribly great – she had had the desire to have a child for years.
“The epidemic did not surprisingly revolutionize the world of values. In addition, there are still dreams of gigs, festivals and trips abroad, just like before the baby and the corona epidemic, although of course you can’t go and come in the same way. ”
The couple’s finances have so far had little effect on having a child. The biggest change was when Kauppinen switched to telecommuting. In addition, she is pursuing a master’s degree in economics and says distance courses allowed for a quick return to studies.
Gisslerin it is estimated that a possible decline in birth rates is likely to come only towards the end of the year. This could be caused by the November – December 2020 Corona Wave and the tightened interest rate restrictions in early 2021.
In Finland, the total fertility rate was 1.35 in the second year and 1.38 last year. Now, at least, the numbers have not decreased.
“If the rest of the year continues at the same pace, the figure could rise to 1.46,” Gissler estimates.
He wonders that the birth rate is likely to remain stable but slightly quieter in the future. At least external factors seem to be in good shape: vaccinations are advancing and the economy is starting to recover.
HS’s new Baby magazine brings together the best advice for pregnancy, childbirth and the baby’s year.