In the last eight years Finland’s birth rates have slowly decreased. Only four regions in the country have had an increase in population and an estimate given by Statics Finland states that the population is only set to grow in some southern municipalities. When looking at the population statistics it now shows that death is exceeding the birth rates, meaning that many regions will become sparsely unpopulated in years to come.
Although, the rise in births in southern parts of Finland will not balance the lack of births in the northern parts. Rises in population can be found in Uusimaa although this is mainly due to immigration. People migrating to Finland usually reside in the Uusimaa region because there is more opportunity to work and receive an education.
Due to the decline in births, some municipalities are now offering families monetary supplement to live and raise their children there. Many people who live in small towns are losing services and are being forced to travel to other municipalities. This can be challenging for many services users and can restrict their accessibility to certain services. Children are also affected as they will need to travel to a different town for school, if there are not enough children to make up a class. The costs of keeping service facilities will out way the need of the service when looking at how many people are using the service.
When regarding services, members of the government have stated that Finland need to fix the service structure and the networks between them. Families and parents are not supported, and this could be a reason why people are not having as many children. Being unemployed or having troubles finding permanent work also have a major influence on a person’s decision to have children. Having children also affects the mother’s pension for the future as well as career.
In the future, Finland will need to look at how to support families and especially mothers. Unfortunately, in Finland the pay gap between genders is still visible and not all companies provide equal maternity leave and pay. For the population to rise there needs to be more stability in the employment sector. This would also encourage more people to migrate to Finland, thus resulting in more financially stable families.
Written by Amber Sinisalo