The Finnish Covid-19 baby boom is a very exceptional phenomenon

The birth rate in the world has collapsed during the Covid-19 pandemic, but Finland’s development has been exceptional. In Finland, the birth rate has risen the most in Europe. The only country that gets close to Finland, in terms of birth rate growth, is the Netherlands. In general, the Nordic countries have had the least impact of the pandemic. Only in Sweden the birth rate decreased momentarily.

The researchers hypothesized that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the birth rate will decrease when people are particularly stressed, for example, by lockdowns and job insecurity. The general trend followed this researchers’ assumption when we look at birth statistics for 30 developed countries: Birth rates decreased from October 2020 onwards. Birth rates decreased the most in countries that have suffered the most from the Covid-19 virus, with the most severe lockdown measures and weak social security.

There are no clear explanations for the Finnish baby boom, but researchers assume that it would be explained by Finland’s good social security and related benefits for families with children, and that families find it safer to have a child in Finland than in other countries with weaker social security and a tougher pandemic. Now people in their thirties, who previously postponed having children, have children. One possible reason could be the temporary interruption in infertility treatments during the early stage of the pandemic. This could have woken up couples to act. On the other hand, the reason for the high increase may be the low start off level. In 2019, Finland had the lowest birth rate in its’ history. Researchers were already expecting the change: “There was not much room for further birth rate decrease in Finland.”

More on this topic e.g.

Sobotka, T. 2021. Booms, busts and trend reversals. Shifts in births and fertility rates across the highly developed countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Jouni Tuomi, PhD, Principal Lecturer, Health Promotion

Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Kuntokatu 3, 33520 Tampere, Finland

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