“Provide generous social welfare benefits and promote equality for women” does not (any longer) seem to be working as a recipe for replacement-level fertility in Finland.  Why not?

9 thoughts on “Forbes post, “Why Has Finland’s Fertility Rate Collapsed – And Are There Lessons For Us?”

  1. I think families with children should pay less tax, inorder for them to have the means to rise their children because to rise a child is expensive in Finland.
    More benefits should be given to family with children with out thinking of their income, with that any one will be happy to have kids without thinking of the cost involved.

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  2. If I recall right, after the wars, Finns had a lot of children that resulted in a big population boom.

    Soon those generations start to die out of old age, causing the population to drop suddenly.

    Clearly deaths will dominate births for a time and drop the number of people to a new low.

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  3. Things that may effect population growth:
    Success. The more successful a person is the less look they after both to cohabitate or have children.

    Fulfillment: if you are fulfilled any bother with children

    Selfishness: a byproduct of the above and resulting from general prosperity.

    Entertainment: lack of Internet services and power failures.

    The highest birthrates are in poorer countries, after distress and war, or as a result of power failures. Not saying we need more poverty, war, or disasters but altruism flourishes in hard times. Altruism is about one’s relationship with others. In prosperous countries the emphasis is on self.

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  4. Imagine if we could decrease would population from 7bn to 3.5bn through lower birth rates. Better for the environment, crowded cities, housing… If only every country would decline it’s birth rate to 2.0 or less!

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  5. Something I haven’t seen mentioned in local nor global media is how eco-conscious Finn’s have become.

    Reducing your family’s carbon footprint often means having fewer children than you might otherwise want. Moreover, if we can’t be sure our children would enjoy at least the same quality of life and opportunities as us then the respectul thing to do is not bring them into this world.

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  6. First of all, it is not given that the job is secured, thus it is in theory but not in practise. Also, there is still work to be done for equality.
    More over, during the leave, the one staying at home (usually the mother) is not only falling behind in salary progression and promotion opportunities, but is also not increasing pension during that time.

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  7. I am not certain what the problem is. When a society ensures that a family’s children will likely survive to be adults, it becomes less imperative for couples to have many children. Finland is a success story. I am sorry that this success doesn’t translate into corporate success, but maybe corporations should factor a lower fertility rate into their future business plans.

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  8. Younger Finnish generations use much time on internet and
    entertainment and do not interact face to face, which obviously is the key for
    meeting someone.

    Selfishness resulting from success (of those who have succeeded)
    and personal possibilities enjoying life without responsibility of someone else.

    Then there are other reasons such as;

    So called ‘Zero hour work contracts’, when worker is offered 0 – 40 hours work per week,
    often in reality leading to only some 10-25 hours per week in practise.
    No one can ground family on those uncertain terms.

    Divorce courts that favor women in separation situations. Men are no more willing
    to take a risk, since roughly 50% of marriages end up to divorce.
    The Finnish courts favor women and order the children to mother. Men will have to pay high
    alimony and are treated very badly in the process. Younger generations have
    learned from their parents and their own lives (as they often themselves are from divorced family)
    how it may end up and do not want it to happen to themselves or their own children.

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  9. Finland unfortunetly is suffering from high living costs together with precarious job situation. Many of those listed as employed have freelancer temporary contracts and the amount they make per month doesn’t even cover their bills requiring them to appeal to welfare services. Hobbies for children are extremely expensive here while in the US those activities are free after school. Ice hockey for example which is the most popular sports here can cost a family close to 1000€ per child…with average wages here being 2500€ two kids could already bankrupt a family…Iceland has had a very good initiative on this sense by offering “hobby vouchers” to families…this has considerably reduced youth drunkenness and drug use over there…Iceland should be the world’s happiest country not us…

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