There were only 56 600 children born in Norway last year. This shows a continued decrease in the number of live births in Norway. In the past 30 years, there has only been a lower birth rate three times, in 1988, 2002 and 2003.
Some parts of the world suffer from overpopulation, and the general overview is of a global population that is increasing rapidly. However, the situation in Scandinavia is quite different.
The average family
In 2017, the average number of children per family in Norway was 1.62. This is the lowest number that has ever been recorded in Norway.
The figures differ somewhat within Norway itself, although to a lesser extent than previously recorded. In recent years, Rogaland, a region in the South of Norway, has had the highest rates of fertility, and in 2017 the average number of children per family was 1.82. This figure has also decreased compared to previous years, but at a slower rate when compared to the rest of Norway.
Lowest rates are in Oslo
Oslo has traditionally always recorded lower birth rates in relation to the other Norwegian counties. In 2017, the number of children per family was 1.5, the lowest in the country. Lower figures were recorded in the 1980s when the average was 1.34 children per family.
The rest of Scandinavia
Meanwhile, in Sweden and Denmark, the birth rates have increased over the past few years. This is most likely due to the influx of immigration that Denmark and Sweden have experienced, where there is a higher number of children born per family compared to the Scandinavian norm.
In 2017, the average number of children per household in Denmark was 1.79, while Sweden comes in even higher with 1.85.
Due to the lower birth rates observed in Scandinavian families, the Nordic region is, in many ways, dependent upon immigration in order to maintain the national infrastructure. With an ageing population and an extensive welfare system, it has been said that immigration is essential for sustaining the economy.
The responsibility lies with the respective governments, to do as much as possible to aid integration into Scandinavia so that the transition into the labour market is a smooth one for everyone.
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