The decline can’t be tied to the covid-19 pandemic, according to Statistics Norway.
The decline can’t be tied to the covid-19 pandemic, according to Statistics Norway.

Fertility rate in Norway drops to 1,5 children per woman

That’s half a child less than in 2009.

A fertility rate of 1,48 is the lowest ever recorded by Statistics Norway. In 2019 the number was 1,53.

53 000 less babies were born in 2020, compared with 2019. The decline can’t be tied to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Statistics Norway. Most of the children that were born last year, were conceived long before March 2020. That’s when Norwegian society was shut down as a response to the global virus outbreak.

“The decline in fertility has been a visible trend for more than ten years, so these numbers come as no surprise,” says Espen Andersen from Statistics Norway in a press release.

Women wait longer

For the last ten years have less children have been born to women between the ages of 20 and 30.

“We see that an increasing number of women in this age group wait longer before they have their first child. The average age of a first-time mother has gone up, while the fertility rate has gone down. This is an important factor in the decreased national fertility rate,” says Andersen.

The trend is also visible for women between the ages of 30 and 34. The fertility rate has remained stable for women over the age of 35.

The fertility rate used by Statistics Norway is meant to measure how many children a woman, on average, will have – given that the pattern remains the same as the year as when it was measured.

The average first time mother in Norway, is now 30 years old. Fathers have their first child two years later, on average.

The decline in fertility rate is also visible among immigrants to Norway. In 2020 their fertility rate was 1,68, a decline from 1,77 the year before.

Not only in Norway

The decline in fertility rate is not strictly a Norwegian phenomenon. Many countries across the globe have seen the same trends.

Denmark now has the highest fertility rate in the Nordic countries, 1,67 children pr. woman. Finland has the lowest, with a fertility rate of 1,37.

Read the Norwegian version of this article on forskning.no.

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