Skip to Content

Babies; Antti Rinne (Wikipedia)

Finnish politician tells women ‘be patriotic, have more babies’

Finland is suffering a dire demographic fate. Bloomberg reported that Finland, a first-rate place in which to be a mother, has nevertheless registered the lowest number of newborns in nearly 150 years.

Published: September 21, 2017, 12:03 pm

    Helsinki

    Inviting immigrants is not a political option, as Prime Minister Juha Sipila’s center-right government relies on the support of nationalist lawmakers, and neighbour Norway has just closed its door to more quota migrants.

    Even the leader of the opposition Social Democrats, Antti Rinne, in August urged women to fulfill their patriotic duty and have more babies.

    As birth rates crash to historic lows, there’s little to suggest a reversal in the trend. The country’s birth rate has been falling steadily since the start of the decade.

    Demographics concerns across the developed world, are nothing new. But they are particularly expensive for countries with a generous welfare state, since they endanger their financial future. Finland has made improvements to parental leave as well as the benefits system recently in the hope to stimulate births. The reforms are expected to come into force in 2019.

    Heidi Schauman, called the projected population figures “frightening.” The Aktia Bank chief economist said in a telephone interview from Helsinki “They show how fast our society is changing, and we don’t have solutions ready to stop the development.”

    Bloomberg noted that the low birth rates were surprising, given the efforts made by the state to support parenthood, illustrated by Finland’s famous baby-boxes. Introduced in 1937, containers full of baby clothes and care products were delivered to expectant mothers. The added design feature was that the cardboard boxes even doubled up as a makeshift cot.

    The generous maternity packages funded by the state, were prompted by concerns over high infant mortality rates in low-income families, although the baby starter kits were eventually extended to all families.

    Offering generous parental leave and one of the best education system in the world doesn’t seem to be producing enough off-spring either. “We have a large public sector and the system needs taxpayers in the future, ” Schauman said. Finland needs two babies per woman, but the rate was projected at only 1,57 in 2016, according to Statistics Finland.

    According to the OECD, Finland already has the lowest ratio of youths to the working-age population of all the Nordic countries and it has the highest rate of old age dependency, projected to get worse. The European Commission has blamed demographic factors on Finland’s limited economic growth potential, which is estimated to peak at 1,9 percent in 2035 and shrink to 1,5 percent between 2050 and 2060.

    According to Schauman, “the discussion has revolved around gender equality and the employment of women, with the issue of natality sent to the background”. What Finland actually needs instead is a political program that treasures the family and increases the value of parenthood, the economist argued.

    For years, the Japanese government had tried to encourage its citizenry to procreate in order to combat the collapsing demographics the nation faces, trying guilt and punishment to no avail.

    karin@praag.org

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Nigerians terrorize Italian city

    PaduaThe Nigerian mafia has been busy in the Italian city of Padua. In less than 24 hours there were two violent episodes in the city center, and as always on via Diego Valeri.

    France: 41 percent ‘ignore’ news

    A survey carried out for a newspaper shows a growing distrust of the French towards the media.

    Gang rapes: Number of foreign suspects in Germany increasing

    BerlinThe proportion of foreign suspects in gang rapes in Germany has increased significantly in the past five years. This is despite the fact that the total number of suspects decreased between 2015 and 2017.

    Candidate recruits people of  ‘Turkish origin’ for French municipal elections

    Given the extent of the controversy, Mohamed Dine has now deleted his ad, previously posted on his Facebook page.

    Charlie Hebdo also defended pedophilia

    ParisLike part of the libertarian left at the time, the satirical newspaper supported three pedophile criminals, accused of having abused minors, before they were sentenced in 1977.

    Conservative German author’s reading cancelled in Dresden

    DresdenGerman author Uwe Tellkamp had his reading cancelled. It was not because of a lack of public interest, illness of the organiser or an important participant, or official orders for violations of the fire protection regulations. No, it had to be canceled because the author has a certain opinion.

    Pedophile personalities shake up French literary scene

    ParisThe French writer Gabriel Matzneff who has been accused by the novelist Vanessa Springora of pedophilia, benefits from low-cost housing in the heart of Paris which was allocated to him in 1994. Some other sordid facts about him and his friends have resurfaced.

    AfD sues German domestic spy agency over tracking

    BerlinThe AfD intends to take legal action against the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the domestic spy agency.

    Dispute over German broadcaster’s “environmental pig” song continues

    CologneSeveral editors from German public broadcaster WDR have accused director Tom Buhrow of harming the broadcaster with the so-called "environmental pig" affair. On Tuesday there will therefore be an editorial meeting in which Buhrow will also take part.

    Cars in flames all over France at the start of the New Year

    The car-burnings in France continue. There were burnt cars in Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Limoges, Nantes and other cities.

    Go to archive