Mothers born abroad have more children on average than Finnish-born mothers, but not by much at all, according to Statistics Finland. Since immigrants make up a very small proportion of all women of childbearing age, their contribution to the total birth rate is correspondingly minor.
At the end of last year, some 1.2 million women of reproductive age resided in Finland, whom almost 90,000 were born outside of Finland.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Women born in Finland, on average, give birth to 1.85 children, while the average among immigrants is just over two children. However, since they still make up but a small proportion of the women of childbearing age, the effect of immigration on the total birth rate was also quite minor,Ã¢â‚¬Â explains Senior Actuary Markus Rapo from Statistics Finland.
Regional fertility rate variation
There are differences among different groups of immigrants as regards fertility rates. Women who came from Africa give birth to 3.33 children on average, while those who arrived from Asia have marginally over two. The women who have moved to Finland from the former USSR have on average just 1.73 children.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“These offset each other, and so their impact on the total Finnish birth rate remains moderate,Ã¢â‚¬Â Rapo says.
Fertility rateÃ¢â‚¬â€the number of children born to each womanÃ¢â‚¬â€is not to be confused with birth rate, however.
In 1990, immigrant mothers gave birth to 1,200 children in Finland. Last year, that number stood at 5,700 children. Without them, the number of births last year would have been about 55,000Ã¢â‚¬â€perilously close to the number of deaths, of which nearly 51,000 occurred.