Another baby boom being experienced in Greater Helsinki area
Five hundred more births in 2008 than in the previous year
The birth rate has been increasing year by year in the Greater Helsinki area. In 2008, the number of newborn babies at the Maternity Clinics of the Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCS) was approximately 2,000 higher than ten years ago.
The same pace is expected to continue in the current year as well, while Helsinki’s Women’s Clinic and the Kätilöopisto Maternity Hospital both urgently require more labour and delivery rooms.
Increasingly often the HUCS hospitals have been forced to send women in labour to other hospitals, for example to Espoo’s Jorvi Hospital, which appears to have enough space for the time being.
Previously, a similar boom was experienced in the Greater Helsinki area in the 1960s.
However, the average birth rate for the entire country has not increased significantly.
According to Statistics Finland, no nationwide baby boom has been recorded since the post-World War II phenomenon, which in the Finnish experience is taken to cover the years from 1945 to 1950.
In each of those years there were more than 95,000 live births recorded in the country: the latest figure (for 2007) is just over 58,700.
The current growth in the number of births in the capital region is attributable to the area’s net immigration and migration gains, Statistics Finland reports.
In fact, the total fertility rate considering the age group distribution and the total number of population indicates that the birth rate in the region has been clearly lower than the corresponding figure for the entire country over the period from 1987 to 2008.
In 2008, the number of births at the Women’s Clinic alone was 400 babies higher than in the previous year, and the aggregate local figure was 500 higher.
One of the reasons for the growth in popularity was a new family unit opened at the clinic in the spring of 2007. The unit has 20 rooms for one mother at a time.
Previously, the hospital had very few rooms in which parents could learn how to live together with their newborn baby. Today, particularly women having their first child are likely to choose a family room.
At the Women’s Clinic, all women in labour are placed in the family unit if there is space.
As a result of the increasing birth rate, the HUCS is being forced to increase the number of delivery rooms, which could be a strain on the staff, as the size of personnel is smaller than the obligations presently require.
In mid-February 2009, the total population of Finland stood at 5,327,748.
The increase on the figure from 12 months previously was around 25,000 (5,302,375).
Much of this comes from net migration into the country, which accounted for around 14,500 of the growth in 2008.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Helsinki population growth based on immigrants moving from abroad (6.5.2008)
Mini baby boom - 60,000 babies could be born in Finland this year (28.8.2006)
Statistics Finland: Population