Finland 24/7: a statistical snapshot of where we are
Helsingin Sanomat looks at the pictures behind the numbers in our daily lives
By Riitta Vainio
There are more than five million of us, and for each and every one, each day is different in small ways and large. But when you boil down the numbers from Statistics Finland's Statistical Yearbook, some things don't change from one day or one year to the next.
At the same time as a baby girl was born in a Helsinki maternity hospital on Wednesday morning, the District Court was completing the paperwork for the divorce of a couple married for five years, a policeman was taking a closer look at the reading on a breathalyser, another couple in Kotka were having sex, a man in Pyhtää was knocking back a can containing part of one of the million litres of beer consumed every day of the calendar year, and an 18-year-old was sending one of the 11 million SMS messages that Finns exchange each passing day.
Helsingin Sanomat photographed the various events to form a jigsaw image of "a day in the life".
HATCHED, MATCHED (and separated), and DESPATCHED
With some help from her mother, a little human being pushed herself out into the world at Helsinki's Kätilöopisto Maternity Hospital soon after sun-up at 9:55 on Wednesday morning.
The little girl weighed 2,775 grammes, and her height from top to toe was measured at 46 centimetres.
She is the family's first child, and she knocked her parents silly with delight.
The new parents, father Halil Yildirim and mother Naray Yildirim, plan to call their daughter Alisa.
An average of 167 babies are born in finland every day.
Of the new arrivals, 86 will be boys, and 81 girls.
An average of 82 couples tie the knot in Finland every day.
Josette Väänänen and Henry Nurminen said their vows and sealed matters with a kiss in Katajanokka on Wednesday, while friend Miguel Vera took a photo of the happy couple.
People are marrying later and later - in 2010, the average age of a woman marrying for the first time had crept above 30 years, and for men it was 32.6 years. In the past four decades or so, the figure for women has risen by roughly seven years and for men by eight.
Throughout the past decade, the share of first marriages among all unions has remained at 77%.
Which brings us to divorce. As Josette and Henry were starting out on married life, Liisa Kammonen and Lasse Kammonen were granted a divorce at Helsinki's District Court on Wednesday morning.
The decision was signed and recorded in the court chancellery without the two parties having to be present in person.
The Kammonens jointly filed to terminate their marriage in February and moved apart to different addresses in the early spring.
They had been married for five years.
It was their first marriage in both cases, and they have one child from the union.
An average of 37 divorces are granted in Finland every day of the year, roughly 13,500 annually.
Sixty-four registered partnerships between spouses of the same sex were also dissolved in 2010, when a total of 322 same-sex partnerships were solemnised.
Female couples outnumbered male couples by a ratio of 60% to 40%.
The first coffin of the day slides into the 800°C gas furnace at Helsinki's Hietaniemi Crematorium as the clock ticks round to 8 a.m.
The mortal remains of 14 former inhabitants of Finland will be cremated here in the course of this Wednesday, an above-average day. Normally the figure for a weekday in Hietaniemi would be eight.
The coffin combusts spontaneously in the heat of the furnace and burns to ashes in the space of about an hour.
An average of 139 persons die in Finland every day. In 2010, the number of deaths was 50,890, the highest figure in seventeen years, and just over 1,000 more than in the previous year. As Finland ages, and when the time comes for the post-war baby boom generation to move on, the numbers are likely to rise - even though life expectancy figures have risen appreciably since the 1980s. These days women can expect to ger 83.2 years here, while for men it is 76.7 years.
Infant mortality (death in the first year) was particularly low in 2010, at just 140. The infant mortality figure for that year was the lowest since independence in 1917, and stood at 2.3 per 1,000 live births.
Helsingin Sanomat / First published in print 22.12.2011
More on this subject:
Finland 24/7: Part Two
Finland 24/7: Part Three
Statistics Finland: One Day of Life in Finland
RIITTA VAINIO / Helsingin Sanomat