Fertility rates have seen a decline in the Nordics since 2010. In most Nordic countries, the rate is between a stable level (2100) and a critical low level (1500). Low rates can lead to a population shift, where elderly people outnumber younger people. Higher fertility rates in the past were linked to successful gender equality policy. There is no single explanation for the current falling rates. Choosing to have children later and financial uncertainty is seen as part of the reason, despite generous family benefits.
Mean age at birth of first child
Women in the Nordics are waiting longer to have children. The average age of women when they have their first child has been rising from the mid-20s to late-20s over the past 20 years. Choosing to postpone parenthood has been associated with greater opportunities for women to pursue higher education and advancing in the labour market. This is even seen as part of the explanation for falling fertility rates.