Hedelmällisyys ja siihen vaikuttavat tekijät Suomessa lähivuosikymmeninä
Fertility and its determinants in Finland in the coming decades
Yhteiskuntapolitiikka, 85:4, 358–369 (2020)
Finland has experienced a rapid and unexpected period fertility decline since 2010. Recently other typically high fertility Nordic countries have also recorded declines in period fertility. This article discusses factors that are likely to affect the development of fertility trends and forecasts period total fertility (TFR) in the next two decades in Finland. We base our forecast on minimum assumptions about future trends. Our primary scenario was based on a demographically reasonable assumption that the ongoing fertility postponement would gradually slow down and come to an end by 2040. A secondary scenario was based on a technical assumption that future trends in age-specific fertility would not exhibit any trend. We built a probabilistic, random-walk based forecasting model around both assumptions. The random variation around the assumed trend in both scenarios was estimated based on observed annual historical (1975–2018) variation in Finland. In our primary scenario, the 95 per cent confidence interval for average TFR in the period 2019–2040 ranges from 1.42 to 1.67, with a mean of 1.54. For single years, the uncertainty in TFR is larger, ranging from 1.4 to 1.9. In the secondary scenario, the 95 per cent confidence interval for average TFR is 1.31 to 1.54. We consider the slowing down of fertility postponement a reasonable near-future scenario for Finland. Based on prior literature we identify developments in gender equality and family policies, economic cycles and uncertainty, and factors related to childbearing ideals and partner markets among the central factors that are likely to influence the course of fertility in Finland in the near future. However, it remains challenging to evaluate their relative importance in shaping future fertility in Finland.