Finland saw an increase in births, but immigration drove population growth in 2021

THE NUMBER births rose by 3,120 to 49,583 in Finland in 2021, according to preliminary data published Thursday by Statistics Finland.

Although the number of births was 7,760 fewer than deaths, the population increased by nearly 16,000 to 5,549,599, as the number of immigrants uncharacteristically exceeded that of emigrants – by more than 22,000.

The number of deaths (57,343) was the highest since 1944, surpassing the 2019 total by 3,394 and the 2020 total by 1,855. would give in her lifetime at the current birth rate – was the fourth lowest on record despite positive developments in recent years.

Marcus Rapo, Senior Actuary at Statistics Finland, reminded Helsingin Sanomat that the increase in mortality is not a particular surprise, since the number of deaths is expected to increase whenever the average age of the population increases faster than the lifespan.

The newspaper nevertheless pointed out that the number of deaths would have been 518 lower than the preliminary data if mortality had remained exactly at the same level as in 2020. Whether the increase was attributable to the excess mortality caused by the coronavirus pandemic is debatable, according to Rapo.

“There have been more than 57,000 deaths, and the difference is less than 1%. It’s such a small difference that it could be explained by random variation,” he said.

Statistics from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) indicate that 1,136 people died from the coronavirus disease last year. Seppo Koskinen, a research professor at THL, told Helsingin Sanomat that each victim of the disease has seven years of life left by calculation, which translates to a total of years of life lost of around 7,700.

Alcohol, on the other hand, is the leading cause of around 1,700 deaths and 2,200 accident deaths each year. THL estimates suggest that alcohol-related deaths result in an annual loss of 31,000 years of life.

STT on Thursday reported that Uusimaa and Pirkanmaa were the two regions with the fastest population growth in 2021, with the former increasing by 12,700 and the latter by 4,700. Kymenlaakso, in turn, suffered the largest losses in absolute terms and relative, seeing its population decrease by nearly 1,400 inhabitants.

Although Uusimaa has seen its population grow, it has lost the most inhabitants to inter-regional migration, a total of 2,500.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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