FHI: The post-lockdown baby boom in Norway continues

Babies - babyPhoto: Frank May / NTB
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Far more children were born in Norway in 2021 than in the years before the pandemic. The baby boom that started when Norway closed continues.

In the first nine months of 2021, 2,037 more children were born in Norway than in the same period last year. After several years of decline in the number of births, things have changed in corona-Norway.

The first peak came nine months after Norway closed down in March 2020. The second peak came after a summer of travel restrictions.

” This is interesting, not least in light of the decline in the number of births annually, from 63,000 to 53,000 births over the course of twelve years,” Ferenc Macsali at the Medical Birth Register at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) stated.

“It is surprising that the trend reverses approximately nine months after the closure of Norway in the spring of 2020. Whether this trend is only temporary or will continue, we will know in a couple of years,” Macsali said.

January 2021 was the first month in many years that birth rates in Norway increased. Children born then were conceived in April 2020, shortly after Norway closed down.

Few countries experience the same

The largest increase came in March 2021, when 8.3% more children were born than the year before. It happened nine months after the first summer of corona interventions. Macsali says there is no scientific evidence that can provide an answer as to why this happened.

“It is common to postpone having children in times of crisis, so this deviates from the pattern,” Macsali said.

He referred to reports from the USA and Europe that show that economic uncertainty negatively affects birth rates.

“This does not seem to have affected the Norwegian figures. However, preliminary figures for the rest of the world show that Denmark, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Croatia also have increased birth rates from winter and spring 2021. Still, for most other European countries, there is no change or decline,” Macsali added.

Most in the north

The figures from the medical birth register show that birth rates increased in all counties and regions after the closure, but the increase was greatest in Northern Norway. 

The figures also show that women who gave birth to their second child accounted for the largest increase, but there was also an increase for first-time mothers and those who have given birth to more children before.

There has also been a decline in abortion rates, but Macsali says it is difficult to say whether it is related to the baby boom.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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