Storks busy in Helsinki

Helsinki saw a baby boom in 2010 with a record number of children born in the Finnish capital. An average of 37 births a day were recorded in the Helsinki metropolitan area, amounting to several hundred more than last year and nearly 900 more than the average over the past decade. An unprecedented number of babies also arrived in Espoo and Vantaa.

According to Pekka Vuori from Helsinki’s Urban Facts department, the 13,100 births seen in 2010 were unexpected. She added, however, that the region has been becoming gradually more fertile over the past decade, with the years of 2003, 2006 and 2008 also producing a bumper crop of babies. Vuori went on to say that the increase in births is probably down to more women of maternity-age are moving to the city.

Helsinki women were also found to be having larger families with the average number of children going up from 1.51 to 1.59 over the past 10 years. This rate, however, is much lower than the national average of 1.86 children per woman.

Vuori said that migration patterns have also helped to top up Helsinki’s birth rate, with families with children increasingly choosing to stay close to the centre of the city rather than moving out to the suburbs. She also predicted that the new residential areas of Kalasatama and Jatkasaari would become popular with families if moderately-priced housing becomes available.

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