National birthrate lowest since 1988

Financial crisis has couples delaying starting a family

Danish maternity wards have been a bit quieter over the past year. According to a report compiled by the national board of health, Sundhedsstyrelsen, just over 59,500 babies were born in Denmark in 2011, some 4,000 fewer than the year before.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” Steen Rasmussen, a consultant for Sundhedsstyrelsen, told metroXpress newspaper. “There has been a large decrease in the number of births from 2010 to 2011.”

The numbers of births has been decreasing over the past few years, but last year’s birth rate is the lowest since 1988.

National birth rates have historically fluctuated depending on the economy. Mogens Christoffersen from independent national research centre Det Nationale Forskningscenter for Velfærd (SFI) said that the current financial crisis has potential parents putting off starting families.

“They don't feel secure in their jobs and are nervous about the economic situation, and so they do not want to bring children into an uncertain world,” Christoffersen told metroXpress.

Sundhedsstyrelsen’s figures also reveal that the average age for first-time mothers moved up a bit to 29.1 years-old.

Christoffersen said that women were staying in school longer and delaying starting a family until they had spent a few years in the work force.

While the number of newborns is dropping, Danmarks Statistik reports that the number of immigrants coming to the country increased again last year.

More than 69,000 immigrants were registered in 2011, over 1,000 more than a year earlier.





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