A baby pram sits on display in London, U.K. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Finns Aren't Having Enough Babies to Stop Population Shrinking

(Bloomberg) -- Finland’s population will start shrinking in less than two decades as the rate of births in the country drops to a record low.

The development has sparked a national debate with questions being raised about everything from the rising age of new mothers to smartphone addiction. A decade of economic stagnation has also been blamed, with bleaker employment prospects acting as a deterrent for those who might otherwise have started a family.

Finland’s birth rate has been dropping for eight years, and the fertility rate is set to fall to a record low of 1.43 this year, the statistics office in Helsinki said on Friday. In 2035, the population will peak at around 5.6 million, supported by immigration. After that, the number of people will start falling.

The development will put pressure on Finland’s pension system. The rate of working-age people to children and pensioners requiring support is now ten to six, and by 2070, just 10 people will support eight others.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.