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Norwegian fertility rate at historic low

The Local Norway
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Norwegian fertility rate at historic low
Norway's falling fertility rate is still above the European average. Photo: Robert Schlesinger / NTB scanpix

Longer educations and less certainty in the job market have pushed Norway's fertility rate to its lowest point in 35 years.

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The Norwegian fertility rate has been on steadily declining for years and newly released figures from Statistic Norway (SSB) show that in 2015 Norwegian it bottomed out at an average of 1.73 children per woman. 
 
The rate hasn’t been that low since 1980. 
 
The numbers are falling across the board, SSB researcher Trude Lappegård told broadcaster NRK. 
 
“The fertility rate has decreased in all groups: among those with high educations, low educations, those in their 20s and those in their 30s,” she said. 
 
Lappegård said that more and more Norwegian women aren’t having as many children as they’d like because of “structural conditions in the society”. 
 
She pointed to longer educations postponing first births for many women, while a tougher job market keeps the overall number of births down. 
 
“More people are having difficulty getting a foothold in their careers. It looks like short-term work contracts and difficulties in obtaining a secure job are contributing to the decrease in the fertility rate,” Lappegård said. 
 
Work conditions have also resulted in more Norwegians opting to stop growing their families after just one or two children. 
 
“Large flocks of children and both parents in full-time jobs is viewed as a difficult combination,” the SSB researcher said. 
 
Although Norway’s fertility rate is at its lowest point in 35 years, it is still considered relatively high in a European context. According to Eurostat, the average fertility rate in the EU last year was 1.55 children per woman.  

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