Norway birth rates continuing to fall: agency
Birth rates in Norway were 4.2 percent lower in the first three quarters of 2017 than in the same period during the preceding year, newly published figures show.
The figures were registered by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration based on numbers of people receiving state welfare support (barnetrygd), to which all parents living in Norway with children under 18 are entitled, reports news agency NTB.
In 2016, a total of 58,890 children were born, while last year 43,890 came to the world during the year's first nine months.
Birth rates are normally lower in the year's final quarter, according to the report.
That means Norway's overall 2017 birth rate is projected to be the lowest since the beginning of the 2000s, when it hovered around the 55,000 mark annually.
The post-2000 peak was reached in 2009, when around 62,000 babies were born. Since then, births have dropped off by a few hundred each year.
Although fewer babies are being born, the number of parents receiving state income support has remained stable at around 673,000, of which around 81,000 are men. The proportion of men has increased from 7.5 percent in 2008 to 12 percent at the end of 2016.
The decrease in births has been offset by an increase in the number of foreign citizens working in Norway and thereby becoming entitled to the welfare payment, keeping the overall figure relatively unchanged, NTB writes.
Final birth rate statistics will be published by the official Statistics Norway agency in March.