Nordic perinatal statistics 2022

Birth rates decreased in all Nordic countries – Finland had lowest overall fertility rate

In 2022, around 265 000 live born children were born in the Nordic countries, which a decrease of 8.3 per cent compared to 2021. This is the biggest annual change in the number of newborn children during the monitoring period of this statistics running from the year 1975. The number of live born decreased in all Nordic countries (7.8 %–9.8 % compared to year 2021). Total fertility rate also decreased in all Nordic countries in 2022. Like in recent years before, it was still the highest in Iceland (1.59) and Denmark (1.55) and distinctly lowest in Finland (1.32).

Parturients are getting older in all Nordic countries. The mean age of both all parturients and primiparas rose in 2022 in all the Nordic countries. The proportion of parturients aged 35 and over was the highest in Finland (26.4 %, other Nordic countries 20.0–24.3%). The higher age of women giving birth is associated with several risks and interventions related to childbirth, as well as the total fertility rate.

Caesarean sections have become more common in the Nordic countries over the past four decades. In 2022, Denmark (20.1%), Finland (19.6%) and Sweden (19.1%) had the highest proportion of caesarean sections. For primiparas, the proportion of caesarean sections was clearly highest in Finland (24.3%).  Also, the proportion of planned caesarean sections was highest in Denmark (8.3% of all births), Finland and Sweden (7.9% in both).

For the first time in 2022, Nordic data on BMI was collected for this statistic. The proportion of parturients with BMI over 30 before pregnancy or in early pregnancy was highest in Finland (19.5%) and Sweden (17.6%) and slightly lower in Denmark (15.2%) and Norway (14.8%). Information for Iceland was not available. The share has increased in all Nordic countries during the 2000’s.

Maternity units in hospitals have been closed during the last ten years in all Nordic countries. Denmark and Sweden have most births per maternity hospital. The number of births per hospital has increased in all the Nordic countries during the last ten years. However, in 2022 due to declining fertility rates it decreased slightly in Denmark, Sweden and Norway compared to 2012.

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The proportion of parturients aged 35 and over has increased in all the Nordic countrias. In 2022, it was the highest in Finland (26.4 %).
Parturients over the age of 35 in Nordic countries in 1975–2022, %.


Background information

Description of statistics

The statistics contain data on perinatal health in the Nordic countries. Key indicators include number of deliveries and newborns, perinatal mortality, parturient age and weight at birth. All data are presented by country.

The statistics are published every other year. The next statistics will be published in spring 2026, and the report will contain data up to 2024.

The Association for Nordic Medical Birth Registers (NOMBIR) is responsible for developing the statistics. THL answers for the data collection and reporting. The presented figures have been submitted by contact persons in the countries or retrieved from the websites for medical birth registers.


Pohjoismaiset perinataalitilastot 2022
Nordisk perinatal statistik 2022
Perinatal statistics in the Nordic countries 2022

Statistical Report 12/2024, 25th March 2024.
Official Statistics of Finland, Nordic perinatal statistics. THL. OSF-logo

More information

Anna Heino
Tel. +358 29 524 7177

Mika Gissler
Tel. +358 29 524 7279

E-mail address: [email protected]

Quality description

Sotkanet Statistics and Indicator Bank

On other websites

Nordic Medico-Statistical Comittee (NOMESKO)
Nordic statistics on health and reproduction

Eurostat database
European statistics on health and reproduction