In Finland, maternity or paternity seems to be increasingly connected to the educational level. In fact, the latest official data confirm that the lack of children is a growing phenomenon among people with lower levels of studies.
According to Statistics Finland's statistics on the population structure, 18.8% of women aged 45 to 49 "resident in Finland in 2018 and speaking national languages were childless". The fact that the figures refer to people "speaking national languages" is a euphemism used in this case to differentiate between native-born Finns and people with foreign origin.
The share of childless Finnish women was 22.5% among those with basic level qualifications. For those women with upper secondary level qualifications was 18.7%, and 18.3% for those with tertiary level qualifications.
Statistics Finland confirms that this is a growing trend: over ten years, the share of childless women among those with upper secondary level qualifications has increased by 3.6 percentage points and by 3 percentage points among those with basic level qualifications.
Also common for men with lower education
Among men aged 45 to 49 resident in Finland "and speaking national languages" 26.7% were childless at the end of 2018.
For men, the differences in the proportion of childless persons by level of education are clearly higher than for women. Among men with basic level qualifications one-third were childless, 29.4% of those with upper secondary level qualifications and 20.8% for those with tertiary level qualifications.
Source: Statistics Finland.
More women living in a childless partnership
More childless men and women aged 45 to 49 with basic level qualifications were living without a spouse in 2018 than in 1987.
Now, 43% of childless women aged 45 to 49 with upper secondary level qualifications lived with a spouse, while in 1987 the share was 37 per cent.
The development for childless men and women aged 45 to 49 with tertiary level qualifications deviates from one another. An increasing number of men are living without a spouse while and increasing number of women are living with a spouse. While 70% of childless women with tertiary level qualifications lived without a spouse in 1987, the share in 2018 was good one-half.
Highest share of childless people in Uusimaa
At the end of 2018, the share of childless women aged 45 to 49 speaking national languages was highest in Uusimaa, 22%. The lowest share was found in Ostrobothnia (14%). More than one-third of all childless women lived in Uusimaa.
The share of Finnish childless women was 40% in inner urban areas. Two-thirds of all childless women lived in core urban areas that consist of an inner and outer urban area.